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Cold Hardy Bananas This forum is dedicated to the discussion of bananas that are able to grow and thrive in cold areas. You'll find lots of tips and discussions about keeping your bananas over the winter.


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Old 09-28-2018, 09:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

This post is about how to breed seedless bananas for temperate climates, a rough outline idea.

Select a cold-hardy banana (such as Musa basjoo or Darjeeling) and then select another "edible" (good tasting, but seeded) banana which is very early ripening (Dwarf Cavendish or Orinoco).
(Helen's hybrid might be a good one to try further hybridizing too)

Treat the apical bud with either Colchicine or Oryzalin to double the chromosome number, obtaining a tetraploid.


"Tetraploid plants were induced successfully from diploid bananas Musa acuminata ‘Kluai Leb Mu Nang’ and ‘Kluai Sa’ (2n = 2x = 22) with in vitro oryzalin treatment. Calluses from in vitro-grown shoot tips of both cultivars were treated with oryzalin at concentrations of 1.5 or 3 mg l−1 for 24, 48 and 72 h, respectively. The oryzalin treatments produced tetraploids at a frequency of 15.6% in ‘Kluai Leb Mu Nang’ and 16.7% in ‘Kluai Sa’ as detected by flow cytometry. Chromosome counting showed that the tetraploid plant chromosome number was (2n = 4x = 44). The selected tetraploid plants were transplanted in the field and variations in the morphological characteristic of leaf shape and fruit bunch compared to normal diploid plants were found under the same growing condition even after 3 years of cultivation."

In vitro induction of tetraploid plants from callus cultures of diploid bananas (Musa acuminata , AA group), Kluai Leb Mu Nang, Kluai Sa


Here's another relevant article as well: Effectiveness of Colchicine and Oryzalin at Inducing Polyploidy in Watsonia lepida N.E. Brown


When a normal diploid is bred with a tetraploid, the result is a seedless triploid variety.


"Most bananas purchased at your local supermarket came from sterile triploid hybrids."
https://www2.palomar.edu/users/warmstrong/hybrids1.htm


I have another idea also.
Take a regular seedless banana (3n), double its chromosome set number to 6 (hexaploid), then breed it with another banana.
Once the chromosome set number has been doubled from 3 to 6 it should then produce seed because 6 is an even number (and the chromosomes can be evenly split during meosis).
Hybridizing a 6n (hexaploid) with a seeded 2n (diploid) should give a 4n (tetraploid) banana (also seeded), which could then in turn be hybridized again with a 2n seeded banana to give a seedless 3n triploid.
I believe it could also be possible to use seedless (3n) banana pollen to fertilize a hexaploid (6n) flower, also resulting in tetraploid (4n). I'm not exactly sure about bananas but this type of phenomena can work in citrus. There are some issues with trying to breed triploids but in general some normal (1n) haploid gametes are able to form from the meosis of triploids, and the majority of offspring able to form from triploids will be the same as if they came from a normal diploid parent (though the rate of fertility is normally substantially lower). Basically 3 is unable to split evenly into two, so some 1n gametes are able to escape from the division intact. Maybe someone with more knowledge than I will be able to give some input about whether seedless bananas have fertile pollen.


Edit: A quick search reveals triploid bananas can produce fertile pollen.

"Pollen viability was examined by recording the number of viable as well as non-viable microspores in anthers just before anthesis, as it could be an efficient and rapid indicator of female fertility. It was thought that competency in meiotic restitution in microspores could indicate similar competency in megaspores. Pollen fertility was compared among seeded diploids and edible triploids of Musa and correlated with ovule fertility. Viability was examined using the Alexander's pollen stain procedure. The seeded diploid species M. acuminata, M. balbisiana, and M. ornata had 3 times more viable pollen than the edible tetraploids (AAAB). M. balbisiana and M. ornata had significantly more viable pollen than M. acuminata. The tetraploids contained 3 times more viable pollen than the edible triploids AAA […] The AAA triploid Gros Michel had the highest percentage of viable pollen at 13% […] "

Pollen fertility in Musa : Viability in cultivars grown in Southern Australia, J. A. Fortescue, D. W. Turner, Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, January 2004
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Old 09-28-2018, 11:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

Namwa and Pisang Ceylon work well in our climate ... have you tried growing them?
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

It would be great to have a banana as cold hardy as Basjoo and as tasty as Gros Michel that'll go from corm to ripe bananas in 6 months... It would also be great to be rich and good looking, but I didn't get that wish, either.
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Varieties I supposedly bought: Manzano, Cavendish, Blue Java, Sweetheart, and Gros Michel.
What it seems I actually have: Brazilian, Cavendish, Namwah, Dwarf Red, Gros Michel, Pisang Ceylon, Veinte Cohol and SH 3640, and American Goldfinger. FHIA 1, Paggi and FHIA 17... Always room for one more.
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

None of the things you mention are out of reach.
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

There may be another way of obtaining a tetraploid banana without Colchocine or Oryzalin.

