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Banana Seed Germination Forum As one of the toughest seeds in the plant kingdom to figure out the keys to germination success with, this is a forum with banana seed germination tips. Please entitle posts like "Musa balbisiana," or "Musa cheesmani," etc. People would then post a reply under that heading, sharing their germination successes (and failures), what materials and methods they used, germination percentage, etc.


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Old 08-27-2008, 08:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ensete superbum ssp. Thailand seeds are germinating

I got about 30-40 of these from a grower in Thailand, and picked them straight out of the dried-up banana. After 3 weeks, I have 2 germinating. I also got around 20 or so from a friend in the UK, but those haven't budged yet.

My setup is similar to all of my other setups: coco-coir and perlite (75/25), plastic box with lid, and heat pad. I actually have this box on its own little reptile heat pad. The heat is constantly on, no fluctuations whatsoever.

The thing that I've been doing differently recently, with much success, is just laying the seeds on the surface of the media, and barely pressing them in so that at least half of the seed still shows. Don't know if this is really helping or not, because I have no control to compare it to. I check the seeds every other day or so, to check and make sure that they aren't drying out. If they are dry on top, just spray a little water on them.

Can't wait for these babies to grow up, so I can grow them next to the Indian species!
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Ensete superbum ssp. Thailand seeds are germinating

Frank,

I wish you luck.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete superbum ssp. Thailand seeds are germinating

Bigdog after four weeks I don't have a single one germinated yet. But you give me hope.! I normally have good success with seeds. The ones that I've gotten from most of the places on the net simply do not germinate. I believe the these are ancient and no longer viable. I've decided from here on out and only going to purchase seeds from a reputable vendors that I know I can trust.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete superbum ssp. Thailand seeds are germinating

You'd be surprised about "ancient" seeds and their viability! Ensete seeds can stay viable for over 20 years in the soil, so if they are dried properly and stored correctly, you would think that they would have an even longer life. When they get dried out to a certain point and stay that way for long enough though, they seem to sink into a deep state of dormancy that nobody has figured out how to awaken them from just yet.

We found a huge pile of seeds a few weeks back in the headhouse area of the greenhouse on campus (I work there), mostly from the early to mid 1980s. One bag of Kosteletskya virginica, labeled 1982, was sown in a flat. Less than a week later, almost all of the seeds are up! It's in the Mallow family, and those seeds tend to stay viable for a very long time.

Reputable vendors are the only way to go, unless it is something not available by way of "mainstream" vendors (i.e., an individual). Even then, seeds can be bad or just old. Good luck with yours!
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete superbum ssp. Thailand seeds are germinating

Those superbum seeds from Thailand have been tricky for me, but then again they weren't fresh like those you got.
Did the flowers bracts look purple like the ones Rare Palm Seeds is selling? Are they just selling the regular Thai superbum with a different name? I noticed that their(RPS) seeds were smaller that the other ones I got from Thailand as "rock banana", but that could be other factors too.
Ensete sp. (Kluay Pa/Thailand)
What do ya think?
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete superbum ssp. Thailand seeds are germinating

Kyle, the Ensete 'Kluay Pa' seeds are much smaller then the Ensete superbum ssp. 'Thailand' seeds, so I really don't think it is the same species at all. 'Kluay Pa' could feasibly be a subspecies of superbum though, and the Thai superbum could just be a different variety of superbum. I didn't get to see the flower, only the bananas. I got them from a vendor at the Sunamluang Song plant market in Nakorn Pathom province in Thailand. Tons of little cubicles for vendors to set up their plants, and this guy had some small Thai superbums for sale, as well as a few Musa species. He just gave me a small handful of seeds out of a dried banana that he had there, and that he said he had just picked a few days beforehand.

The Thai superbum seeds are different enough from the Indian superbum seeds to separate them based on that alone.

Hope Steve doesn't mind me posting his pics here.

Indian superbum


Thai superbum


Another Thai superbum, growing in thailand.


Indian superbum growing here in Knoxville at UT Gardens


Another one with distorted leaves that shows the midribs better.


So 2 things jump right off the screen at me.

First, the Indian Form has reddish midribs on the undersides of the leaves.

The Thai form does not have red midribs.

Second, the Indian Form has leaves that are a bright green, like E. ventricosum.

The Thai form has leaves that more resemble E. glaucum or Musella lasiocarpa in color, more of a bluish-green.

They definitely look like different plants to me.
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete superbum ssp. Thailand seeds are germinating

I meant to add something else! While in Thailand, I was perusing a banana book with some of the native and cultivated bananas of Thailand (the book was written in Thai). Stumbling upon the Ensete superbum page, there were pics of two different plants. One was the Thai superbum like the ones in my pictures. The other one was definitely NOT Kluay Pa...because...

It had a yellowish-green flower. Clearly it was an Ensete superbum, just a completely different flower! All of the Thai superbums I've seen had purple buds. I'd like to see this one in person someday.

I wonder how many Ensetes are still out there, waiting to be discovered? It is a pretty cool genus.
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete superbum ssp. Thailand seeds are germinating

Oh, I thought you got the seeds off the flowers in your pictures. Well in that case did the flowers that you saw look different than the Ensete Kluay Pa?
In one of your pics they look kinda peach colored, but it's hard to tell.
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete superbum ssp. Thailand seeds are germinating

Just found this picture of a close up superbum, but not sure which one. Kinda looks the same colors as the ones in your pictures-
Image:Ensete superbum.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Also found this while googling about plants needing artificial pollination-
Ensete superbum on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
here's another, but these two have different colors, maybe it just depends on the stage of the flower- Grundlepuck : photos : U.S. Botanic Garden : Ensete Superbum- powered by SmugMug
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ensete superbum ssp. Thailand seeds are germinating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropicallvr View Post
Oh, I thought you got the seeds off the flowers in your pictures. Well in that case did the flowers that you saw look different than the Ensete Kluay Pa?
In one of your pics they look kinda peach colored, but it's hard to tell.

No, the plants in my pics from Thailand were at Farm Chokchai, and I got the seeds from a vendor at Sunamluang Song plant market in Nakorn Pathom. The only pics of 'Kluay Pa' I've ever seen is on the RPS website, and the flowers look similar.
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