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Musa sp. (Helen's Hybrid)

Helen's Banana

An interesting new discovery from the foothills of the eastern Himalayas in the Darjeeling district, home to so many fabulous plants. This beautiful banana seems to be a hybrid between Musa sikkimensis and Musa "Chini-Champa", a cultivar with very sweet and tasty fruits, popular in this area of India. While Musa "Chini-Champa" seems to bring some of the fruit quality and color, namely the red leaf-midribs, reddish leaf undersides, waxy white leafstalks and reddish stems into this marriage, Musa sikkimensis must be responsible for the cold-hardiness that enables it to grow here between 1400 and 1700 m (4700 and 5500 ft.). The fruits of course do have seeds, but otherwise their quality is quite agreeable, perhaps as close as one can get to a cold tolerant edible banana.

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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I found these quite easy by soaking for 4 days in warm water and then planted in potting compost in a sealable container placed in the airing cupboard with temps around 30-35°c. About 75% have germinated.
Submitted on 22/08/2006 by jon jonkelf@lycos.co.uk

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I got 1000 seeds last winter and didn't plant them til late spring. Used seed starter mix in 170 cell seed flats in an unheated greenhouse. About half are up with more poking up all the time. Beautiful seedlings!
Submitted on 31/07/2006 by William Read weread@mac.com

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
These seeds are the easiest banana-seeds i have sprouted so far.First I soaked the seeds for 2 days.I used a plastic container with a lid. Used 1 part potting soil and 1 part medium grained sand as medium. Planted the seeds about 1 cm deep, and put the lid on to prevent it from drying out.The container was placed on a reptile heat-mat, which caused fluctuating temperatures. 10 hours of 25-32 degrees C and 14 hours of 15-18 degrees C.I went on vacation for 2 weeks, and now most are sprouting!
Submitted on 10/02/2006 by Erlend Sorli sorlifish@hotmail.com

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... have not yet been commented on. Be the first to write a comment:

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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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