Musa basjoo


Musa basjoo
Musa basjoo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Musaceae
Genus: Musa
Species: M. basjoo
Binomial name
Musa basjoo
Siebold & Zucc. ex Iinuma

Musa basjoo, known variously as Japanese Banana,[1] Japanese Fiber Banana or Hardy Banana, is a species belonging to the genus Musa. It was previously thought to have originated from the Ryukyu islands of Japan, from where it was first described in cultivation. It is now considered more likely to have originated from China, where it is also widely cultivated, with wild populations thought to exist in Sichuan province.[2]

Contents

Description

Musa basjoo is a herbaceous perennial with trunk-like pseudostems growing to around 2–2.5 metres (6.6–8.2 ft), with a crown of mid-green leaves growing up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) long and 50 centimetres (20 in) wide when mature. The species produces male and female flowers on the same inflorescence which may extend for over 1 metre (3.3 ft). The banana fruits formed are non-edible, with sparse pulp and many seeds. [3]

Cultivation

Musa basjoo has been extensively cultivated for fiber or gardens outside its natural range, into Japan and parts of Northern Europe and Britain, the United States, and Canada. Although the pseudostem may only cope with a few degrees below freezing, the underground rhizome is considered frost hardy, if well insulated with several feet of dry mulch, all the way down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. If the pseudostem is killed, the banana will resprout from the ground where it rapidly grows to full size (15 feet) in a season under optimal conditions. Thus, it can be grown as far north as Zone 5a in the United states, or can be overwintered in a pot and kept growing, which is the only way it can be made to fruit in northern regions (bananas require 12 -24 months of warmth to bloom).

Uses

In gardens it is used as a hardy 'tropical foliage' ornamental plant. In its home range in Japan, where it is thought to have been imported from China, the fibers of the plant are used to produce textiles known in Japanese as bashōfu (芭蕉布, lit. "banana cloth").

References

  1. ^ Prof. Snow Barlow (July 19, 2002). "Sorting Musa Names". Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database. University of Melbourne. http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/new/Musa.html. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ Lui et al. (2001). "Taxonomic notes on wild bananas (Musa) from China". Bot. Bull. Acad. Sin. 43: 77–81. http://ejournal.sinica.edu.tw/bbas/content/2002/1/bot431-09.html. 
  3. ^ Musa basjoo