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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 03-13-2007, 09:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

I was surprised to see a couple of M. yunnanensis (formerly confused with M. itinerans) pups emerging today, since it is still mid-March! A nice, cold-hardy banana for zone 7. Our low this year in Knoxville was 13F, but my yard unofficially (and with an unreliable thermometer) hit 8F one morning. I provided only a few extra inches of mulch for protection. What I found interesting is that it looks as if growth is emerging from last years' late-season pups that were buried under the mulch in the Fall. The center pseudostem, after cutting it back to the corm, looks as if it could start growing again also. M. basjoo and M. sikkimensis have been growing for about a week now, but no new pups yet.
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Right on!
My first grower seems to be M.sikkimensis "red flash". I just gave it it's first shot of chicken poo.
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Thats awesome, my ensete has put out a new leaf after 2 months with no leaves. I am excited, keep us posted
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Mmmm...chicken poo...

Yeah, it's always nice to see stuff start to grow again. Too bad it's going to freeze tonight and tomorrow night! I covered all my Musas that had started to grow. Old Man Winter seems to be gasping his last breaths here for the season, but they are cold breaths!
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Here's what my M. yunnanensis looks like so far. Two sprouts, both from last year's pups, but the main pseudostem did not come back. It looks to have a nutrient deficiency also, much like my M. cheesmani, and again probably due to my nasty, acidic soils.

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Old 05-19-2007, 09:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

http://cgi.ebay.com/Giant-Yunnan-Ban...QQcmdZViewItem

Here is one for people who like to cheat! LOL!
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Old 05-20-2007, 02:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Quote:
Originally Posted by STEELVIPER View Post
http://cgi.ebay.com/Giant-Yunnan-Ban...QQcmdZViewItem

Here is one for people who like to cheat! LOL!
The one in this link is not Musa yunnanensis, it is M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis. M. yunnanensis is still quite rare and hard to find, I don't know of any place to buy it except importing it from China thru Nature Products (Tian Zi).
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Old 05-20-2007, 10:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

They are advertising it as Musa initerans xishuangbannaensis, but the one I got that was via agri-starts sold as M. initerans isn't even close, and these sellers are most likely carring on the mix up.
If the one they are selling is the same as M.initerans sold in the past that are TC, then it fits into the description of Musa balbisiana(recession where the leaf meets the petoile), but then again so does M.thompsonii.
Frank- Do you think the one they are selling is the same as yours?
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Old 05-20-2007, 11:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

All I know is M. yunnanensis is still very new and rare on the market, it doesn't seem like something to me that could get easily mixed up as its hard to get in the first place. They are still nearly $120 each from Tian Zi and I do not know any other places that sell them.
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Old 05-20-2007, 12:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

I just posted a bunch of pics of true M. yunnanensis in my gallery, so check them out if you want to see what it looks like.
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Old 05-20-2007, 11:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

All I know for sure, without a doubt, is that the plant I got is from Agri-starts and was sold as Musa itinerans var. gigantea. It was touted as being the 40 footer. I am also quite positive that the plant I received is definitely NOT Musa itinerans of any form. So...it is my belief that the plant that agri-starts (and banana-tree.com) is selling as Musa itinerans is actually Musa yunnanensis. I've only seen the one picture of the flower on Nature Products:



Compare that with the flower of a "Musa itinerans" that Eric from Leu Gardens grew: (Here's the link...sometimes yahoo photos doesn't allow you to post directly: http://new.photos.yahoo.com/leu4510/...03621480742/24)


It is the same plant! Leaf bases and everything about it is the same, IMHO. It is also the same plant that rarepalmseeds.com sells (incorrectly) as Musa itinerans:


http://www.rarepalmseeds.com/shop/MusIti.shtml

The description of Musa itinerans explicitly states that there is no wax on any of the leaf sheaths and petioles, something which this plant has lots of. It also forms rather dense mats, which M. itinerans does not.

