Musa basjoo

English: Japanese Banana, Japanese Fiber Banan...

English: Japanese Banana, Japanese Fiber Banana or Hardy Banana (Musa basjoo) in Kew Gardens. Magyar: Musa basjoo a Királyi Botanikus Kertekben. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Botanical Name :Musa basjoo
Family: Musaceae
Genus: Musa
Species: M. basjoo
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms:  Musa : japonica – Thiéb.&Ketel.

Common Name: Japanese Banana, Japanese Fibre Banana or Hardy Banana

Habitat :Musa basjoo  was previously thought to have originated from the Ryukyu islands of Japan, from where it was first described in cultivation, but is now known to have originated from southern China, where it is also widely cultivated, with wild populations found in Sichuan province.It grows well in Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds.

Description:
Musa basjoo is a herbaceous perennial with trunk-like pseudostems growing to around 2–2.5 metres (6.6–8.2 ft), with a crown of mid-green leaves growing up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) long and 70 centimetres (28 in) wide when mature. The species produces male and female flowers on the same inflorescence which may extend for over 1 metre (3.3 ft). The banana fruit formed are yellow-green, around 5–10 centimetres (2.0–3.9 in) long and 2–3 centimetres (0.79–1.2 in) broad; they are inedible, with sparse white pulp and many black seeds.

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It is hardy to zone 8. It is in leaf all year. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)
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 cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
Requires a rich soil and a sunny sheltered position. The large leaves are very easily torn by the wind. This species is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain and even there will require protection in colder winters. It thrives and fruits in south-western Britain  where it survived the very severe winters of 1985 to 1987. Plants are herbaceous and die down after flowering, forming new shoots from the roots. Cultivated in Japan as a fibre plant

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse. The seed usually germinates rapidly. Pre-soak stored seed for 72 hours in warm water, if it is still floating then it is not viable. Sow in a warm greenhouse in spring, planting one large seed in each pot. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 24 weeks at 22°c. Grow the plants on in the greenhouse for at least 3 years before trying them outdoors. The seed remains viable for 2 years. Removal of suckers as the plant comes into growth in spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Nectar.

The nectar of the flowers is sweet and drinkable.

Medicinal Uses:

Diuretic; Febrifuge; Sialagogue.

The roots are diuretic, febrifuge and sialagogue. A decoction is used in the treatment of beriberi, constipation, jaundice, dropsy, restlessness due to heat, leucorrhoea and croton bean poisoning. The leaves are diuretic.

In Chinese medicines, physicians use root stem, flower, leaves, rhizome of Musa basjoo for clearing heat-toxin, quenching thirst and disinhibiting urine.

Other Uses
Fibre.

A fibre is obtained from the leaf stems. Used for cloth, sails etc. The fibre can also be used for making paper The leaves are harvested in summer and are soaked in water for 24 hours prior to cooking. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then beaten in a ball mill for 4½ hours before being made into paper.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musa_basjoo

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

http://aquiya.sakura.ne.jp/zukan/Musa_basjoo.html

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