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Banana Identification Mystery Nanner? This is where you can get help to identify your banana plants. Upload some pics to your gallery and post a thread and let everyone know as much info that you have of the plant.


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Old 11-20-2010, 02:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Guide for identifying subgroups?

We are fortunate to have many experts here to help identify bananas, but it sure would be helpful to learn that key characteristics "they" (you might replace "they" with Gabe) use in making identifications. I teach fish taxonomy, so I appreciate that identification can be quite complicated, but I also know that there are key morphological characteristics that you know to look at to narrow things down.

Is there a guide to the characteristics of different subgroups of edible bananas. I understand some of the basic traits that differ between M. acuminata and M. balbisiana, but I really wouldn't know how to distinguish a "Pome" from a "Pisang Awak" from a "Silk".

Anyone know of a guide to banana ID?

Thanks.
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: guide for identifying subgroups?

I'm sure there are some simple guides somewhere, I'll look around my books and notes for some. But I can't recall anything I've read that has been terribly helpful in this matter, it's really all come from looking very closely at many different flowering bananas (in real life) and figuring out what is different, what is significantly different, what similarities are important, and correlating all of that with published information. Also, there is the problem that there are sometimes few commonalities between all cultivars within a subgroup.

The concept of the subgroup itself is not perfect either, and there is more work to be done. In fact, at the last meeting of the Musa Taxonomy Advisory Group, we discussed how subgroups should be defined based on morphology and agreed to begin forming the very thing you are seeking, so perhaps in the future it will be developed. For now, if you look around, you may find some information on specific well known subgroups, particularly the East African Highland Bananas (EAHB), Plantain, Cavendish, Gros Michel and Maoli/Popo'ulu.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

I'd like to know of such a guide also...but in the mean time, how about a guide or two concerning the fish in my area?...southwest coast of Mexico, as we catch many different types off the rocks and haven't learned their names.

thanx, and thanx for letting me hijack your thread! LOL
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

jjjankovsky,

This guide is a good one for fish in your area. It has great photos.

Reef Fish Identification: Baja to Panama by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach []

Good fishing.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

thanx...books are difficult to buy down here...any online stuff?
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

Here's an online fish guide for your area. Now we need a banana guide.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute - Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...lY_2Pw&cad=rja
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

Gabe,

Thanks for the reply. I've looked through the IPGRI "Descriptors for Banana" and now appreciate how many different characteristics are used to identify cultivars. It's a little overwhelming. I suspect that an ID guide for the relatively few cultivars that are readily available to hobbyists would be much easier to put together and certainly useful to the folks here.

I've been trying to figure out what my neighbor's bananas are. I think they are either a Silk (manzano most likely) or a Pisang Awak. If you didn't have male flowers to look at, what key characteristics would you use to distinguish the two groups?
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

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Originally Posted by venturabananas View Post
I've been trying to figure out what my neighbor's bananas are. I think they are either a Silk (manzano most likely) or a Pisang Awak. If you didn't have male flowers to look at, what key characteristics would you use to distinguish the two groups?
Flowers, as they are classically regarded in all of botany, are very discriminating and useful parts to help ID from. With bananas, the actual flowers are useful, but the most useful "part" is the entire inflorescence with developing fruit and an intact male bud, which includes flowers.

If you are certain it is either one of those two subgroups of banana, you can tell them apart by some vegetative traits. But if you are not certain, then they will need to flower as it could be anything really.

If it's just between those two, then Silk has red coloration on the petiole bases, and a thick reddish line along the petiole edge. Pisang Awaks normally do not have any reddish coloration on the petioles or petiole bases.

Keep in mind though, that those traits will distinguish those two cultivars groups only if you are certain that it is one of those two. If you are not sure, then they are rather useless as they describe many other entirely different bananas too.
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

Thanks Gabe. It it also true that Silk cultivars have some burgundy splotching on leaves of small pups but Pisang Awak don't?

To be honest, I cannot be positive that my neighbor's banana mat is either Silk or Pisang Awak -- they seemed most likely based on what might be available in California, the general look, and the very thin skinned, 5-6" long, apple-tasting fruit. Of the cultivars you'd be likely to encounter in California, which would have fruit that meet that description? It is clearly not something in the Cavendish, Bluggoe, Saba, or Red subgroups; and from the few cultivars I've seen, probably not Pome, Nendra Padaththi, or Sucrier.

