bananagroup
Banana Seeds

Big Leaves for Exotic Effect

Banana seed

The Bananas - probably my favourite Exotic for a stunning effect, and easy to grow from banana seed (if you know how to break the natural seed dormancy), with plants to 4’ in the first year if sown early! They have few rivals for subtropical effect with huge leaves gently waving in a soft breeze. Some varieties can be treated as bedding perennials if the root stocks are protected in winter with some sacking or other suitable material. (See the Winter Protection Tips Page on our Web Site.) Others are best grown as summer bedding with one or, at most, two years winter protection in a Conservatory or Greenhouse if you have the room! Don’t forget to follow the special germination instructions on all of our Musa seed packets.

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Ensete glaucum

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Snow Banana
Ensete glaucum is a larger version of the Abyssinian Banana not so well known, sometimes called Musa nepalensis or Ensete giganteum, or Ensete wilsonii. It grows in China up to 2600-8800ft, Nepal, India, Burma, and Thailand.  It has a thick, waxy and blue, solitary trunk with huge bluish leaves up to 10ft/3m long. An extremely fast growing banana given heat, but after trials it has proven not to be so hardy as the Abyssinian Banana. (I have had a Ventricosum survive unprotected out of doors in an open border here in Oxfordshire, regrowing from the trunk after cutting back the frost damaged material.) Easy to raise from seed and very different with its swollen bulbous base and large leaves
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Ensete superbum

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Back In Stock for 2014 But Limited Availability!

Rock Banana 5 Seeds 

Ensete superbum is a delightful species originating from India but can also be found growing at the rim of forests in Burma and Thailand, often on rocky ground and at some altitude. The beautiful bright green/grey leaves can reach a length of about 5’. The blooming plant can reach a height of 10’ to 12’ while the dark brown-red inflorescence is held well above the larger leaves. This is a rare, sought after plant, hence the seeds are a little more expensive.

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Ensete ventricosum

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Ensete ventricosum the Abyssinian Banana 10 seeds
The Ensetes are a separate species and only a relative to the Musa family, bearing strong attractive light green to grey green stiff leaves, some with a red mid rib and white bloom to the reverse side of the leaves. The plant shown depicts a 2 year old Ventricosum plant in July after over wintering in a frost free Greenhouse. I have been growing these from seed for many years now so that I always have older plants for a continuous dramatic display, after that they just get too large!

Leaves are not frost hardy but suffer minimal damage down to 0°C or minus 1°C but the root system can take up to minus 5°C if protected. Usually the plant would be dug up and kept on the dry side in a frost free environment until the following year. (A frost free conservatory is ideal!) I have had some success with larger plants by digging them up, lightly trimming the roots, placing into a large pot, cutting off the main trunk and allowing it to regrow. The seed grows readily though if fresh in a temperature of  27°C to 30°C.

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Ensete ventricosum Giant

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Giant Ensete ventricosum 10 seeds

This Ensete form of ventricosum is more robust than the normal species with seeds about 3 times larger. Makes a very robust Ensete for summer planting. Can be sown mid summer for larger plants the following year if overwintered in a heated glass house. It does not have the red midrib normally associated with Ensete ventricosum and much larger leaves.
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Musa acuminata

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Wild Banana 10 seeds
Musa acuminata is one of the parents of many of todays cultivars not least Musa cavendishi, the other being Musa balbisiana. Although the fruit looks like an ordinary yellow banana and is edible it has seed within the fruit. I have not tried growing this variety yet but. If you want to try this one out please let me know how you get on I would appreciate the feedback.

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Musa balbisiana Atia Black

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Musa balbisiana Black 10 seeds җ

This variety has much darker ornamental stems when mature and with its dark green leaves plus fast growth rate it makes an excellent ornamental from seed. It produces large fruits but these are full of seeds so inedible. Quite a tall plant to 18ft but can be cut back to over winter under glass. Quite a tough banana possibly as hardy at the root level as Musa skkimensis if the root crown is protected.

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Musa balbisiana X

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Musa balbisiana  the Plantain Banana 10 seeds 
Our edible cultivated bananas are derived from two species, acuminata and balbisiana, the seed we offer here are a seeded cross of Musa balbisianna making a fast growing tree to 15ft. Seed comes from plants growing in the lower foothills of the Himalayas so should be reasonably cold tolerant.

