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Old 01-09-2017, 01:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

Hi, I'm in Los Angeles, in a frost free zone and would like a small banana variety that gives delicious fruit. I planted a dwarf cavendish 2 years ago because it said 8-10 feet on the label and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it reached around 20 feet tall. I have cut it down in order to put in a much smaller banana.

All recommendations that meet those 2 requirements are welcome (under 10ft and delicious). I've looked at some of the varieties on the wiki and on Logee's and am tempted by the following varieties. Feedback on them is welcome. Especially appreciate warnings if they grow higher than advertised.

Musa Dwarf Ladyfinger - Bananas Wiki
Musa Dwarf Nino - Bananas Wiki
Musa Dwarf Orinoco - Bananas Wiki
Musa Dwarf Red - Bananas Wiki
Banana ‘Dwarf Iholena’ (Musa hybrid)
Banana ‘Lacatan’ (Musa hybrid)

Also, how high do you guys have experience with Super Dwarf Cavendish getting? 3 feet seems too small for the spot I have in mind in the yard, but if it really is that size and gives delicious fruit, I may try it in a different spot.

Thanks for any thoughts!
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

Please understand that the fruiting height of a banana is its pstem height, not the total height including leaves. You can find more info in the Wiki (see blue bar) under Banana Morphology.

Also, if you grew a banana to 20' it was not Dwarf Cavendish. You'll find many a thread on this site about mislabeled plants. Logee's is notorious.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

Raja Puri might do the trick for you.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

Thanks Checker, that does sound promising. So the fruit tastes quite good?
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

I'd go with dwarf namwah.
It all depends on what type of banana you prefer.
Bananas are plants, not trees. Common mistake...
Buy from a reputable source or get it from someone here.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

Quote:
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I'd go with dwarf namwah.
It all depends on what type of banana you prefer.
Bananas are plants, not trees. Common mistake...
Buy from a reputable source or get it from someone here.
I noticed that variety, had some hesitation about the susceptibility and availability, but I'll put it back in the running, thanks!

Regarding "tree", I'm just going with the conventional usage of tree and fruit.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

Quote:
Originally Posted by raffi View Post
I noticed that variety, had some hesitation about the susceptibility and availability, but I'll put it back in the running, thanks!
Dwarf Namwa is the best tasting of the hardy bananas you can grow in L.A.

Quote:
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Regarding "tree", I'm just going with the conventional usage of tree and fruit.
Tomatoes produce fruit ... do you call them trees?

Bananas are a tropical annual that grow from a bulb. Think of them as a giant daffodil that produces fruit.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

Home grown Raja Puri has an intense banana flavor.
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

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I noticed that variety, had some hesitation about the susceptibility and availability, but I'll put it back in the running, thanks!

Regarding "tree", I'm just going with the conventional usage of tree and fruit.
Don't worry about it. Merriam-Webster and most dictionaries' 2nd definition of a tree as being a 'herb of arborescent form' and give ' banana tree' as a specific example. Also, some say bananas are berries, but berries are also FRUIT. Just look up the definition. So a Banana tree is a Fruit tree.

It's just some members of the forum go ballistic when trees and fruit are used to describe bananas.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

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'herb of arborescent form' and give ' banana tree' as a specific example.
And since arborescent refers to dicots, while a banana is a monocot ... the editors of Merriam-Webster get an F in plant morphology
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Old 01-10-2017, 02:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

I have to agree with Richard. With the dictionnary's description, a sunflower is a tree... Ridiculous. In french dictionnaries, a tree is a tree, a plant is a plant and a bush is a bush. Way more precise. Merriam-Webster's description makes no sense botanically speaking.
There is nothing ballistic about what I wrote.
The most important part is that dwarf namwah is in my opinion the best suited variety for your region.
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

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All recommendations that meet those 2 requirements are welcome (under 10ft and delicious).
Here's my Pisang Ceylon (cross-tied in background) sporting a new hand today in Vista, CA. The pstem height is 8 ft and the top of the highest leaf is at 12 ft. It's a reliable producer here (USDA 10b) and also at my previous home in Rancho Penasquitos (borderline USDA 9b/10a). Like Namwa, the taste is tropical although somehow different ... I love them both.



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Old 01-10-2017, 04:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

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And since arborescent refers to dicots, while a banana is a monocot ... the editors of Merriam-Webster get an F in plant morphology

Wrong. Arborescent does not refer to dicots nor monocots. Arborescent is defined as "resembling a tree in properties, growth, structure, or appearance".

