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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 08-13-2006, 06:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Unknown Ft. Meyer bananas?

I was just visiting in Ft. Meyers, Fl, and saw the same small, slender, green banana plants everywhere- maybe 50 mats, and not one bloom or fruit. Anyone know what they have down there? It is much smaller than the Orinocos around central Florida. maxing out around 7-8 feet, and I never saw a stem more than 6-8 inches in diameter. The leaves tend to be narrow, and the whole plant is a bit on the pale side of banana green. I asked a couple people, who said that those are just bananas.

Paul
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unknown Ft. Meyer bananas?

Got a pic?
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unknown Ft. Meyer bananas?

I didn't have a camera w/ me. Seven feet tall, slender, pale green w/ narrow leaves. No blooms or nanners. And they were everywhere! Over 90% of the bananas I saw were this variety. I was hoping someone from south Florida (hint) mught help me out.

PO
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unknown Ft. Meyer bananas?

There's a store near me with those in the parking lot.
I'll head out there today and get a photo up here so we can figure it out.
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Old 08-19-2006, 01:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Unknown Ft. Meyer bananas?

I lived in Fort Myers several decades ago and we had these in our yard. We called them Ladyfinger bananas. At the time, they and Orinoco bananas were the only varieties available in nurseries. They produce small very sweet bananas if they havenít been frozen back to their rhizomes during the winter.
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Old 08-19-2006, 05:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unknown Ft. Meyer bananas?

Rojos, I'm surprised it would freeze down there. My son just moved to Ft. Meyers, and I've been planning to give him some fairly cold sensitive bananas, like Kru and Red Iholeni. I guess I still will, since his climate has to be warmer and more stable than here in central Florida.
Any guess as to what a Ladyfinger might really be?

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Old 08-19-2006, 08:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unknown Ft. Meyer bananas?

Hi there,

I lived in Ft MYERS (NOT MEYERS Sorry, a pet pieve of those of us that live there HA HA) from 72 till 2002.

I know the plants you mean but have no idea what they might be. Most clumps of bananas in peoples yards look kind of ratty.

Every 4 or 5 years we might have gotten a freeze but almost every winter, we stood a good chance of frost unless there was wind or cloud cover. Just a crap shoot on the frost, BUT it never got below freezing for more that a few hours if that. I lived on the N side of the river and we got it a lot worst than just across on the S side. Kind of like the river acted as a curtain and stopped the cold air from crossing. Royal palms would grow like weeds S of the river but not N of it.

Go ahead and send him any banana you want, it stands a good chance of surviving. I had 15 kinds there.

Terry
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Ft. Myars, huh?

I was getting annoyed by my own spelling- I'd written it 2 or 3 ways by the time you corrected me.
My son is north of the river and to the west of 41. Some vague area in Cape Coral and near Pine Island. Anyway, the note about 'river effect' was interesting. I saw a similar situation up here in Lake county last February. Bananas east of the major lakes didn't freeze while I lost all my leaves just a couple of miles to the west. Hopefully he is close enough to the gulf to get a similar temperature buffering effect.
For those who haven't seen them, these dwarf ladyfingers are much skinnier in the stem than the ones we have been discussing and seeing pictures of on the forum lately.

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Old 08-20-2006, 09:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unknown Ft. Meyer bananas?

Hey Paul,

I lived East of I-75 so I was pretty far inland and it got a lot colder there. I have a condo out on Pine Island which is just W of Cape Coral. He shouldn't have any trouble with most things unless there is one of those freak winters with a good freeze. I lived there from 72 to 2002 and can remember about 2 or 3 freezes that really hurt stuff. It took the Royals in Ft Myers about 3 years to cycle out the burnt fronds and look good again after a freeze in the mid 70's.

Take care - Terry
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unknown Ft. Meyer bananas?

There was a nurseryman in Fort Myers in the early part of the last century who imported a lot of stuff from Madagascar; much of the vegetation in the city is said to be typical of that island. This may be the origin of the Fort Myers Ladyfinger bananas and explain why nobody can identify them. I bought what looked and tasted like the same bananas at a market in Paris, the only other place I have seen them. They arenít quite the same as the small bananas you sometimes see in the stores here in America.


I have a theory about the cold air that sometimes flows into Florida during the winter. The Yankees pull it in behind them in the wake created by thousands of cars that are driven south during their annual winter migration. I remember several occasions when my father and I moved ultra-tropical plants into the garage and threw sheets over others that couldnít be moved. On a serious note, the cold air is warmed several degrees as it passes over a lake or river and this is often enough to prevent damage to tropical plants south of these bodies of water. This explains the lack of Royal Palms north of the Caloosahatchee River.

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Old 08-20-2006, 06:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unknown Ft. Meyer bananas?

Doh! Rereading the thread, I see I have restated what several others said about the correlation between proximity to water and the effect on air temperature.

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