A noteworthy banana: Japanese banana

The Japanese banana (Musa basjoo) is also known as Japanese Banana, Japanese Fibre Banana or even Hardy Banana. The species name basjoo is derived from the Japanese word basho (‘banana’). The name Japanese banana begs the question where it originated because all ancient bananas species used to grow in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia.

[Image: www.babanasraras.org]
For a long time it was thought that the Japanese banana originated from the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, the arc of islands stretching from the southern tip of Japan to Taiwan, where it was first described in cultivation. New research has made it clear that the Japanese banana must have originated from southern China, where it is still widely cultivated. Wild populations (formerly known as Musa lushanensis, Musa luteola and Musa dechangensis) can still be found in China’s southern Sichuan province[1].

The banana fruit formed are yellow-green, around 5 to 10 centimeters in length and 2 to 3 centimeters broad. They are considered non-edible because of the abundance of black seeds and the sparse white pulp.
The Japanese banana is best known for its ability to withstand frost. For that reason this species has been cultivated widely as an ornamental plant, at first in Japan and from the late 19th century, in other parts of the world.

[1] Ai-Zhong Liu et al: Taxonomic notes on wild bananas (Musa) from China in Botanical Bulletin- Academia Sinica Taipei - 2002. Document here

No comments:

Post a Comment