Have a great Thanksgiving. Banana stuffing anyone?
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by venturabananas View Post
Thanks Gabe. It it also true that Silk cultivars have some burgundy splotching on leaves of small pups but Pisang Awak don't?

To be honest, I cannot be positive that my neighbor's banana mat is either Silk or Pisang Awak -- they seemed most likely based on what might be available in California, the general look, and the very thin skinned, 5-6" long, apple-tasting fruit. Of the cultivars you'd be likely to encounter in California, which would have fruit that meet that description? It is clearly not something in the Cavendish, Bluggoe, Saba, or Red subgroups; and from the few cultivars I've seen, probably not Pome, Nendra Padaththi, or Sucrier.

Have a great Thanksgiving. Banana stuffing anyone?


Yum Recipes : Baked Chicken with Banana Stuffing / (Jamaican)

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Old 11-25-2010, 06:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

Fair enough Tony, there will be pictures, but not till next week. Fortunately, there will be a picture of the bud, since one recently started to open.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

OK, I had time yesterday to take pictures of my neighbor's mat of unidentified bananas. She doesn't know what they are. Someone gave her one a few years ago and they have flourished. There are currently 5 bunches hanging and she recently harvested a 6th. The fruits have very thin peels and, to me, taste very much like Manzano -- i.e., a strong apple flavor without other fruity overtones.

Looking at these plants more closely after Gabe's comments, I'm pretty sure they are not Manzano, based on the lack of red on the petiole. Perhaps Pisang Awak (Namwah), but I hope Gabe or another expert will chime in.

The lighting conditions in late afternoon when I took the pictures weren't great and as a result the picture of flowers isn't fabulous, but I hope there is enough detail for someone to narrow down the subgroup or determine the cultivar. All the plants have fruited at right around 10' of p-stem.

Any input is would be appreciated.

Mat:
[IMG][/IMG]

Bunch 1:
[IMG][/IMG]

Bunch 2:
[IMG][/IMG]

Bunch 3:
[IMG][/IMG]

Close up of bunch:
[IMG][/IMG]

Pup:
[IMG][/IMG]

Petiole of pup:
[IMG][/IMG]

Flowers:
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

Wild guess Ice Cream
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

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Wild guess Ice Cream
I say its a ice cream as well Tony
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

Tony and Mushtaq86, thanks for the input.

After looking through all the photos in the gallery labelled "ice cream" (including some of yours), I can see why you would say ice cream. But I think you are both wrong (and perhaps many of the plants that have been sold as ice cream are in fact something else).

Here's my logic:
1) Ice cream fruits, especially when young, are very bluish. My neighbor's bananas are not.
2) Ice cream (Ney Mannan subgroup) fruits have thick peels (3 mm or thicker, according to the MGIS database). These bananas have very thin peels (1-2 mm).
3) Ice cream fruits are not noted to have any apple flavor -- my neighbors bananas have a very strong apple flavor.

Here are some photos of real ice cream banana plants that I took at Quail Gardens in San Diego (Encinitas), California.
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]

And here's one from one of our "resident" experts, Gabe:
[IMG][/IMG]

I think my neighbor's bananas are probably some Pisang Awak (Namwah) cultivar, based on what I can tell and some of Gabe's comments.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

I say your right and what I have as Ice Cream does not get blueish fruit. So what is the variety being sold as Ice Cream. Mine came from Lowe's or Home Depot.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I don't think there namwah because of how plump,not bottle-nosed, the fruit is.What species is this?

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Old 12-03-2010, 06:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Guide for identifying subgroups?

Tony,

You could be right about them not being namwah -- they are not very bottle-nosed -- but they also don't have that real blue color to them of ice cream. I don't know. Do you remember if the peels of the ones you bought as ice cream were thick (like Cavendish) or thin (like Manzano)?
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by venturabananas View Post
Tony,

You could be right about them not being namwah -- they are not very bottle-nosed -- but they also don't have that real blue color to them of ice cream. I don't know. Do you remember if the peels of the ones you bought as ice cream were thick (like Cavendish) or thin (like Manzano)?
Pretty sure they were thin skin. Mine didn't have flowers like the one's above.
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