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Species Bananas Discussions of all the different wild species of banana (non edible), an aspect of the hobby that deserves its own section.


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Old 05-03-2006, 08:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musa ingens

Just wondering how everyone's (who sprouted an M.ingens) is doing. Does it seem to do OK in the southwest/Florida climate?
Like a dummy I threw my seeds out thinking they were something else. Oh well I guess I'm trying to live vicariously now.
Can I/we please see some pics?
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Hey Kyle, it's been one year since I sowed my seeds, and nothing yet. I am going to take them all out of the mix and try something else, even though it's probably too late for them. Who know, maybe the seeds stay good for a couple of years or more. Is anybody else offering these seeds this year? I saw Europalms was offering them for a short time last year. Then there's the bananaswap website, but I really don't have anything to swap with him. I would just like one seed to sprout!
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Old 05-05-2006, 10:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

I think they do stay good for over a year. Some Ensete Klauy pa just sprouted for me and it was about 18 months old!
Trebrown still has some (not fresh), and they just got another new species from the PNG highlands.
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Well, that gives me some hope for my ensete 'Kluay Pa' seeds! I've been waiting for almost 18 months now also. Was your batch from RPS? Just goes to show, never give up on seeds unless they are obviously rotten. My m. ingens seeds still look good. I even cut a couple of them open, and both appeared to still be viable (still white inside). I had two trachycarpus takil seeds sprout after 17 months this Spring.

I've never ordered from Trebrown. How's their service and quality? What other sources do you use to order banana seeds? So far, I know of:

rarepalmseeds.com
banana-tree.com
europalms.be
trebrown.com
seedrack.com (a few)
seedman.com (never ordered from them, but huge selection)
jungleseeds.co.uk (never ordered)
ortanique.com

I purposely left gingerwoodnursery.com off that list...Tim Chapman has dissapeared into thin air, and I lost $20 ordering seeds from there in January .
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Old 05-06-2006, 07:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Yep they were from RPS. I think the Klauy Pa need temp fluctuations, or luck.
I like trebrown alot. They have good prices on Musa and palm seeds, and Phil has traveled around a set up people in places like Tawain, and PNG to harvest seeds. The only thing is you must meet the minimum $100 on wholesale quantity.
Bananatree is a good cheap source, as well as ortanqiue, and RPS has some one of a kind.
Another one you didn't mention is Sunshine seeds. They have some questionable names on some of the seeds, but so far I think they are legit in some of their making up new names for species that vary a little. It's tough to order from them since the site is in German, but a fax seems to work for ordering.
Oh yeah jungleseeds has one of the best little full color catalog of rare Musa and other tropicals, and they have a new species that has a crazy bright purple flower(Musa sp violet).
I just tried to get another superbum in a trade, but got denighed, and the following day I looked and there was a kluay pa sprout.
I hope you get some M.ingens to sprout, and maybe tissue culture it for us banana nuts.
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

I'll have to check out Sunshine Seeds. I hope I get an ingens sprout too, but I'm not holding my breath!
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Here's a link to a couple nice M.ingens photos if interested. http://www.palms.org/cgi-bin/ikon/ik...;t=5;hl=ingens
Warning- they are large but worth the wait(pics) and seeds are worth waiting for too .
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Old 05-09-2006, 09:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Wow, thats a huge banana plant. I think that one should be labeled the sequoias of the bananas instead of Saba. LOL
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Old 05-09-2006, 12:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Just heard back from Christian who has the bananaswap website and he says he has had good luck with constant 15-18C for 2-3 weeks, then a jump up to 25-30C. He also said he would post a pic on his site of his one with 5 mature leaves that is growing in a room at 25C.
Supposedy the plant has been tried in the tropical lowlands of PNG, and it declines slowly. I heard that there are Glaciers on top of PNG(at least snow), and the temps are really cool. M.ingens may only work in highelevations in the tropics, or in cool summer climates like San Francisco.
Even if it won't work every where there's always M.saba- http://hortiplex.gardenweb.com/plant...989689563.jpeg
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

I haven't seen where it had been tried in the PNG lowlands, but I did find where it has been tried (from a pup that was removed) in Trinidad/Tobago (forget which one), and failed. Perhaps the pup wasn't old enough to remove, or maybe it was injured while removing it. I just have a hard time fathoming how a musa can't survive in the tropical lowlands. I know ensete has a hard time in Florida, for example. Is there even one musa in cultivation today that won't survive in a tropical lowland setting?

