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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 11-11-2008, 11:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

I ran across an article from our local cooperative extension service today. It talks about two different forms of Musa basjoo. I've never heard of this before.

Can anyone provide more information about this?

Two main forms are reportedly available in the trade; the “normal” form listed by European nurserymen as ‘Fuji-Yama’ (a made-up name with no connection to Mt. Fuji) or ‘Sakhalin,’ a selection said to grow on the Russian island north of Japan. It’s reportedly more cold hardy than the “normal” form.

I was excited to run across an article promoting cold hardy bananas in Arkansas! Below is a link to the article.

Hardy Banana - Plant of the Week
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
Got pink bananas?
 
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

It just occurred to me that there could be three forms. We also have Dr. Frankco's Upham Giant from Miami University.
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

'Sakhalin' is a TC sport, a bit stockier I'm told but I've never seen one up close. I could never see anything special about the "Upham Giant" as far a size goes, M. basjoo can get quite large anyways depending on growing conditions, and whether or not a plant is hardy is as dependent on variety as it is on it's specific microclimate and/or growing conditions. It will be interesting to hear more about if it widely distributed enough to be grown side-by-side with "normal" M. basjoo in different areas. If it is in fact significantly different then it is a TC sport, not to be confused with naturally occurring varieties. In the wild (as with many wild Musa) there are likely multiple naturally occurring varieties that could be found.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

Hi Gabe, were have you got your information from that Sakhalin is a TC sport?
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

I was under the impression that the sakhalin variety grew wild on the Island hence its name. I actually obtained a plant during a work visit there but didnt see many growing in the wild.

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Old 11-12-2008, 11:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

There actually seem to be several forms, all doubtfull in their species-status...
Musa basjoo cultivars
Apparently Jean-Luc Penninckx has a very rich imagination or a keen eye on discovering new species for exploitation

I've seen Sakhalin however, and it is a bit more robust than normal basjoo, a bit more stout, broader leaves,....but it's hard so see if you don't have a normal basjoo standing beside it,...in the same growing conditions that is,...
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

Thanks for the link, Remko. So, does anyone know where to get the 'Sakhalin' form in the U.S.? I wonder what they consider to be more "robust" about it?
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

Austin there isn’t a great deal of difference between the two you notice it more when there young but once there mature its difficult to tell them apart, and in the uk there doesn’t appear to of been any difference in hardiness between the two.
Sakhalin basjoo was tested and compared to Ryukku basjoo and there was a difference but only enough to say that they’re different clones, there both still normal basjoo.

Have a look at this
Hardy Tropicals - View topic - Sakhalin Basjoo and normal Basjoo flower
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony palmer View Post
Hi Gabe, were have you got your information from that Sakhalin is a TC sport?
Now that you mention it, I don't know where I got that info, I was just under the impression that it was, but as far as I can tell after taking a second look at the (rather little) info out there about it, who knows exactly its origins. Please pardon my mistake.

However, it is safe to say that at the very least it was introduced to Sakhalin, as M. basjoo is from China, and even in Japan where it may form naturalized populations, it was introduced (though many people still believe to be a native). I cannot find any information regarding how/when the plant was brought to Sakhalin, and also important, how it was brought back out (sucker, seed or TC).
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

I know what you mean Gabe, one thing that really bugs me about Musa’s is you hardly ever see collection data next to the name of new introductions from the wild, it would make things a lot easier if they did and eliminate a lot of the guess work.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

I grow 'normal' Basjoo as well as Sakhalin and as Tony says there is very little difference.
Cold hardiness is always a difficult concept. especially if we try and apply USDA zones to UK conditions. Yes, by min. temperatures I am in zone 8b, but ours is a damp cold. It rarely goes below freezing but we have months where it ranges from -5C to +10 C (whatever that is in F). the first time i grew sikkimensis i lost it to rot, not freezing. If you are protecting your nanas give as much care to damp proofing them but allowing air circulation to prevent rot.
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony palmer View Post
I know what you mean Gabe, one thing that really bugs me about Musa’s is you hardly ever see collection data next to the name of new introductions from the wild, it would make things a lot easier if they did and eliminate a lot of the guess work.
Another issue is that there are so many wild bananas out there, that there are new ones being discovered all the time, they just take awhile to be processed (fully researched, published, and assigned official names). So for someone trying to sell the seeds of new banana varieties, it can be very difficult to assign names to what is actually being sold because it may not be published. However, perhaps even more troublesome is when new names are assigned to plants which are already well known to science, but lack of research on the part of the collector/dealer gives rise to made up names for plants they may not be familiar with.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

I have a pup of a variegated basjoo. Does that count as another form???

I'm told it doesn't show variegation until it gets fairly decent size, which seems odd, but I did see photos of a the mother plant and maybe another.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

I guess it must do. I've seen a large specimen of it down in Somerset UK. My understanding is it was a TC 'sport'. how stable it is I don't know, I'm kind of surprised we haven't yet seen them more widely available. If any one will know it'll be Mark Hall... Mark?
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

My Variegated Basjoo was given to me by Tony and it had the markings on it from a small size. Each new leaf that appears comes out plain green then turns variegated within a few days. Pups are very very slow and I have yet to get a decent sized one from it green or variegated.

I also have the Sakhalin, and a Formosana that I grew from seed.
There was another plant that I bought from a plant fair that was labeled as Basjoo and its clearly not.

I know Peter from Jungle seeds had a batch of TCd basjoo ( as he thought) and they had very wide leaves with twice as many ribs in the leaves. So who knows whats really out there????
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: There are two forms of Musa basjoo?

For the purpose of keeping taxonomy straight and to make clear the origins of different varieties of plants, it is important to distinguish between the varieties which are born out of tissue culture off-types, of which many exist, and naturally occurring varieties of a species. Off-types appear relatively frequently in the TC process and there tons of different forms of a plant that can come out of it and there are many out there. Naturally occurring varieties are very different, and are usually the result of the diversification of a species in an area, in which smaller populations have been separated by natural barriers and do not interbreed.

For naming, an example of each would be something like...

Musa basjoo 'Upham Giant' for a domestic off-type, and Musa campestris var. sarawakensis for a true naturally occurring variety.
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