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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, 11:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musa mannii in zone 8a

This clump of Musa mannii has been in Anniston, AL for many years, but never flowered until last year. It is the earliest-returning banana there, coming back in February! It has been extremely dry in Anniston this year, probably the hardest-hit city in the entire Southeast from the drought this year. They are over 26 inches of rain below normal (hard for me to contemplate that!), having only received about 14.5 inches for the whole year. So the growth on the bananas at the museum, even though they have been irrigated, has not been very good this year. Even so, Musa mannii is getting set to flower:



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Old 10-08-2007, 04:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa mannii in zone 8a

Frank I too have a musa Mannii but no way can I leave mine out. I think it's a very underated banana.
Mine seems to have a darker stem than yours and it also has little crinckly bits on the petioles.

Keep us posted on the flower as it will be nice to see what it looks like.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa mannii in zone 8a

I have one getting ready to bloom as well. I'll try to post a pic when it does. Normally, this banana flowers three or four times a year for me, but this season, it hasn't, even with all of the the extra rain we've had. Go figure. It is a cool little banana for sure! Mine has never gotten over 4' tall so it would also be ideal for pot culture, I would think.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa mannii in zone 8a

Mark, yours is what is more commonly seen of the species, and a better type specimen of the true species. There are lots of hybrids out there with very similar flowers to the pure species, but they may differ in foliage characteristics. One way you can usually tell if it is a hybrid or a pure species, is that pure M. mannii will have no more than 3 fingers per hand, while hybrids may have upwards of 5 or more fingers per hand sometimes.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa mannii in zone 8a

Mark, yours has some great color! This clump could very well be a hybrid. It does have the papery edges on the petioles, just not quite as pronounced as yours. And just to be clear, that clump is in Anniston, AL. I'm in Knoxville, TN, and I was there for a Southeastern Palm Society meeting there on Saturday. Wish I had the bananas that they have there! There are around 35-40 different varieties of bananas planted at the Anniston Museum. The guy responsible for them all is a member here, but doesn't post much.
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