Well, if I can get one going here in Knoxville (and that's a big if), I would need to rent a semi-truck and some warehouse space to store it in the winter! First I'd have to figure out how to get it out of the ground though . It would be nice to have that problem!
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Old 05-10-2006, 07:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

I dont know if I've said it on this website before, but its been known for a long time that Musa ingens absolutley HATES TROPICAL CONDITIONS. Its a highland species, like Musa monticola (which also dies in lowland tropical conditions). They have indeed been tested in Trinidad and lowland PNG, both without long term success. It was reported that seeds will germinate in the lowlands, but in order to keep the plants alive, they needed to be placed in an air conditioned room at night, I believe it had prefered nightly temperature drops in the 10-15C (50-60F) range in order to stay alive. Many average banana growers may be disappointed to find out that even if you get a seed to germinate, or acquire a plant, you will not be able to grow it where you can grow other bananas with success. Its native range is Mendi, in the Southern Highlands of PNG and grows no lower than 1350m (4,430ft) in altitude, and up to 1800m (5,900ft).
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Old 05-10-2006, 10:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Well, guess I'm wrong ! Wouldn't be the first time. We have nice, cool Springs here (especially this one). Wonder if I could get one to a decent size in the Spring so it would survive the Summer. Usually lows are in the low 70s here in Knoxville, and the 60s. Daytime highs get into the 90s about 28 days out of the year on average. I suppose the only way I'll ever know is to try to grow one here. Sure would be fun!

So, are m. ingens and m. monticola the only two (musa) that don't like lowland tropical conditions? What does them in eventually, and how long does it take to 'do one in '? Is it the nighttime temps or daytime temps? Could a musa ingens survive a couple months (July and August) of nighttime temps >65F? If I only had one plant to try!
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Here's my take on the highland tropical species. I didn't really get it until investigating highland palm species from the Andes(Ceroxylon, Geonoma). They basically are only adaptable on the the west coast coastal climate of the US(Oregon south to somewhere north of LA). The cool US coast is a great climate for those year round cool loving plants similar to various tropical highlands where the temps stay pretty much constant(not too cold, not too hot). The palms from PNG mostly haven't been tried, but they would probally prefer climates like New Zealand, Coastal west US, Highland Tropics, maybe southern UK, but then it's hard to say for sure.
They may also prefer certain soil too? Like well draining maybe?
Since most bananas do better in the East coast climate this one may turn out to be one of the gems of coastal OR, CA.
I have seen a video of a enourmosly tall shaded bananas on MT Kiliminjaro in Africa, but I couldn't tell at what elevation they were.

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Old 05-11-2006, 08:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Well, I would certainly bet on it not doing well in FL. Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' dies in the heat of summer in Central FL, so I'd think that m. ingens wouldn't do well there. In fact, ensete glaucum is the only ensete that does halfway decent there, according to Eric from Orlando (Leu Gardens). Isn't musa basjoo a highland species as well? I think that m. ingens would be ok in my area during the Spring and Fall, just not too sure about the Summer. It can, and frequently does, get into the 90s here, with lows in the 70s. However, my elevation here is about 1000 ft., give or take a few feet. My location in Nashville was about 615 feet, and Nashville is noticably hotter in the Summer than Knoxville. When you consider the length of time, about 2 months, that temps are in this range, I wouldn't think that would be long enough to send a good-sized plant into decline. Musa basjoo just kinda sits there when temps get into the 90s, but gets going again when temps fall. The difference is that in a lowland tropical setting, the temperature is pretty much the same year-round. So the lows are probably always in the 70s with not much fluctuation.

The possibility of growing one of those behemoths here is very exciting. It would be even more so if the corm proved to be cold-hardy, like m. basjoo. Somebody will get one to survive long enough to tissue culture it, and then the fun begins. It's only a matter of time, in my opinion, before it will be in cultivation.
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog
It's only a matter of time, in my opinion, before it will be in cultivation.
I really hope you're right. One of those would be a blast out in the roadside planter. Let it grow for the summer, pull the pups, and start again each spring. The dead p-stem would be great for the compost bin too...
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:31 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Unhappy Re: Musa ingens

I havn't had any luck sprouting the musa ingen seeds I got from christian. I think the best way to ever get this banana into cultivation is with tissue culture. I made the suggestion to christian to donate one of his plants to a tc lab to have it mass produced. I have tried over 30 seeds and nothing has germinated. Even though the reports state that it does not do well in very tropical areas such as trinidad or tropical australia, it might do well in central and north florida. Central and north florida do get temps down to 28-32 each winter. I have my doubts musa ingens would do well here in south florida.
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

I have 20 or them in moist vermiculite hoping to see a little green. If they sprout I will TC them.

I have them in an 85 degree incubator in the hopes that stable temps might move things along, if not ah well, I suspect these hot carolina summers would wipe the things out anyhoo.

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Old 09-08-2006, 12:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

Keith,

I think you're our best hope to get this amazing plant into cultivation. I think TC is the only way this plant will ever be seen in this country.
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

how are your bananas doing that I sent you a few years back?
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Old 09-08-2006, 01:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa ingens

I don't know about being any real kind hope - we'll see if the little buggers will sprout. Then they will ahve to respond like other bananas to culture. I figure they should.

I will PM you.

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