A new variety of Musa basjoo....

Posted: 16 Feb 2008

16 Feb 2008

Ok it isn't a palm but then I think many of us grow banana species of some form or another!

I noticed in the summer 2007 issue of the Southeastern Palms journal (USA) an intersting article on a new form of Musa basjoo called 'Upham Giant' TM ... a trade marked form being micro propagated in the USA. It came as an unamed potted banana plant in 2000 which was acquired and planted at the Miami university garden at Upham Palm Court. It looked like Musa basjoo but as it grew people began to notice that it was growing differently to 'regular' basjoo!

The reports write that by 2005 established clumps were topping 21ft in height in a single season despite going through a sub zero winter beforehand! The plant was also making longer and wider leaves and a taller pseudostem! It was also noticed that in winter more of the stem survived above ground despite cold weather. In summer 2005 a stem flowered which enabled it to be identified as a clone of Musa basjoo.

The university have trade marked the plant and it is being produced commercially now for hopeful release in 2008. Could be a vigourous and more cold resistant form that will further extend the regions able to grow this great plant and worth keeping an eye out for!

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