So, I am positive that the plant in my pics is not M. itinerans, and fits the description of Musa yunnanensis (according to the Nature Prodcuts website). My plant is also very cold-hardy, like M. yunnanensis. Hayes says that the ones he grows in Anniston now come back from the pseudostem in the spring, like M. basjoo and M. sikkimensis, instead of sending up new pups.

As for the young plant in the auction, it is hard to tell from the size of the pic, but I wouldn't count on it being M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis. Very hard to tell anything certain from that photo.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Update on my Musa that has an identity crisis: The pup on the left in the first picture above has taken off really well, but the other pup is still quite small (and barely visible on the left side of the larger pseudostem in this new pic). Every other leaf comes out a bit deformed, as you can see, but it is growing fast. It just sprouted a new pup, visible on the right in this picture.



It is fast-becoming one of my favorite bananas. I still wish someone would settle the identity once and for all for certain. So, it is sold as Musa itinerans by Agristarts, but is clearly not. As you can see, the new pup sprouted just a few inches away, instead of several feet like M. itinerans does. There are no running rhizomes on this plant. So, if it isn't M. itinerans, and some feel that it isn't M. yunnanensis, then what exactly is it? Gabe?
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Whatever it turns out to be, that's a great photo! It looks almost blue with all that wax... and the other colors.. just beautiful..
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

That is really waxy.

It doesn't look anything like my M Itinerans 'yunnan', but whatever it is it's a lovely plant!

Are you sure it's not Orinoco?
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Quote:
Originally Posted by xyzzy View Post
That is really waxy.

It doesn't look anything like my M Itinerans 'yunnan', but whatever it is it's a lovely plant!

Are you sure it's not Orinoco?
In a word: Yes! I'm positive it isn't Orinoco. It was sold to me as Musa itinerans, but I dispute that. The botanical description of M. itinerans states that there is no wax on the petioles or leaf sheaths, which there clearly is on my plant. It also states that it develops long rhizomes that turn up 2 meters or more away. How far away does your M. itinerans send up pups? Do you have a closeup picture of it?

Incidentally, I do grow Orinoco also, and it is pretty cold-hardy here, at least against my house foundation. Pics are in my gallery.
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

My Musa Itinerans 'yunnan' has quite a small root for it's size and pups very close to the main stem - or has done one pup that close. It rarely pups and just grows upwards at a very rapid pace. Maybe full grown plants pup more, but full grown plants must be absolutely gigantic the rate they go upwards!!! The main stem is quite narrow for the height and tends to stay green but not waxy. Although tall, my plants are only 2.5 year olds so may not have grown old enough for these long rhizomes or pups.

I don't have any photo's, but do have a camera, so I will post a piccy on Saturday when I am not working.
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Here is one of mine. This is a young plant at 7.5ft high from top of pot to top of leaf.



Could perhaps your plant be Rajapuri?
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Could you post a closeup shot of the pseudostem of that plant? It does look different than mine. Mine does not get that reddish-yellow coloration to it. Yours indeed does look like a Musa itinerans form.

No, mine is not a RajaPuri...it is not any edible. It was sold to me as Musa itinerans, and is offered still by AgriStarts as such. They state that it grows 38 feet tall, but it flowers at about 15 feet in Florida. It fits the description (although there is no official description yet that I know of) of Musa yunnanensis.

Perhaps yours sent up a pup very close because it is in a pot? I also do see some wax on the petioles of that plant.
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:58 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa yunnanensis is sprouting already

Hi Bigdog,

Do these two picies help? I will photograph the main "trunk" when I get a chance - am at work at the moment.





I can well believe it grows 38ft tall, but would need 38ft staking as it is normally supported by growing in a forest of vegetation that is also 38ft tall! Next year I will thread mine through the plum tree so it can grow to 20ft tall before emerging through the top of the tree and getting shredded by wind. I have nothing to protect them to 38ft though. Hopefully it will only go 20ft in a pot - which is my current plan.
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Last edited by xyzzy : 07-09-2007 at 10:13 AM.
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