"Crossing of a triploid banana with a diploid variety generates diploid, triploid, tetraploid, aneuploid and hyperploid progeny"

I believe this may be because sometimes an unreduced gamete escapes, and in the case of triploids, an unreduced gamete (still with all 3 sets of chromosomes) is much more likely to escape meoisis intact and be viable than a triploid that underwent chromosomal division.
So an unreduced 3n gamete from pollen + a normal haploid gamete from the female parent = a tetraploid offspring 4n

https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...5000463#bbib22

I know the same thing can occur in citrus but it's usually only somewhere around 1 out of 25 offspring.

Another article seems to suggest with bananas it may be as high as half:
"On the assumption that Cavendish cultivars have low fertility, the Banana and Plantain Breeding Program at the Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Research (FHIA), starting in 2002, pollinated 20,000 bunches, approximately 2 million fingers, of the Cavendish cultivars ‘Grand Naine’ and ‘Williams’ with pollen from 10 Cavendish cultivars for the development of Cavendish tetraploids. As a result, 200 seeds with 40 viable embryos were obtained, from which 20 tetraploid hybrids were developed. These results confirmed the assumption that Cavendish cultivars have low fertility, which allows their use in conventional breeding methods to create new progenies. The selected tetraploid progenies were crossed with improved FHIA diploids for the development of second generation triploid hybrids."
http://www.fhia.org.hn/dowloads/bana...ish_banana.pdf

(much of this is because seeds that would have had problematic chromsomal abnormalities don't form in the first place)

The article goes on to say that it is even possible to use triploid varieties as the female parent, but the seed count tends to be only just 1 or 2 seeds per bunch of bananas, and only an exceedingly tiny amount in Cavendish bananas (1 seed per 100 bunches of bananas).
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Old 09-29-2018, 02:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

I was thinking about trying to breed Helen's hybrid with Viente Cohol, and then backcross with Helen's hybrid again.
(Viente Cohol is very early ripening but not at all cold hardy)

or Sikkimensis x Raja Puri and then cross with dwarf Orinoco
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal2warm View Post
This post is about how to breed seedless bananas for temperate climates, a rough outline idea.

Select a cold-hardy banana (such as Musa basjoo or Darjeeling) and then select another "edible" (good tasting, but seeded) banana which is very early ripening (Dwarf Cavendish or Orinoco).
(Helen's hybrid might be a good one to try further hybridizing too)

Treat the apical bud with either Colchicine or Oryzalin to double the chromosome number, obtaining a tetraploid.


"Tetraploid plants were induced successfully from diploid bananas Musa acuminata ‘Kluai Leb Mu Nang’ and ‘Kluai Sa’ (2n = 2x = 22) with in vitro oryzalin treatment. Calluses from in vitro-grown shoot tips of both cultivars were treated with oryzalin at concentrations of 1.5 or 3 mg l−1 for 24, 48 and 72 h, respectively. The oryzalin treatments produced tetraploids at a frequency of 15.6% in ‘Kluai Leb Mu Nang’ and 16.7% in ‘Kluai Sa’ as detected by flow cytometry. Chromosome counting showed that the tetraploid plant chromosome number was (2n = 4x = 44). The selected tetraploid plants were transplanted in the field and variations in the morphological characteristic of leaf shape and fruit bunch compared to normal diploid plants were found under the same growing condition even after 3 years of cultivation."

In vitro induction of tetraploid plants from callus cultures of diploid bananas (Musa acuminata , AA group), Kluai Leb Mu Nang, Kluai Sa


Here's another relevant article as well: Effectiveness of Colchicine and Oryzalin at Inducing Polyploidy in Watsonia lepida N.E. Brown


When a normal diploid is bred with a tetraploid, the result is a seedless triploid variety.


"Most bananas purchased at your local supermarket came from sterile triploid hybrids."
https://www2.palomar.edu/users/warmstrong/hybrids1.htm


I have another idea also.
Take a regular seedless banana (3n), double its chromosome set number to 6 (hexaploid), then breed it with another banana.
Once the chromosome set number has been doubled from 3 to 6 it should then produce seed because 6 is an even number (and the chromosomes can be evenly split during meosis).
Hybridizing a 6n (hexaploid) with a seeded 2n (diploid) should give a 4n (tetraploid) banana (also seeded), which could then in turn be hybridized again with a 2n seeded banana to give a seedless 3n triploid.
I believe it could also be possible to use seedless (3n) banana pollen to fertilize a hexaploid (6n) flower, also resulting in tetraploid (4n). I'm not exactly sure about bananas but this type of phenomena can work in citrus. There are some issues with trying to breed triploids but in general some normal (1n) haploid gametes are able to form from the meosis of triploids, and the majority of offspring able to form from triploids will be the same as if they came from a normal diploid parent (though the rate of fertility is normally substantially lower). Basically 3 is unable to split evenly into two, so some 1n gametes are able to escape from the division intact. Maybe someone with more knowledge than I will be able to give some input about whether seedless bananas have fertile pollen.


