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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.

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Old 06-28-2009, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Banana types not matching

I've been a bit skeptical for some time. I've noticed a lot of inconsistent claims about a particular type of banana and the descriptions often don't line up with what I order. This is one reason I thought that each species of banana should have several pictures of the plant in various stages, the bananas, detailed descriptions etc.

Anyway I'm sure now that it's all a joke. I have a "dwarf orinoco" that I ordered online a while back. It's a beautiful plant. Yet I searched pictures of dwarf orinocos on this website and they are not the same tree. The big give away would be that mine has a deep purple in the middle part of the leaf and a pinkish hue on the trunk with somewhat dark leaves. The pictures on here of orinocos are all solid green leaves. Similar with my cuban red the pictures I saw were a totally different tree. I've ordered from many various sources and it all seems to be the same inconsistency. Some are worse than others. Some the plant they send you isn't even consistent with their own descriptions and pictures. Looks like they just grabbed something and gave it to you. Others have their own description but the orinoco one sells is a totally different plant from another orinoco or raja or whatever it is. Seems rather odd that there's so much inconsistency considering they are usually clones grown from tissue cultures.

I guess therefore that the only thing you can do is just order stuff and grow it and see if you like it and if not toss it. As I've tossed several undesirable bananas. Or two buy from a growere you can physically visit and see what the trees and fruit look like. Which usually means not having much selection or growers that don't know what they have.

Unless maybe the names just refer to the fruit produced and have nothing to do with the plant itself. I don't know. I know my Raja Puri seems to be very similar to other peoples raja puris exept seems to have slightly more desirable traits as far as cold hardiness and robust growth. Though this is the only banana I have that I didn't order online. That's the only one that seems consistent with other people rajas though I occasionally see people with what they call a raja puri when its not. Because I guess sellers just make up names for their stuff or it mutates or something. I don't know. I guess the only way to get the same plant is to buy the same name from the same seller.

Oh well I ended up with some good plants, but I wonder if this "orinoco" will have fruit as described. Will it be cookable? Will it be straight and angular. Will have to wait and see. But its not just the orinoco its been several different bananas I've ordered and grown which have long since been tossed.

Edit: I've been digging around. Seems my Orinoco is in fact a Mysore. Even though with the mysores I looked up there was a bit a variety in what is called mysore. Some of them even have a fairly green midrib, but the shape of the leaf, the way it grows out (most unusual in that the new leaf starts out bent in the direction of the last leaf before poking upwards), the pinkish hue of the trunk and of course several sites with mysore had the red mid leaf including the description on the site I ordered it from. Still begs the question why is there variance in the description and pictures of "mysore" itself, but at least they are similar enough. This thing definately is not an orinoco but is incredibly beautiful and from the description good fruit. Down side is I have to take the thing inside for the winter and while I was expecting a 7 foot tall orinoco this thing gets 10-12 feet. Judging by past experiences just about every online banana seller sends you the wrong thing.

Last edited by 1rainman : 06-28-2009 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana types not matching

I've had similar experiences, although not as drastic as yours. I ordered some Dwarf Cavendish, but now that the plants have been growing about 6 months, I noticed that they are really Super Dwarf Cavendish.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:19 PM   #3 (permalink)

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Default Re: Banana types not matching

This is why it's important to order your bananas from a reputable nursery, or someone that you know that you have confidence in. I saw what looked like Musa balbisiana being sold in Home Depot last year as Musa basjoo.
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana types not matching

I wrote the nursery yesterday and they said they will send me a d. orinoco.
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