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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 04-02-2008, 10:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

And by "very," I mean probably just as cold-hardy as Musa basjoo. That is not an exaggeration either. The original pseudostem of mine died back to the corm, but the pups have started growing back. I protected one pup with a bag of leaves, and left the other two out in the cold, completely unprotected. When I uncovered the protected pup, it had a very thin, papery layer of dead tissue on the outside, but the rest of it was in fine shape. Much better than Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' and M. 'Helen's Hybrid' right next to it. The real shocker came when I went to examine the pup right next to the protected one! This pup was not even mulched, and was starting to grow back from the same apical meristem! It died back to ground level, but no further than that. The main corm looks to be in fine shape, with several healthy-looking eyes ready to sprout also. I think the reason that the growing point died on it is because it was actually slightly above ground or at ground level. Another pup has started to grow back from its original growing point also. This could quite possibly be just as cold-hardy, if not more so, than Musa basjoo! I'll have pictures in a couple of days.

By the way, my unofficial low here was somewhere between 6-12 degrees Fahrenheit (probably closer to 6F), and the official low was 12F. We had 2 nonconsecutive days with a high below freezing this winter. I recorded 2 readings of 6F, and 2 of 7F on my cheap digital thermometer, and my M. itinerans is planted out in the open. You colder zone folks have something to look forward too! This banana is the real deal baby.

This is the same banana that I've posted about as var. xishuangbannaensis in previous posts, but has turned out to be var. itinerans.
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

Exciting!

If I understand correctly, then this is not that yunnan plant, but the tall one, right?

Seems like itinerans var. itinerans is impossible to source.
Do you know any reliable seed-sources for this one, or do we have to wait?

Erlend
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

Erlend, you are mostly correct. It is not the one that was first introduced as Musa itinerans, now correctly identified as Musa yunnanensis. It isn't the 40 footer either, that one is var. xishuangbannaensis. I thought that I had var. xishuangbannaensis, until Markku's article on the itinerans complex came out recently. The one I have is var. itinerans, and was sold by natureproducts (Tian Zi) as Musa sp. Nov. Unless there are some sources that I am unaware of, I don't know of anyone that carries seeds of any of the Musa itinerans except for Musa itinerans 'India Form' (sunshineseeds). Perhaps we can all try and beg Tian Zi to start selling seeds again! I tried that, and they have since stopped answering my emails, lol.

It is possible that M. itinerans 'India Form' is a variant of var. itinerans (variant of a variety?), and could be just as cold-hardy.
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

I had a different experience with my seed grown Musa sp. nov "giant flowering banana" from nature products. I had two 7 gallon plants in a very cold greenhouse, along with 5 gallon Musa burmese blue, and 7-10 gallon Musa initerans(agristarts-yunnansis), and 10 gallon Musa cheesmanii. The only one that came back was the agri-starts initerans(yunnanisis), and the cheesmanii came back weakly. I thought the burmese blue might come back, because the corm was fairly solid, but it didn't. The two corms that were complete mush was the Musa sp Nov, and I wrote them off as not cold hardy.
Mine were seed grown(although large), and no long runners yet, and Frank's were pups off a larger plant that had runners, so that may explain the differences in hardiness.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

Hi Frank,

Nice to hear your positive experience!
But actually, the itinerans, yunnan, yunnanensis, indian form stuff is getting to me,....
I am very curious if I could get my hands on that article anywhere, because how can you tell what var. of itinerans you have, what are the differences?
Is there a clear overview of the relatively cold resistant Musa species somewhere?
Also the lively imagination and fantasy of seedsuppliers adds to the confusion sometimes...
Kind regards,
Remko.
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Old 04-13-2008, 12:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

As promised, here are some pictures taken today. The first pseudostem was protected with a bag of leaves. The two pups had zero protection, and in fact the entire bed was unmulched for the winter.





I think one reason that the pups survived was that the growing point is well below ground. The original pseudostem died back completely, and its growing point was close to ground level. I think if I'd have given it a little bit of protection, it would have been fine also. No matter though! I think this one will be quite large by mid-summer.
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

you are so much braver then i am. no mulch at all durning the winter, wow! apparently you are doing something right cause all your nanas seem to be doing just wonderful.
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

musa itinerans, two from one seed, i couldnt be happier =)

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Old 04-17-2008, 06:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

Good experience in practice, Frank! My congratulations!
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

Yep, Bigdog I want that one!!!!!! So you were right after all!

PenJ, all I see is dirt! where's the seedling? That white thing on the right?
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. itinerans is very cold-hardy!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicgreen View Post
PenJ, all I see is dirt! where's the seedling? That white thing on the right?
can you see now?..ive changed picture..
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