Edit: A quick search reveals triploid bananas can produce fertile pollen.

"Pollen viability was examined by recording the number of viable as well as non-viable microspores in anthers just before anthesis, as it could be an efficient and rapid indicator of female fertility. It was thought that competency in meiotic restitution in microspores could indicate similar competency in megaspores. Pollen fertility was compared among seeded diploids and edible triploids of Musa and correlated with ovule fertility. Viability was examined using the Alexander's pollen stain procedure. The seeded diploid species M. acuminata, M. balbisiana, and M. ornata had 3 times more viable pollen than the edible tetraploids (AAAB). M. balbisiana and M. ornata had significantly more viable pollen than M. acuminata. The tetraploids contained 3 times more viable pollen than the edible triploids AAA […] The AAA triploid Gros Michel had the highest percentage of viable pollen at 13% […] "

Pollen fertility in Musa : Viability in cultivars grown in Southern Australia, J. A. Fortescue, D. W. Turner, Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, January 2004
If your idea is original, you should consider patenting it. By first posting your idea here, you put it into the public domain. Somebody else might steal your idea and get it patented before you do.

I believe that Dwarf Cavendish fruit aren't seeded.
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Old 09-30-2018, 12:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

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If your idea is original, you should consider patenting it.
I'm pretty sure it's not new information, it's just that there are few people informed about all the science behind breeding bananas, few banana enthusiasts know about how chromosome set numbers really work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Namwa and Pisang Ceylon work well in our climate ... have you tried growing them?
Oh really? That's a bit presumptious of you.
I would like to develop bananas to grow well in the Pacific Northwest climate, zone 8.

Perhaps won't be too challenging, all the ornamental Musa basjoo I see growing here don't even lose their fronds over the Winter, with a little bit of light snow, even though the fronds do look pretty trashed afterwards (still kind of green though, and I think they might even still be semi-functional by Spring).
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

Anything over tetraploids is a dead end in bananas, look up the man who pioneered the sterile diploid ➡️colchicine ➡️fertile tetraploid x diploid ➡️ new triploid. He thought the same as you initially, but found the theory incorrect. Basjoo is not a good candidate , as it is of dubious compatability but further to that the ones you see are the result of generations of tc multiplication and have fertility issues.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

I was going to try to cross Helen's Hybrid with Blue Java, but unfortunately the Helen's Hybrid seeds I bought never germinated.

I would have collected the rare seeds that formed from the Blue Java fruits.

Most of those, I believe, would be tetraploid. That's because the rare seeds that would appear in a triploid variety would have been formed by unreduced gametes from the triploid (3n) combining with normal haploid gametes (1n).
(Normally triploids undergoing meoisis have problems because they cannot be evenly split, so the gametes that form are not viable, which happens to in large part explain the lack of seeds)

Then once that second tetraploid generation was crossed against with a diploid variety (i.e. normal species cultivar that has lots of seed), it would yield a triploid variety that would be seedless.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

Most of what you describe is rather unrealistic, I'm sorry to say, the end goal is probably possible, but it's likely not going to be obtainable by crossing those common cultivars. Additionally, anything with a B genome is very difficult to breed with due to eBSV (Banana Streak Virus).

As a banana breeder myself, I would recommend to start super super simple, and literally just try to cross anything and not get caught up in planning exactly what to cross and thinking about what the results will be. It can be quite a challenge to generate hybrid seedlings of any sort, let alone ones that will conform to your desires, and its a numbers game where you will need to generate and sort through hundreds to thousands of seedlings to get something that might resemble what you had in mind.

I would also recommend to read up on how edible bananas work. Simmonds' "Bananas" and "The Evolution of the Bananas" are essentials. Breeding edible bananas is not all about ploidy, and in fact, ploidy levels are not even that important to consider overall.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

Gabe is right. Im yet to cross anything with expectations of seeds, just been practising technique, most of my wild sp are just reaching flowering size. But as Gabe said, cross lots and cross anything you have flowering. read, the literature suggested above, any research papers posted here or available online, plus general and varietal information promusa. If youre planting purely with the intention to breed, research the varieties you want to cross, there is information around on the fertility of some varieties. No point trying to breed mules.
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal2warm View Post
I would like to develop bananas to grow well in the Pacific Northwest climate, zone 8.
I live in Portland. I don’t know much about breeding bananas but would love to see where this goes as far as bananas hardy for our climate. I have a basjoo and Cali gold outside and both survived the winter under mulch and frost cloth.
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

BananaJSSI on YouTube just posted a comment that his Helen's Hybrid he was growing on Salt Spring Island has rotted and doesn't look like it survived the Winter. It was a colder Winter than usual though this year.

Salt Spring Island is a small island, one of the Gulf Islands lying between Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia (Canada), it's in zone 9a, despite the cool temperatures most of the year.


video title: How to Grow Cold Hardy Banana Plants, published June 8, 2019
comment posted by WesleyAPEX
"The Helens Hybrid died??"
reply posted by BananaJSSI , on June 2
"It looks like it rotted , so obviously not good here"


He had wrapped the trunk with insulation, as shown in another video, and it was under the cover of many tall surrounding Musa basjoo bananas in a virtual jungle, so it wasn't completely out in the open, but he did say they had some pretty strong Winter winds.

Last edited by SoCal2warm : 06-15-2019 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

I was just reading through another thread, and came upon a diagram that was posted that showed that both the traits of sterility and parthenocarpy are import for edible bananas. Parthenocarpy, in the case of bananas, helps the fruits fill out and be bigger, so if a banana is only sterile but does not have the traits for parthenocarpy, the fruits will be quite skinny (almost shriveled) and not filled out.

I think the concept of "parthenocarpic" has a slightly different meaning within the context of discussing different species of fruits. That probably contributed to my prior confusion.

On the contrary, if a banana cultivar has only moderate sterility, but high parthenocarpy, then the banana will essentially be edible with adequate flesh, though will just have several seeds. (I don't think these type of cultivars are encountered very often)

The presence of seeds makes a banana fruit bigger, but the level of parthenocarpy makes them even a little bigger. (Two independent separate traits)

(Thread title: Are There Any Seeded Bananas Used As Food? post #9 )
"diagram to illustrate the interrelations of parthenocarpy and sterility in the bananas"
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

I just ordered some Helen's Hybrid (Sikkimensis x Chini-Champa), Musa Sikkimensis, and Thomson's Edible Banana (Musa thomsonii) seeds.


Germinating banana seeds is difficult. The last time I tried germinating 10 seeds and none of them grew, I read the germination rate of dried seeds can be very low sometimes. So might need to try 20 of them to have a decent chance that one will sprout. They also take a long time to germinate, sometimes can take as long as 6 months, I've read (though usually less).

(And yes, I did try scarifying all the seeds, they were in warm humid conditions)
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

Good news!

2 (out of 10 ) of my Helen's Hybrid seeds have begun germinating after only 11 days.


This is beyond my expectations, I didn't think the germination rate would be this high, or that they would begin germinating so soon.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:48 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

Something interesting I found, but it doesn't cite a source:

"Already in the 1930s Musa basjoo was crossed with Musa 'Mysore' successfully. In each of the 10 bunches was one seed found, total 10 seeds were found and 5 of them were germinated and yielded viable and healthy plants. This cross seemed never introducted to the market and also never tested as hardy fruit banana."

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Old 07-03-2019, 03:20 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

What was your source for the seeds?

Congrats!
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to breed (seedless) Bananas for Temperate climates

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What was your source for the seeds?
seedman.com

One of the seedlings appears to be growing very fast now, the little sprout is a centimeter above the soil.

I have them inside a special grow enclosure, with artificial lighting. They are in large dispossable cups covered with clear plastic wrap, to help hold in the humidity. But the entire grow enclosure is also enclosed, and lined with a mylar coating on the inside, which also helps hold in the heat the heat and humidity. (Okay, admittingly it doesn't hold in heat very well, inside the enclosure is only 2 degrees F warmer than the outside, but it's inside a warm room with other grow enclosures)

I do want to eventually try planting it outside here, when it's bigger.

I do have many other rare hardy hybrid versions of subtropical plants that "shouldn't be able to survive outside this far north" but do.
(Cork oak, a yellow nitidissima camellia hybrid, a hardy gardenia hybrid, a few cold hardy citrus hybrids)
I saw a website about someone who grew tree ferns here, though the tops have to be wrapped for the Winter, or at least the crowns covered with some burlap cloth as insulation.
Musa basjoo is fairly common here, I've spotted two of them in people's yards in the neighborhood. Following the (2017-2018 ) year when we had a mild winter (on the West Coast), a banana plant (or I should say a huge clump of stalks) in Point Defiance Park grew 11 feet tall and I spotted a fruit stalk growing, with a bulb and fruit. I could tell it did not have time to ripen all the way though. But it was pretty high up there and a little hard to get a good look at it. The following winter the banana froze and died back to the ground.
But that prior winter, the basjoo bananas seemed not to die back. The pseudostem trunks survived, and even the leaf fronds still appeared to be alive, although they looked kind of trashed and wilty.

Last edited by SoCal2warm : 07-03-2019 at 12:39 PM.
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