banana Musaceae Musa
spp. L. symbol: MUSA2
Leaf: Very large, oval in outline, to 10 feet long and 2 feet wide, entire margins, splitting and becoming tattered by wind.
Flower: Emerging from the center of the plant stalk, initially upright and becoming pendant on long stalks, initially enclosed in a tear-drop-shaped red to purple husk, opening to reveal clustered white tube-shaped flowers, edible.
Fruit: A banana-shaped berry with leathery skin, usually maturing from green to yellow or red and then brown, from 2 to 12 inches, occuring in pandant large clusters called "hands", very edible.
Bark: Not present, actually composed of leaf stalk bases, green to brown.
Form: Palm-like and graceful, to 25 feet, with large arching leaves, usually with several upright "trunks" arising from one corm.
Additional Range Information: Musa spp. is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson