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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 02-23-2013, 05:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Obsidian banana?

I have a chance to buy something called an Obsidian Banana that was imported from Brazil. It is supposed to be seedless and edible. It has lots of black in the leaves, almost variegated. Supposedly a very thick trunk and takes years to fruit. Anyone ever heard of it? Can't find anything online and the seller doesn't know another name for it. It looks like an ensete to me, but I don't have any ensete so who knows.


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Old 02-23-2013, 11:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Obsidian banana?

That is an Ensete ventricosum, aka "Abyssinian Banana", sounds like someone misheard the name, and thought it was "obsidian". It does have a very thick pseudostem, it does take years to fruit, but should not have seedless fruit, unless the are not pollinated (they can self pollinate so this would be rare) and have a pseudo-parthenocarpic fruit which I have seen occasionally in some wild bananas. It would be a neat plant to have though if the price isn't outrageous.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Obsidian banana?

Thanks, Gabe. I guess I'm learning because it didn't look like any musa I have seen. Someone else bought it, which is fine because I really want to focus on plants I can eat, though I can still appreciate something just for beauty. The seller was a UH Hilo/Hawaii Community College student who had gotten it through her program via UH importing it. It's possible they were mistaken about the fruit, and it was someone who talked to the seller who called it "obsidian" so maybe the seller knew the correct word.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Obsidian banana?

Aloha Rob,

Gabe is correct. They are really nice landscape plants but no fruit to eat. I had one flower in Santa Barbara in 2011. It grew taller than my house and the flower was huge. The width of the plant was larger than your waist. Lowes has them here in Kona.

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