Musa acuminata

Botanical Name :Musa acuminata
Family: Musaceae
Genus: Musa
Species: M. acuminata
Kingdom: Plantae
clade: Angiosperms
clade: Monocots
clade: Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales

Common Name :Wild banana

Habitat :Musa acuminata is  native to Southeast Asia.(E. Asia – Southern China, India, Malaysia and the Phillipines.) It grows in Shaded and moist ravines, marshlands, semi-marshlands and slopes from near sea level to 1200 metres.

Description:
Musa acuminata are perennial herbs (not trees) growing to 3m. The trunk (known as the pseudostem) is made of tightly packed layers of leaf sheaths emerging from completely or partially buried corms.

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The inflorescence of Musa acuminata grows horizontally or obliquely from the trunk. The individual flowers are white to yellowish-white in color and are negatively geotropic (that is, growing upwards and away from the ground). Both male and female flowers are present in a single inflorescence. Female flowers located near the base (and develop into fruit), and the male flowers located at the tipmost top-shaped bud in between leathery bract
The rather slender fruits are berries, the size of each depends on the number of seeds they contain. Each fruit can have 15 to 62 seeds. Each fruit bunch can have an average of 161.76 ± 60.62 fingers with each finger around 2.4 cm (0.94 in) by 9 cm (3.5 in) in size.

The seeds of Musa acuminata are around 5 to 6 mm (0.20 to 0.24 in) in diameter. They are subglobose or angular in shape and very hard. The tiny embryo is located at the end of the micropyle. Each seed of Musa acuminata typically produce around four times its size in edible starchy pulp (the parenchyma, the portion of the bananas we eat), around 0.23 cm3 (0.014 cu in). The ratio increases dramatically for the ‘seedless’ modern edible cultivars. The much reduced in size and sterile seeds are now surrounded by 23 times its size in edible pulp. The seeds themselves are reduced to tiny black specks along the central axis of the fruit

It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a sunny sheltered position in a well-drained fertile soil with a pH between 6 and 7.5. This species is able to tolerate light frosts, but it requires a very sheltered position. Another report says that it requires a minimum winter temperature of 10°c and no lower than 18°c when the fruit is ripening. Wild plants are diploid (2n = 22) and bear fruits containing numerous seeds making them inedible. Cultivated plants are triploid (2n = 33) and bear seedless, edible fruits; such plants have been called M. acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ (M. cavendishii Lambert ex Paxton; M. chinensis Sweet; M. nana Loureiro).

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.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit.

Fruit – raw or dried for later use. Sweet. The fruit is up to 12cm long and 2.5cm wide.

Medicinal Uses :
Banana Lectin BanLec linked to anti-cancer and anti-HIV properties.

Bananas have been present in our diets since long time ago, they are rich in potassium, a mineral that plays a very important role in mass bone formation and regulation of blood pressure, magnesium, selenium, phosphorous, iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc (very important to regulate sleep cycles and enhance male reproductive functions)…etc.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Musa+acuminata

http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week022.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musa_acuminata

http://www.herbcyclopedia.com/index.php?option=com_zoo&task=tag&tag=Musa%20acuminata%20Colla&app_id=5&Itemid=193

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