Dicots and Monocotts is a classification of flowering plants which would include flowering trees.
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Every year I reflect on ideas from the past that I thought were true but I now realize are false. And so, I'm sure that some of my current ideas are false too! I view this fact as part of the humor of life.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Here's my Pisang Ceylon (cross-tied in background) sporting a new hand today in Vista, CA. The pstem height is 8 ft and the top of the highest leaf is at 12 ft. It's a reliable producer here (USDA 10b) and also at my previous home in Rancho Penasquitos (borderline USDA 9b/10a). Like Namwa, the taste is tropical although somehow different ... I love them both.
Thanks, I'd like to taste it someday, but 12 feet top-out height is higher than I'd like to go. I can see from the photos it would be too big for the space.

Last edited by raffi : 01-10-2017 at 07:39 PM. Reason: fix formatting
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

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Thanks, I'd like to taste it someday, but 12 feet top-out height is higher than I'd like to go. I can see from the photos it would be too big for the space.
Well, you're welcome to come down and try it when its ripe.

In the meantime though, your criteria translates to a banana with a fruiting pstem height of 6 feet. As for great taste in your environment, that narrows it down to:

Dwarf Brazilian
Dwarf Namwa

Obtaining a pup from a southern CA member who is actually growing and fruiting them in their yard is the best way to insure success.

Keep in mind that many folks only visit this site once or twice a week so give them some time to contact you.
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

Quote:
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Well, you're welcome to come down and try it when its ripe.
Thanks! I definitely enjoyed tasting the wider variety of bananas in SE Asia, so it would be good to finally taste some variety again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
In the meantime though, your criteria translates to a banana with a fruiting pstem height of 6 feet. As for great taste in your environment, that narrows it down to:

Dwarf Brazilian
Dwarf Namwa

Obtaining a pup from a southern CA member who is actually growing and fruiting them in their yard is the best way to insure success.

Keep in mind that many folks only visit this site once or twice a week so give them some time to contact you.
It would be fantastic to get a pup from another member! I do have a few interesting plants I could share with others (A 10 foot tall cane Begonia, a Japanese Lantern Hibiscus, Thomcord grapes, and some other stuff), though as far as bananas go I only have what's left of the huge Cavendish I'm still working on taking out. So I won't have that for much longer.

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Old 01-11-2017, 08:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Smile Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP View Post
I have to agree with Richard. With the dictionnary's description, a sunflower is a tree... Ridiculous. In french dictionnaries, a tree is a tree, a plant is a plant and a bush is a bush. Way more precise. Merriam-Webster's description makes no sense botanically speaking.
There is nothing ballistic about what I wrote.
The most important part is that dwarf namwah is in my opinion the best suited variety for your region.
Our society accepts the politically correct definitions even if they have no bearing on the truth.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

I have a Dwarf Brazilian pup if you like. The fruit bunches hang about 5-7 feet off the ground, tip top of the leaves maybe 10 feet. I'm in West LA just north of the 10 off Robertson Blvd. IMO DB tastes better than Namwah and I grow both of them. I have DB fruit ready for harvest that I can share also. If interested contact me at fidowalk at gmail.com as I'm not checking in here much these days.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Want delicious fruiting banana tree under 10 feet

I would second Mitchel and Richard's suggestion of 'Dwarf Brazilian', they are relatively short sturdy plants and produce a normally very well liked fruit with a mellow but distinct tartness which gives it a very nice flavor.

I myself enjoy 'Namwah' very much, but some people tend to not appreciate them as much, especially compared to Brazilian types, as they tend to be rather sweet but with no acidity, and generally with a softer creamy texture. When I used to grow abundant amounts of them, I would often eat them raw, but found myself preferring to use them instead for drying, brewing (wine and kombucha), and making syrup. They can have a very high sugar content and so lend themselves very well to those types of activities, and the plants can be extremely productive.

I would avoid 'Super Dwarf Cavendish' as although it can fruit very short and produce a nice bunch in the right conditions, more often than not it seems to have trouble doing so without complications, it's a cute plant but temperamental.

And as for calling banana plants trees, in most contexts it really doesn't matter to refer to them as such. However, since we are all here to learn about bananas, I always find it's important to hammer that concept in as if you are trying to grow bananas and don't have much experience, a number of issues can easily arise if they are treated like a typical fruit tree simply because they truly are not trees and behave very differently and have different needs. It's very useful to take a step back and try to understand their inherent biology and growth habits to make informed and effective management decisions.
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