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Deepsleep 08-02-2018 08:17 AM

An easy one for the pros
I've been lurking for months and trying to figure out what I have for my first flower here. I keep going in circles, but I will say the plant was labeled as Blue Java. I'm in central FL and due to several frosts, the fruiting p-stem has now been overtaken in height and diameter by the other 2 p-stems in the mat. The flowering p-stem was around 8-9 feet, and it is the first to flower. I would like to move some pups around, but not really sure what I'm growing here.

beam2050 08-02-2018 09:38 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
probably is what you think it is good job.

May the pros be with you. :08:

Deepsleep 08-02-2018 10:57 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
Well, that's great to hear! It came as a pup last spring from Just Fruits and Exotics. After studying 5000 photos here, I thought it could be Namwah or Orinoco, but just got more and more confused. Again, thank you!

Gabe15 08-02-2018 05:58 PM

Re: An easy one for the pros
Looks like a Namwah to me. Ice Cream fruit shape and color are quite different, even when young.

Deepsleep 08-02-2018 07:51 PM

Re: An easy one for the pros
1-1. I'm guessing I'll know with certainty by the time they mature? Sounds like Namwah is as good or better, so either way, I'm happy. Whatever it is, I was pleasantly surprised with how it handled the cold and fruited the year after planting. I added several more varieties this spring-->next up will be figuring out which Goldfinger I have!

Akula 08-02-2018 11:33 PM

Re: An easy one for the pros

I got my Ice Cream (Blue Java) from JFE too. My plant has 13' of pstem and I'm waiting for the flower to confirm what's in my patch.

beam2050 08-03-2018 07:45 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
namwa is an awesome plant. fast growers, real fast. I figured after so much research you might have it tagged.

:08: live long and irrigate

Mark Dragt 08-03-2018 10:35 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
My very first banana plant I bought as a Blue Java. Great plant! After growing it for several years it flowered last October. Just yesterday I finished the last of the bananas. Of course it turned out to be a Tall Namwah which is very common for that plant. For me it took about 10 months for the Namwah fruit to fill and mature. It's a great tasting banana!

Deepsleep 08-03-2018 08:26 PM

Re: An easy one for the pros
Thank you everyone for all the info. Also, Mark's comment begs the question--how long does it take for Tall Namwah to ripen in central FL? I'm expecting about 6 months frost free from when it pushed out a flower. Will that be enough? I'm guessing fruit will fill out much faster during a FL summer vs WA? I am also wondering if I should seek out the "real" IC. I've seen mixed reviews on here. I will say, I haven't had a lot of non-Cav bananas, but my favorite so far (by far) is Manzano. I have a couple of those in the ground now. How does Namwah compare to Manzano?

Tytaylor77 08-04-2018 01:58 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
Man that’s a hard one! Amazing job by Gabe. I agree it’s a namwa. The spacing, fruit not pointing upwards, light markings on the fruit, and the bunch angle is very strange! I guess due to conditions and the storms effect! First look does NOt look like namwa haha.

My namwa and others here in East/SouthEast Texas fills in about 3-4 months. If you are not doing it now. Stop all nitrogen fertilizer and make sure you give it regular doses of potassium. I use Murate of potash. Careful!!! It’s pretty strong. Only need small amounts. I do 1/4 cup every 2-3 weeks on mine. Spread it around the root zone really well! No piles! Also remove all pups! Cut the male bud off! All this will speed filling! In hot and humid central FL your weather is very similar to mine. You have plenty time!

Great job!

Gabe15 08-04-2018 02:26 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros

Originally Posted by Tytaylor77 (Post 317173)
Man that’s a hard one! Amazing job by Gabe. I agree it’s a namwa. The spacing, fruit not pointing upwards, light markings on the fruit, and the bunch angle is very strange! I guess due to conditions and the storms effect! First look does NOt look like namwa haha.

The angle of the bunch can change drastically depending on bunch size. Namwahs tend to start out somewhat angular, and then become more pendant as the bunch gets older and heavier. As you can see, this bunch is very small, and so it is unlikely to become any more pendant. The bud (during both female and male stages) is also somewhat slender and very pointed towards the tip, 'Ice Cream' tends to be more plump, somewhat less pointed.

