Musa mannii

Musa mannii

Musa mannii or Indian Dwarf Banana is is a beautiful small banana from Assam in India.

Almost extinct in its habitat, it is grown all over the world as an ornamental.

It grows up to 2 m high and can be cultivated as a houseplant. May be kept outdoors in summer but must overwinter frost free.

Description:

The pseudo-stem is slender, light green with purple-black spots, shiny, 60-80 cm high and 4-5 cm in diameter.

The leaves are oblong, 60-80 cm long, 18-20 cm wide. They are green, the midrib is red on both sides. The leaf stem is 20-25 cm long, also light green with purple-black spots.

Inflorescence erect at first, later slightly drooping first, the flower stem is 15-18 cm long and 2 cm in diameter, red and covered with white down. The bracts are bright pink to dark red, the calyx is light yellow.

The fruits are light green to yellow when ripe, 5-6 cm long with a thin layer of pulp. The seeds are 5-6 mm long, black, irregularly shaped, 20-30 seeds per fruit.

Produces abundant suckers.

Nomenclature:

Common name:

Indian dwarf banana

Etymology:

Musa: from the Greek mousa (banana)
Mannii: in honor of Gustav Mann, a German botanist of the Forest Department of Assam

Origin:

India, Assam

Hardiness:

USDA zone 10-11, 0 °C



Care:

Soil:

Well drained and rich

Exposure:

Sun

Water:

Water daily during growing season

Fertilizer:

Fertilize weekly during growing season with universal liquid fertilizer

Propagation:

Seed, suckers

Sowing instructions:

  • soak the seeds 3 days in tepid water
  • sow in moist substrate
  • 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 mannii: Ulf Eliasson

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