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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 10-07-2007, 11:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musa itinerans var. guangdongensis, aka 'Burmese Blue'

This is a clump of Musa itinerans in Anniston, AL (zone 8a). It has been extremely cold-hardy over the past couple of winters, with the pseudostems surviving the cold. No flower or fruits yet, so I can't positively ID it as var. guangdongensis, but it is definitely Musa itinerans. Check how far away the pup on the left side is from the other pseudostems.

Sorry for the blurry photo.



Closeup of the pseudostem:



And actually, that pup is about 240 miles away from the parent clump now...

This gives me some hope for my var. xishuangbannaensis also.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. guangdongensis, aka 'Burmese Blue'

Nice looking clump, that's cool that a park is into cold hardy bananas.
I think Burmese blue is under rated for cold hardiness. When I froze my three initerans forms really badly, I thought my smaller 5 gallon(seed grown) burmese blue was going to come back in the spring, because the corm was still nice looking. The two larger 15 gallon initerans var gigantea(Musa sp big flower) that were next to it didn't even have a corm to speak of, just mush. But in the end the only initerans that came back was the 10 gallon tissue culture one from agristarts(m.yunnansis), but burmese bluse might have come back if it was bigger.
Frank do you think you are going to test your Musa initerans (form India) outside this winter?
I wish they had come up with some easier names to spell and pronounce instead of this bananadongensis crap.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. guangdongensis, aka 'Burmese Blue'

Hi Kyle, I was impressed with this one! It's actually not a park, but the landscaping around the Anniston Museum of Natural History. The guy who has donated all of the plants (including lots of cold-hardy palms and other hardy subtropicals) is an SPS member, and a member of this forum. There are about 40 different varieties and species of bananas at the museum!

I lost a Musa basjoo in a pot one winter, just seeing what I could get away with. It's a whole 'nother ball game when they are in the ground with some mulch over them. Anyway, Hayes said that Musa itinerans in the picture has had its pseudostems survive the last two winters totally unprotected. In the spring, it starts growing from the top of the pseudostems! I hope my var. xishuangbannaensis proves to be close to the same hardiness. He also has another M. itinerans variety that was collected in Thailand at very high altitudes, and is trialing it in the ground this winter. It's a 30-footer!

I'm greenhousing my 'India Form' itinerans this winter, and planting out in the spring. You're right about it loking just like the Musa vino-tinto picture on the NP site! Weird.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. guangdongensis, aka 'Burmese Blue'

That's amazing that he has 40 in the ground, how many does he leave in the ground for winter.
Man that would be awesome to travel around collecting bananas from high altitudes like in Thailand. That Thai Trachycarpus from high up is supposed to be really cold hardy.
If I had the money, that's what I'd do. Travel from the top of the Himalayas just south of Kashmir, through Nepal, Bhutan, but maybe not into Burma right now, but Thailand, China ect.
I finally have pics of my Musa Sp violet flower, and it is the spitting image of the nature products plant. Sooner or later I post some pics to back up my claim about it being the same thing as both the others.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. guangdongensis, aka 'Burmese Blue'

Kyle, he leaves ALL of them in the ground for the winter! He even has had Ensete glaucum come back two years in a row, plus Dwarf Cavendish, Kluay Namwah, a Musa acuminata variety, Raja Puri, and some others that you wouldn't think of as particularly cold-hardy. Then again, they haven't had a very cold winter there in a while, and the museum is in a very nice micro-climate.

Please post pics soon! I'll be interested in seeing them.

Frank
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