And finally, if you notice where the pedicels merge with the raceme, they become fused into a large flat "pad" at the node, and the separation between the pedicels is basically lost. This is a classic Namwah trait that is absent in 'Ice Cream'. In 'Ice Cream', the pedicels join on a relatively large pad, but you can still clearly see the discrete sections of the pedicel bases on the pad that run all the way to the node.

Tytaylor77 08-04-2018 03:00 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
Thank you Gabe!

Excellent education! Bunch size does have a major effect! I can see how the bunch hanging more would make it look “tighter” and more namwa like. I do notice the flat pads! I’ve never made that separation! Exactly as you say Blue Java and others have “bumps” where they connect!

Deepsleep 08-04-2018 05:45 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
I appreciate everybody's help! I will have to go through this stuff slowly--it will be a good learning experience as you have mentioned all the characteristics you are looking at to draw a conclusion. I think the bunch is small because of the trauma this p-stem has been through. It is obviously a pretty tough banana.
Shortly after is on the right with the yellow tag.

Post-Irma a few months later

Mid February after several frosts, coming to life but we had at least one more frost in March, maybe 2. The other 2 are GM front left, and Dwarf Red in back

Here they are this week (I have added 4 varieties in front, so the T Namwah is the taller one toward the back R

To me, its pretty impressive this thing is making fruit, and as long as the bananas are good, will be a staple for me going forward. One again, thanks everybody!

Deepsleep 08-04-2018 09:23 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
I have spent some time on the site over the last several months, and because of the knowledge gleaned, have been fertilizing the fruiting plant with K only. I have been using SOP rather than MOP, which I think is okay. Also, because we have a consensus, and some valuable pointers for identifying Namwah, I will change the title for people later searching for this info. Finally, for anybody interested, in that last photo, those plants in the front from L to R are Sweetheart, Goldfinger, Orinoco, and Rhinohorn. I don't think the Dwarf Red and Gros Michel will amount to much due to lack of cold tolerance. Not sure on the Rhinohorn, but I'm expecting big things from the others!

--Can't figure out how to edit the title of the thread, so scratch that.

Best day 08-04-2018 09:25 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
Impressive Gabe. Impressive.

I grow 12-14 varieties of bananas and I can only hope one day I'm as good as you are at ID'ing bananas.


Botanical_Bryce 08-04-2018 11:55 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
I hope this image helps. If you are like me descriptions are hard to follow. I do better if you just point out the facts as opposed to describing them. I took this photo to show the difference. Top is Namwah and bottom is Bluggoe which should suffice for the description.

Best day 08-04-2018 11:58 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
Thanks for the pictures. I have Namwa sitting on the counter. Now with the photo I see the pads. Thanks for the knowledge guys.


Akula 08-04-2018 12:29 PM

Re: An easy one for the pros
Thanks Gabe and Bryce!!

That is the most definitive difference between blue java and namwa that I have come across in all the “Is this an ice cream, blue java, namwa” threads.

Thanks again!

Deepsleep 08-05-2018 11:20 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
Interestingly, I just looked at JFE's site today, and they do no mention Blue Java at all, only Ice Cream. I thought it mentioned Blue Java before, and the pics are definitely some blue looking bananas. I don't want to disparage them because I've bought lots of stuff from them that has been top notch, just thought it was interesting. Also was looking through my planting records and noticed I got another "Ice Cream" as well as a "Namwah" from a local local reseller. They won't flower until next year, but the more I look at them, the more all of these plants look the same! Guess I'll have to seek out some more diversity. Thanks all! Here's a couple close ups of my Namwah this AM.

Akula 08-05-2018 11:37 AM

Re: An easy one for the pros
I ordered an ice cream from JFE before I was aware of the Blue Java/Namwa substitution controversy. I inquired if JFE's ice cream was a Blue Java or a Namwa by email and they confirmed it was a Blue Java, specifically, "Our Ice Cream is the same as Blue Java" so I'm expecting my tree with a 13.5' tall and 32" circumference pstem to be a Blue Java when it flowers.

I also ordered a Raja Puri that is now in excess of 12' with no flower yet. I've been waiting on a flower on that one since it was 5 feet tall!

Seems pretty common problem that many if not all members have endured. All my future additions will be either from Going Bananas and members from now on. Lesson learned!

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