Musa cheesmanii

Musa cheesmanii

Musa cheesmanii is a large, robust and fast growing banana from the Assam province in India.

It forms beautiful tight groups. Its dark pseudostem adds color.

Has been introduced recently, so no exact data are available regarding its hardiness.

Description:

Musa cheesmanii produces many suckers nearby the motherplant, forming dense groups.

The pseudo-stem is somewhat swollen at the base, up to 6 m long, intense brown-red with green or red sheaths at the bottom, slightly waxy to the top which is most striking in young plants.

The peduncles have fine membranous edges and closely sheath the pseudo-stem. The leaf blade is hardly waxy though it is grayish, with a purple-brown midrib. The juice is watery and milky.

The female inflorescence is tilted away from the plant or hanging, standing far from the plant on a long, thin peduncle 4 cm thick. The flowers are a creamy white to pale yellow.

The hand contains up to 10 bananas. The fruits are on a long peduncle (4 cm) and measuring about 10 cm long and 4 cm wide. They are white-green. The seeds are flattened and spherical, 8-10 mm in diameter and 5-7 mm height. They are very rough and wart-like.

Etymology:

Musa: from the Greek mousa (banana)
Cheesmani: named after E.E. Cheesman, professor of botany at Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad and founder of the modern banana botany.

Origin:

North East India

Habitat:

Mountains, up to 2,500 m

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 8, -18 °C

Care:

Soil:

Rich and well drained

Exposure:

Sun

Water:

Water daily and abundantly during growing season

Fertilizer:

Fertilize regularly during growing season: every 1-2 weeks, is a fast grower

Propagation:

Seed, suckers

Sowing instructions:

  • soak the seeds for 3 days in lukewarm water
  • sow in a moist mix
  • put the pot in a plastic bag or container to maintain moisture
  • 25-30 °C
  • germination time: 1 month to a few months

Image sources

  • Musa cheesmanii: Own work

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