What color is your banana? Bananas come in yellow, green, black, red and furry pink.
Varieties of Banana
There are several hundred different varieties of banana tree. Some are seed grown and others grow from a corm which is produced by the parent banana tree. Some of these produce edible bananas and others are purely decorative.
Most of us are familiar with the plants that produce yellow bananas, red banana and green bananas, but know little more about the other varieties.
The beautiful musa beccari grows from a corm which looks like a bulb. As the banana plant blooms and produces bananas, the corm shrivels up and dies but new corms are formed ready for the next crop of bananas.
The Japanese Fiber Banana is quite a strange site. It doesn’t look like a banana at all. Its correct name is musa basjoo and it is the most hardy of all banana plants. It can survive as far north as Ontario and the northern states of America.
These banana plants grow very fast and a young plant put out in spring can reach ten feet by autumn. In northern locations this banana plant is unlikely to flower, or bear fruit but in warmer regions it does flower and produce very small, inedible bananas. In Japan this banana is grown commercially to produce fabric, hence its name, Japanese Fiber Banana.
Banana: Musa Splendida
Musa splendida are bananas from Indo China. They are rarely grown outside this area and are not considered very good for commercial production because they are not as prolific as many other varieties.. This is the variety of banana grown in Sumatra, and in the Yunan area of China.
Baby Bananas with Flowers
Musa acuminata is more commonly known as bananito. The bananas are short and fat. These are grown in northern Australia and are much sweeter in taste that ordinary dessert bananas and have a taste a bit like apples so they are sometimes called apple bananas, ladies’ fingers, or baby bananas.
The Cavendish banana is the variety used most in the world banana trade. This banana originated in Vietnam and China and development of the plants produced the Dwarf Cavendish Banana which is often used as a houseplant. These bananas grown to about 25 centimetres in length and are used as a food plant.
Pink bananas are correctly called musa velutina. These are also called fuzzy pink bananas, or velvet pinks. It has green and white variegated foliage and is inedible although very beautiful.
Siam Ruby Banana
The Siam Ruby banana (musa acuminata) is purely ornamental and is grown for its red fruit and leaves. It grows to about three feet in height and is very rare. This banana originally came from the wild areas of New Guinea and commanded prices as high as $1500 .
Hawaiian Hua Moa Bananas
Musa Hua Moa is a Hawaiian banana The fruit grows in smaller bunches than most other babanas but the diameter of each single banana can be as much as four inches. They can grow up to ten inches long and mostly short and fat. Some don’t look like bananas at all. These can be eaten as fruit, or cooked.