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Musa textilis - Née

Common Name Abaca
Family Musaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A species of banana native to the Philippines, grown as a commercial crop in the Philippines, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
Range Southeast Asia - Philippines.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (5 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Musa textilis Abaca

Musa textilis Abaca
Jürgen Steger, Sachsenleinen GmbH wikimedia.org


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Musa textilis or commonly known as Abaca is a banana species native to the Philippines and is mainly cultivated for its fiber. It is evergreen and perennial, and grows about 4 - 6 m in height with a clump of large pseudo stems that can be up to 30 cm in diameter. It produces runners along the ground that take roots at each segment to form new plants. The leaves are dark green but light green on the the underside and oblong. The fruits are inedible containing irregular shaped seeds. Abaca fiber or commonly known as Manila hemp is the strongest of the natural fibers. It is highly durable and resistant to salt water damage. It is used in the paper industry and in handcrafts like bags, carpets, furniture, and clothing.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Musa textilis is an evergreen Perennial growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Birds, Bats.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Musa abaca Perr. Musa amboinensis Miq. Musa mindanaensis Miq. Musa tikap Warb. Musa troglodytarum te

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Fibre  Paper  String

Other Uses The sclerenchym fibres of the leaf sheaths are used to make ropes for ships and nets that are resistant to salt-water[317 ]. The fibre is also used to make sacks, cloth etc[46 , 317 ]. In Japan it is used for making special paper for the construction of movable room walls[317 ]. With the advent of synthetic fibres, demand for this plant has been reducing, though it is becoming increasingly popular as a source of fibre for pulp[418 ].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Fiber  Management: Managed Multistem  Minor Global Crop  Other Systems: Multistrata

A plant of the hot, humid tropics adapted to an average relative humidity of about 80%[418 ]. The present zone of successful cultivation lies within the latitudinal range 15°N and 5°S. In the Philippines it is usually grown in regions below 500 metres in elevations but it can be grown in the tropics at altitudes between sea level and 1100 metres[418 ]. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature falls within the range 20 - 29°c, but can tolerate 16 - 33°c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,800 - 3,000mm, tolerating 700 - 4,400mm[418 ]. Prefers a sunny position[418 ]. Plants can succeed in most humus-rich, fertile soils, so long as they are well-drained[418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, though it can tolerate 4.5 - 8[418 ]. Prefers a position sheltered from strong winds. A perennial plant, growing for 18 - 36 months years before first harvest and with a economical life of 6 - 15 years[418 ]. In the Philippines, the annual fibre yield ranges from 0.31 - 1.71 t/ha, while in Ecuador, yields are between 1.5 - 2.5 t/ha[418 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Fiber  Clothing, rugs, sheets, blankets etc. Currently, almost none of our fiber are produced from perennial crops but could be!
  • Management: Managed Multistem  Regularly removing some multiple stems. A non-A non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Minor Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world, but on a smaller scale than the global perennial staple and industrial crops, The annual value of a minor global crop is under $1 billion US. Examples include shea, carob, Brazil nuts and fibers such as ramie and sisal.
  • Other Systems: Multistrata  Multistrata agroforests feature multiple layers of trees often with herbaceous perennials, annual crops, and livestock.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - Division of suckers with a portion of the rhizome[200 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here


Asia, Fiji, Hawaii, Pacific, Philippines*, SE Asia, USA,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Ensete ventricosumEthiopian Banana, Abyssinian bananaPerennial6.0 9-11  LMHNM201
Musa acuminataDwarf Banana, Edible bananaPerennial3.0 10-12  LMHSNM522
Musa balbisianaPlantain, Plantain BananaPerennial5.0 9-12 FLMHSNM412
Musa basjooJapanese BananaPerennial3.0 7-10  LMHNM222
Musa x paradisiacaBananaPerennial8.0 10-12 FLMHNM522
Musanga cecropioidesCorkwoodTree20.0 10-12 FLMHNM344

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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