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Musa cheesmani

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Cheesman's Banana 10 seeds

A vigorous, large, wild banana from Northeastern India and closely related to Musa sikkimensis. Large attractive pale green leaves with attractive purple midrib/stems and worth trying outside for the summer. Not as hardy as Sikkimensis to survive our winters at the root level so they will need a frost free glass house to over winter.
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Musa coccinea

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Red Torch Banana 10 seeds 
Musa coccinea is a medium ornamental banana plant native to India and S. E. Asia that grows to 9'.  The plant will stay smaller though when pot grown. Lovely long lasting scarlet inflorescences grown as a cut flower in the tropics.  Leaves are narrow and oblong up to 2m long and the plant is best with light shade.
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Musa Helen's Hybrid

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A Musa Chini Champa X Sikkimensis Hybrid 10 seeds
Musa Helen's Hybrid, a recent discovery from eastern Himalaya that is puported to be a hybrid between Musa sikkimensis, a frost hardy banana and Musa Chini-Champa, a cool hardy edible variety. Growing at 5,000 ft elevation it should take a very mild frost at the roots and also grow well in our relatively cool summers. The plant produces an edible fruit, although these are full of seed, and should prove to be an excellent candidate for growing a fruiting banana, providing that you live in a frost free area? Strong growing with Sikkimensis type leaves but with Chini Champa's white bloom to psuedo stems.
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Musa itinerans Yunnan banana

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Yunnan Banana 10 seeds
Musa itinerans Yunnan banana is a semi-hardy Musa variety coming from high altitudes in China‘s Yunnan province. We thought that it could be grown in the same way as Basjoo or Sikkimensis i.e. hardy down to the root stock if protected. So far though I have not successfully over wintered any outdoors in our frost prone location. Seedlings from the previous two years have grown quickly with a pale bluish tint to the leaves and stems on delicate tall slim plants that add a touch of elegance to the garden border with very thin tall stems. Over winters ok in a frost free well lit location if kept on the dry side.

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Musa laterita

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Bronze Banana 10 seeds

Musa laterita originates from Burma and India, often sold as Musa ornata "Bronze" It resembles Musa ornata in many aspects but growing habit is different as this plant produces long rhizomes and will grow more open than a clump of Musa ornata but contained if pot grown. Inflorescences are a brick-red or orange-bronze.  Leaves light green, up to 5' long on a plant from 5ft to 7ft tall.

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Musa mannii

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Indian Dwarf Banana 10 seeds
Musa mannii is a useful short flowering musa, grown for its big heads of multicoloured flowers, in shades of pink, orange and green. While generally about 1.5m to 1.8m tall, its stems can be up to 15cm across. The small, seedy fruit is inedible. A rare form believed to now be extinct in the wild.
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Musa nagensium

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Giant Banana 10 seeds
Musa nagensium is an interesting ornamental banana with very dark purple-red pseudostems. A large banana from India, slightly cold hardy to over 20ft with 10ft leaves. Very fast growing and new into cultivation. Be one of the first people to grow it.
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Musa ornata

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Ornamental Banana 10 seeds
Musa ornata are small banana plants native to India and S. E. Asia that grows to 9' and similar to Velutina.  The plant will stay smaller though when pot grown.  Nice lavender inflorescence opening to yellow -orange flowers that yield to pink non edible fruits when ripe but the flowers must be hand pollinated for the full development.  Leaves are narrow and oblong up to 2m long.
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Musa paradisiaca or Bluggoe

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Edible Banana 10 seeds
Musa paradisiaca or Bluggoe, sometimes referred to as Musa sapientum. Its mature height varies between 10’ and 18’. Numerous edible cultivars have been derived from crosses with this wild seeded variety. Although the fruits are considered edible they are extremely seedy! In our trials the seed germinated very easily. This is one of the bananas commonly called a plantain and used for cooking.
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Musa sikkimensis

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Himalayan Banana 15 seeds җ җ 
Musa sikkimensis is still a relatively new plant introduction to the UK proving to be as hardy as Basjoo, but I think more attractive. The leaves are a darker glossy green, with new leaves producing a  lovely pink flush to the underside as they open up. Some seedlings have markings almost as striking as Zebrina, and quite spectacular as a large plant. (We source our seed only from plants showing strong red markings growing wild in the Himalayas.) Since Musa Basjoo cannot be grown from seed, this hardy alternative grows quickly, and once established can be further propagated by suckers. Originating from 6,000ft in the Himalayas, it is tolerant to frost at the roots. Good resilience to wind, and continues to grow in cool weather when Basjoo halts. Fairly easy from seed at 30°C with about 50%+ germination rate, and easier to over winter under cold glass than Basjoo from my experience.

