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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 08-18-2008, 01:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

How many types of running bananas are there? The only types I know of are the Musa initerans, and Musa Laterita. Are there any other dwarf types? Possibly some types of M.ornatas? I'm wondering because I found a really short dwarf runner that blooms at about 2 feet tall to top of leaf, and it was dormant before the summer rains. It wasn't even above ground when I came here in mid June, and now it's blooming like crazy(the first bloom started only 6-7 weeks after coming out of ground/dormancy). The bracts are red(darker than M.laterita), and the flowers are yellow. The leaves are wide, and dark green with a red midrib, and basically look exactly like Musa basjoo only a little darker overall. The leaves are also horizontal, wide and not upright like Musa laterita, and it blooms at less than half the height of M.laterita. Any ideas? I'll try to post some pictures in a couple weeks. And it's definatly a runner with seemingly stronger rhimozomes that Musa laterita!
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Kyle, it sound realy interesting whatever it is, cant wait to see the pictures.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Kyle, that sounds very interesting! Please do post some pics as soon as you can, I'd like to see it.

Musa siamensis is a runner to some extent. Can't think of any others offhand.

Here's a dwarf form of Musa laterita in Thailand, I think this picture is in eastern Thailand at a temple. That dude is about 6'7" for scale.



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Old 08-18-2008, 08:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

That's a nice looking form of laterita! It's leaves don't look much like the original form, and actually look quite similar to the one here(it might be the same type or something really close)

I just went and took a couple more pics, and some stems seem to bloom at about a foot and a half, others at three feet, so there seems no rhyme or reason to the number of leaves or the height for blooming.
I managed to get a start of it even though it's on the main plaza in town, because I know a kid that lives on the plaza, and his family helps up keep the square. After I got one little start, he tried to get another bigger one(I didn't refuse lol), and pulled up one with no roots. Then his brother came and was like "I'll show you" how to dig one up, and they both started tearing into the patch like crazy, I said "no really this ones fine" and they didn't listen. Then I look over and their mom's standing there shaking her head, but they finally listened to me and gave up.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Musa Siamensis "Thai Gold" is a sprinter. I wish I had never planted it.

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Old 08-19-2008, 11:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

For anyone growing 'Thai Gold'-put it in a big pot if you don't want it to run. Mine from Steve is doing well in a pot.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Here's the little runner.






Do you think it's the dwarf laterita?
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Kyle, it certainly look like one going by yours and Franks Pictures.

I wasn't even aware that a dwarf form exsisted.

If it sets seed would you be prepared to sell me some please as I really like the look of it


If you hadn't posted a picture of the flower I too would have said its a Basjoo.
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Kyle and Steve, I wouldn't mind getting a corm of your runners. Let me know this fall if you have some available. I'd like to TC that "Dwarf Laterita" if I can get a chunk of it. Thanks for the pics, it's a cool looking banana.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Mark, I think David Constantine use to sell dwarf laterita but know he has closed seed would be the best option.
Thanks for the picís Kyle and Frank itís a little cracker
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

I bought this from a garden centre the other day, Dwarf Laterita but it looks like a sikkimensis to me
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Tony, that is most definitely NOT Musa laterita! It's not hardy anyway, and that does look like M. sikkimensis, so you're a winner.

Kyle, sure looks like Musa laterita, except for the angle of the inflorescence. Every one I've seen is straight up, no semi-horizontal lean to it. Maybe that one just got pushed a little bit by the leaves, or was leaning towards the sun?

M. laterita is quite variable. Some forms grow tall, while others stay very small. Maybe somebody should do some work with this species to see if indeed there are separate vars.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

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Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
Kyle, it certainly look like one going by yours and Franks Pictures.

I wasn't even aware that a dwarf form exsisted.

If it sets seed would you be prepared to sell me some please as I really like the look of it


If you hadn't posted a picture of the flower I too would have said its a Basjoo.
I'll try to get some seed, but at this point probably only off my own plant since someone keeps coming up and chopping any bloom off before anyone gets to check them out.

Frank- yeah the bloom did go out at a weird angle, I thought someone had bent it or something, but I haven't been able to tell yet if that is the norm yet because none of the flowers have gotten past the stage that one did.

If this one was actually hardy it would be great for getting quick blooms, but likely just a good potted plant.

Here's some regular laterita that was growing in an abandoned nursery in the area.


Got any pics of other runners?

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Old 09-03-2008, 10:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

lavander ornatas run too. i planted 2 in one matt and they have run almost 6 ft from the parent plants.
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Old 09-04-2008, 01:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Frank- just checked the "grove" again, and it appears that the one in the photo was just a freak, because the one there right now isn't elongated, and is growing compact and uprightlike the one in your photo.

So for runners there is-
Musa initerans(and all sub species)
Musa laterita
Musa laterita 'Dwarf'
Musa ornata lavender
Musa siamensis 'Thai Gold'
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Kyle if it sets seed and you have enough to go round can I buy some of you too
I think itís a little cracker and one that could easily be accommodated in the house in winter.
Do you think it would be self fertile like Velutina?
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Running bananas, how many, and what are they?

Most seem to be getting "plucked", and it doesn't look like the nanners are plumping up. I don't think it's self fertile, but since there's hardly a chance of getting two blooms, I'm probably going to try to hybridize it with something hardy like veluntina, or aurantica, or an edible might also be interesting for dwarfing.
I'll definatly send you some seeds, just need to figure out what the best shipping down here(it's ussally really slow).
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