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Old 10-15-2005, 12:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
Casa Del Gatos
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Default Re: Cut p-stem yields surprise - ideas on ID please

Hi Kenzie,

Wow, that really is cool! I would estimate the height in that Aug. pic to be more like 15-18 ft. I don't think Basjoo get more than 12 ft. so if your only choices are Basjoo and Saba - it's got to be a Saba.

I am also in South Alabama and mine are all growing still despite the cool mornings. I have one of the native bananas over 10 ft. tall and I thought I saw the flag emerging the other day, but it turned out to be just another 6 ft. leaf. Was your big one a native or did you buy and plant it? We had some of the skinnier native ones like this bloom and fruit at about 15 ft. one fall in Loxley. But they then got whacked by the 2 hurricanes that year ('95 or so).

I am particularly intrigued by the fact that the bloom was the first thing to emerge when you cut. The biological ramifications are really interesting. If you figure that bloom was developing inside the p-stem, it still had some 10 feet to go to emerge at the top! Now, that is amazing! How long after you cut did it take?

I am still thinking this could really be a way to get fruit faster and at a shorter height. If you have a mat with, say 10 plants that are 8-10 feet tall, then cut them all off at about waist or shoulder height, I would expect some (if not most) to spit out a few leaves then flower. Of course your length of growing season will mean a lot, but you could always stick a cold frame over them after you cut and prolong it.
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