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Musa sikkimensis Daj Giant

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Giant Himalayan Banana (Musa griersonii) 10 seeds җ җ 
Often described as a sikkimensis hybrid its correct name is Musa griersonii. This large, fast growing banana is just as hardy as sikkimensis at the root level and has proved to be excellent for our own summer displays with huge leaves often with a purple hue to the reverse and a silvery bloom to the pseudostems. Germination not brilliant but well worth the effort.
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Musa sikkimensis x paradisiaca

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Hardy Hybrid Himalayan Banana 10 seeds җ җ 

Musa sikkimensis x paradisiaca is a fast growing hardy banana to 6m with reddish pseudostem and large dark green leaves with a hint of purple on the underside on young leaves. This natural hybrid between M. sikkimensis and M. paradisiaca comes from altitudes of approximately 2000m in India and trials lead us to believe that it is as cold hardy as Daj Giant and true sikkimensis at the root level.
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BurmeseBlue

Musa sp Burmese Blue

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Blue Banana (Qty 10 seeds per Pkt)
Musa Burmese Blue is a wild banana growing in northern Thailand to about 12ft. It is a seeded species with the fruit taking on a bluish purple colour. Apparently edible if cooked, assuming of course that you can get it to fruit in the UK!
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Musa thompsonii

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Thomsons Banana 10 seeds
Musa thompsonii, a subtropical species native to the Himalayas in Bhutan and northeastern India. Its pseudostems can reach a height of up to 4.5 m (15 ft.). The fruits are sweet but have seeds, but in any case at this height unlikely to fruit in the UK. Habit similar to Musa itinerans yunnan, slender with blue grey stems and a red flush to the reverse of new leaves. Not likely to be that cold hardy.
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Musa velutina

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Pink Banana 15 seeds
Musa Velutina is an interesting novelty for planting out in summer as bedding or keeping in the conservatory. A small slender plant with narrow leaves to about 4ft, which flowers at a very young age (usually in the second year) producing a very attractive red and cream flower spike that stays reasonably upright. The novelty is the hand of small pink velvety bananas which form quite a talking point. In my youth when I first grew Musa velutina I would ask my girl friends if they would like to come and see my pink furry bananas! This banana suckers readily from the base to produce a nice clump for next year, or you can cut them off for additional plants to grow on. It will need a warm greenhouse (15°C), or Conservatory for successful over wintering but is hardier than commonly believed. Musa velutina grows readily from fresh seed at about 30°C.

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Musa zebrina

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Blood Banana 10 seeds
Musa zebrina is one of the most beautiful of all ornamental bananas with red wine stained leaves. Not hardy at all and best grown in the greenhouse or conservatory in the UK, although I use large plants successfully as summer bedding every year. As you can see Zebrina is very attractive and also quite fast growing. Topping out at 5’ makes it a useful specimen to keep for a longer period in a conservatory, without outgrowing it’s welcome!  This plant will need a warm greenhouse or conservatory for successful over wintering. The Blood Banana is exotica at its best and just has to be seen to be fully appreciated! We now have an improved seed strain even showing the markings in young seedlings.

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Musella lasiocarpa

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Chinese Banana 10 seeds 
Musella lasiocarpa has to be at the top of your list to try for tropical bedding! It is not a true banana but another closely related species from China that has similar broad, bright green leaves. But it’s the bright yellow long lasting lotus like flowers that make it stand out from the crowd. Like most musa related species, once the growth spike has flowered it will die off, however new suckers quickly grow from the root stock. It needs winter protection but must be kept fairly dry during this natural dormant period. The seed is scarce and of limited quantity and can be erratic in germination needing pre chilling which is why we keep our seed stock in cold storage. Plants should flower in their 3rd or 4th year when the trunk will be 3 to 4ft tall. Do not believe the garden centres when they tell you that this plant is hardy! It may be at the root level with protection, but the trunk needed for flowering will be killed off each year by any frost.

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Symbol Codes

Germination -- Easy Moderate and Challenging

Backlog for Fresh Seed Flavour

Hardiness - To -5°C җ To -10°C җҗ Fully Hardy җҗҗ

Needs Shady Position Sunny Position Water Loving