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Musa x paradisiaca - L.

Common Name Banana
Family Musaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range Only known as a cultivated plant, it is a hybrid of M. Acuminata × M. Balbisiana.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Musa x paradisiaca Banana

Musa x paradisiaca Banana
Ruestz wikimedia.org


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Banana (Musa x paradisiaca), a hybrid between Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, is a perennial, herbaceous plant growing about 8 m in height. It is a staple food with a wide range of medicinal and other uses. The fruits can be eaten raw or cooked. Male inflorescences are used as ingredient in curries. The inner stem can be boiled and eaten, or dried then made into flour. The leaves are used as food wrapper. Medicinally, different plant parts are used in the treatment of diarrhea, epilepsy, headache, cough, bronchitis, dysentery, furuncles, wounds, and swelling. Propagation is through sword suckers.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Musa x paradisiaca is an evergreen Perennial growing to 8 m (26ft) by 4 m (13ft) 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 and neutral 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


Karkandela × malabarica Raf. Musa × acutibracteata M.Hotta, Musa × alphurica Miq. Musa × aphurica Ru

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit  Shoots  Stem
Edible Uses: Drink  Salt

Fruit - raw or cooked. Dessert forms are sweet and succulent when fully ripe and are widely eaten out of hand, though they are very versatile and are used in a wide variety of other ways. For example, they are commonly used with other juicier fruits to make smoothies, they can be baked, cooked in cakes, dried for later use etc. Plantains are richer in starch and contain less sugars. Whilst these are more commonly cooked as a vegetable, when fully ripe they make a very acceptable raw fruit[K ]. Male inflorescences are eaten in curries or cooked with coconut milk[301 ]. The inner stem can be boiled and eaten, or can be dried and made into a flour and starch[301 ]. Blanched shoots that sprout from the base can be roasted and eaten[301 ]. The leaves are commonly used for wrapping foods that are to be cooked - especially glutinous rice dishes. They impart a distinctive flavour and a greenish colour[301 ]. Nectar of the flowers is consumed[301 ]. The ashes of the plant can be used as a salt substitute[301 ].

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.
Antidiarrhoeal  Antitussive  Astringent  Dysentery  Epilepsy  Haemostatic  Skin  Vesicant

The unripe fruits and their sap are astringent and haemostatic[254 , 348 ]. They are eaten, often roasted, as a treatment for diarrhoea[254 , 348 ]. The fruit is used to treat epilepsy[348 ]. The peeled and sliced fruit is placed on the forehead to relieve the heat of a headache[348 ]. The peel of the fruit is considered an abortive[348 ]. The leaves, dried and made into a syrup, are used to treat coughs and chest conditions such as bronchitis[254 ]. An infusion of the banana leaf, combined with sugarcane roots, is used to hasten childbirth[348 ]. The leaves are applied as a vesicant on blistering[348 ]. It is tied onto the forehead to relieve a headache[348 ]. The pulp of the trunk is made into an infusion to soothe dysentery[348 ]. A liquid collected at a cut stem is an antiseptic that is applied to furuncles and wounds[348 ]. The root is strongly astringent and has been used to arrest the coughing up of blood[254 ]. Applied externally, the juice of the root is used to treat carbuncles and swellings[348 ]. The flowers are astringent[272 ]. The fruit contains two vasoconstrictors: norepinephrine (a chemical used to raise blood pressure) and dopamine. Norepinephrine is good for a weak heart[348 ]. The fruit is also rich in vitamin A[348 ]. Sap of the fruit contains serothine, which has an action on the long muscles[348 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Containers  Fibre  Hair  String

Other Uses The large leaves are used as plates for eating food[272 ]. The leaf sheath is used as a temporary binding[272 ]. The juice of the roots is used as a hair tonic[348 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

The optimal temperature for fruit production is about 27°c, and night time temperatures should not fall much below 18°c when the fruit is ripening or flavour can be impaired[200 ]. Requires a sunny sheltered position in a well-drained fertile soil with a pH between 6 and 7.5[200 ]. There are very many named varieties, but two main types can be distinguished:- Dessert bananas which become very sweet when fully ripe. Plantains, which contain more carbohydrate and are more commonly cooked.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow the large seed in individual pots in the spring in a warm greenhouse at about 20°c[200 ]. Grow the seedlings on in a rich soil, giving occasional liquid feeds. Keep the plants in the greenhouse for at least three years before trying them outdoors. Division of suckers in late spring. Dig up the suckers with care, trying to cause the least disturbance to the main plant. Pot them up and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are well established.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Banana, Amenvu, Cheek nam' vaa, Chuoi, Guineo, Hakua, Hopa, It'ath, Jaina, Kawadar, Keepran, Kele, Kera, Kluai, Kwayz, Leka, Maika, Meika, Mgomba, Moni, Ndizi, Nget pyo thee, Peint, Pinana, Pisang, Platano, Saging, Sou, Te banana, Te bunti, Te oraora, Uchu, Uht, Usr, Vudi, bananenbaum, bananier, ess-banane, paradise banana, plantain, plátano.

Africa, Amazon, Andamans, Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central Africa, Central African Republic, Central America, China, Colombia, Congo, Congo R, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Dominica, East Africa, East Timor, Ecuador, Equatorial French Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guiana, Guam, Guinea, Guinée, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mexico, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Africa, North America, Pacific, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, SE Asia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South America, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, Sudan, Suriname, Tahiti, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Uganda, USA, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe,

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 textilisAbacaPerennial3.0 10-12 FLMHNM005
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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