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Zones 23-28, H2
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Musa velutina

Ornamental banana
Musaceae
Edible fruit, Perennials

MUSA

For information on fruiting types, see Banana. The ornamental bananas described here include tree-size, medium-size, and dwarf plants. All are fast growing; all have soft, thickish stems and spread by suckers or underground roots to form clumps that are often as wide as or wider than the plant is tall.

Spectacular-looking long, typically broad leaves are easily tattered by strong winds, so choose protected planting sites. Will usually regrow from roots if cut down by frost; in frost-prone areas, locate plants where their absence won’t be conspicuous. Attractive near swimming pools. Can be grown in tubs and wintered indoors (cut tops off tall plants). Give rich soil; feed heavily.

Musa velutina

From India. To 5–7 ft. tall, with 3-ft.-long leaves that are green above, bronzy beneath. Upright pink bracts, orange flowers, and small, velvety pink bananas that are inedible but highly decorative.

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