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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 08-24-2009, 03:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Newbie with 2 questions.

Very happy to have found this forum. I'm just gettng started, and have been looking to start a collection of banana plants. My current cultivar is unknown to me. A cousin gave me some bananas off her plant, tasted delicious, told her I wanted to grow some. She gave me a few pups, 2 years later, I have some fruits growing! Please look in the gallery under Want Them All. Anyways, I'd appreciate any info you can provide to my questions:

[1] What cultivar might this be? The height of the plant is about 11' at the tip of the highest leaves.

[2] Aside from the green bananas you see in the photo, will I get any more fruit from this stalk? The smallish, maroon color "bananas", seem to be withering away, and not turning green like the rest just above them.

Thank you,
I'm in central California, zone 9.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie with 2 questions.

That is the end of the bananas for that plant. And I am going to guess it is a Ice Cream. There are others that can give you a postive id.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with 2 questions.

So if no more bananas will come, should I leave that "football" there, or cut it off?

Thanks,
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie with 2 questions.

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Originally Posted by Want Them All View Post
So if no more bananas will come, should I leave that "football" there, or cut it off?

Thanks,
You should leave the fruits on the plant until after harvest. If you are referring to the flower, you can leave it on or cut it. It doesn't do any harm to cut off the flower. Just that you need to take care that you don't get any sap on your clothing. They will stain and are near impossible to remove.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie with 2 questions.

It also looks like 'Ice Cream' to me too. The "football" is called the male bud, and you can cut it off if you want to relieve stress on the plant (it adds weight and may make it easier for the plant to topple as the fruit gets bigger and heavier), or you can leave it on and enjoy it but it serves no important function as it is right now.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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or you can leave it on and enjoy it but it serves no important function as it is right now.
I leave mine on for the humingbirds, especialy during the winter months when the food supply is short.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie with 2 questions.

Mitchel
I have a lot of hummingbirds come to the feeders but I never see any at the buds. I was wondering if it is because of the feeders.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie with 2 questions.

Believe it or not, that "football", or "bud" as I know now, is edible. You have to cook it, it's boiled in a soup, along with other ingredients (shrimp, lemongrass, chilli pepper, onions,...)

One more question if I may: What could I have done to have more bananas on this same "stalk" (probably the wrong name to use, but I'm learning)? Anyway to have more fruits, instead of a bunch of them withering away?

Thanks,
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie with 2 questions.

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Originally Posted by sunfish View Post
Mitchel
I have a lot of hummingbirds come to the feeders but I never see any at the buds. I was wondering if it is because of the feeders.
I don't have any feeders but my nieghbor has quite a few plants that attract them. They spend a lot of time on my canna and sometimes the banana flowers. I have noticed I get more hummers on the bananas during winter when the food supply around the nieghborhood is not as plentiful. Just on the other side of the bamboo I planted as a privacy screen is a large cape honeysuckle. They love that thing!
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie with 2 questions.

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Originally Posted by Want Them All View Post
Believe it or not, that "football", or "bud" as I know now, is edible. You have to cook it, it's boiled in a soup, along with other ingredients (shrimp, lemongrass, chilli pepper, onions,...)

One more question if I may: What could I have done to have more bananas on this same "stalk" (probably the wrong name to use, but I'm learning)? Anyway to have more fruits, instead of a bunch of them withering away?

Thanks,
Check the banana recipe section here for some ideas on cooking the flower-bud, center of the pseudo stem ( p-stem = trunk), and using the leaves for wrapping tamales, roasts etc.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie with 2 questions.

I can't really give you assistance with the ID, but Gabe is really good at such things, so he very likely has given you the correct ID with Ice Cream (blue java).

Yes, the bud is edible. I've never had it and don't know how to prepare it, but Beth (lorax) is always talking about eating them. It can be left on the plant or removed after all the fruit have been exposed. If left on, it is only additional weight that pulls down on the plant and it serves no further purpose.

The small bananas that are withering away and falling off are most likely the male flowers which will not develop into bananas. No worries...totally normal. You can also go through and remove the brown withered remnants of the flowers at the ends of the developing fruit. At this point they serve no purpose.

As far as getting more fruit from that stalk....it won't happen. Bananas fruit once per stalk then die back to the roots. The pups that come up from the corm (root mass) will replace the former mother plant after it has fruited/died. So the overall plant will continue to produce more stalks/fruit from the same roots, but the actual stalks are a one-time-fruiting entity.

Hope that is helpful information. Enjoy your naners!
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