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Musa campestris var. campestris

Swamp Banana

A smallish Musa from Sarawak on the island of Borneo that forms clusters of green to whitish, dark blotched pseudostems to 1 or 2 m (3 to 7 ft.) tall. The upright inflorescence displays beautiful pink-purple bracts followed by amazing, small, slender, pale green fruit with purple blotches. Musa campestris is a highly variable species that for eternity was segregated into geographically isolated populations, in clearings of lowland swamp forest. Today, with the advent of rampant forest destruction in Borneo, Musa is opportunistically increasing its ranges. The many forms that were isolated before have in some cases encountered each other, and rapid hybridization is resulting in homogenized populations. It is related by international banana expert Markku Häkkinen that in the not so distant future, these incredible forms will be lost unless protected in cultivation. This species obviously has enormous potential as an ornamental and a cut flower. The Iban people of Borneo also use it as a vegetable. Cooked, the male bud and heart of this plant are a delicious, slightly bitter vegetable.

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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