September 2004



Apple or Manzano Banana – Musa spp.


Origin: Asia (Probably)





The name of this wonderful banana pretty much says it all…delicious! Living in the northern climes has pretty much discouraged any ideas that I had about growing bananas which actually produced fruit. For years, I tried different varieties that are supposedly cold tolerant while secretly wishing to try out one of these tastier bananas. Finally I gave in to the temptation and purchased an Apple Banana from Ebay. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it grows as well if not better than the ones which were even supposed to handle the snow! 

The Apple Banana (also called by its Spanish name of Manzano) is known for its tasty fruit. To some people, the snow white pulp is flavored like a cross between a fully ripened apple and vanilla ice cream. I will probably never know it that is true or not . But what I do know (and like) is the Apple Banana is a vigorous grower. As a bonus, it easily adapts to most soils, being grown from Thailand to the deepest jungles of the Amazon. It is quite cold tolerant, and can take temperatures approaching frost with no damage. The plant is a solid green with just a margin of red around the leaf.

The Apple Banana, like all of its relatives in the Musa genus does a great job of transpiration (putting humidity back into the area). A six foot specimen can easily transpire about a quart of water over a 24 hour period. And since the Apple Banana is such a quick grower, you won't have to wait long for a seedling to get to that size. These bananas work great as living humidifiers indoors during the winter. Try one and see.