Sunday, January 26, 2014

Unknown Musa

This banana was sold to me as a Musa 'Double' (AAA), which is a type of Cavendish banana, the yellow bananas so commonly seen in American grocery stores.

Cavendish bananas typically have wine marks on juvenile leaves and wide-open petioles (the part of the leaf between the blade and the trunk-like pseudostem), but my plant has never had any wine marks (I got it as a 4" tall baby) and has petioles that range from 2/3 to fully closed, which is a trait associated with ABB and AAB varieties rather than AAA varieties.  Furthermore, whereas Cavendish bananas are extremely susceptible to cold (like my 'Dwarf Cavendish' and 'Williams Hybrid' planted nearby that went dormant early on and started dying back), this plant has kept pace with my hardiest varieties.

My best guess heading into the inflorescence was that it was either a 'Dwarf Namwah' (ABB) or 'Raja Puri' (AAB).  Now that it has started flowering (p-stem 5'6") and the first hand is exposed, DN appears unlikely, since Namwahs have purple pedicels (the connectors between the individual fruits and the base of the hand), but this plant produces green pedicels.  [see for pics of purple pedicels on a Namwah]

Pics of the fruit and the petioles:

Some additional pics (I used a water heater to help keep the flower going):