Musa beccarii

Musa beccarii

Musa beccarii or banana is a beautiful small banana from Borneo with a splendid, erect inflorescence that flowers a long time.

Musa beccarii was, after extensive fieldwork in Borneo in 2005, redescribed as Musa beccarii Simmonds var. beccarii after a new variety was discovered in a very limited area at the Kinanbatangan river in the eastern part of Sabah. This new variety is named Musa Simmonds beccarii var. hottana Haekkinen. The variety that we find in the trade under the name Musa beccarii is the first one and previously discovered species, Musa beccarii Simmonds var. beccarii.

Description:

The plant is 3 to 3.5 meters tall, the pseudo-stem 1 to 1.5 meters high. The sheaths are green and shiny with a brown-purple rim. The petiole is 30 to 35 cm long. The leaves are long and narrow, up to 100 cm long and 30 cm wide, bright green, oblong and lanceolate.

The fruits appear in an upright small group of 2 to 5 hands each with 1 to 3 fruits. The fruit appears on a short fruit stem. The fruit is cylindrical but narrower towards the tip. It is between 5 and 15 cm long and 2 cm in diameter.

The closely overlapping bracts are shiny, green and red with yellow tips. The plants begins flowering when 1 to 1.5 m high. Inflorescence appears at the top of the stem which has very short but rough hairs.

The plant has an corm or underground tuber from which the pseudo-stem grows. When bloom is finished, this corm dies but makes new corms from which new plants grow. It produces suckers freely.

Usage:

Ornamental, cut flowers. Occasionnally the fruit is eaten.

Nomenclature:

Common name:

Ornemental banana

Etymology:

Musa: from the Greek mousa (banana)
Beccarii: in honor of Odoardo Beccari, an Italian naturalist who has done much work in Borneo.

Origin:

Borneo

Habitat:

Forest, in open spaces or as secundary vegetation, up to 1,600 m altitude

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 10-11

Care:

Soil:

Nutritious, draining

Exposure:

Sun, partial shade, shade

Water:

Needs plenty of water during growing season

Feed:

Fertilize weekly during growing season

Propagation:

Seed, suckers

Sowing instructions:

  • soak the seeds for 1-2 days in tepid water
  • sow in a light substrate
  • moisten
  • maintain a constant temperature between 20 °C and 25 °C
  • germination: a few weeks to a few months
  • repot when the seedlings or plants are big enough to handle

Image sources

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