Here's my first Dwarf Jamaican Red banana flowering under way. It's February 2014, it was in my plastic house, and it was being watched with much interest.
Banana Plants for Sale [Note well: do read the explanations just below this!]
Musa species and varieties: Bananas
In early 2008 there were about 60 different sorts to view at Nestlebrae South. I could propagate just about any of them to your order. The ones that I tried to keep in stock were the most interesting, or the most ornamental, or the best fruiting ones for NZ based on our experience. I no longer have access to that banana collection.
From early 2014 I was able to able to offer bananas for sale again, but it is from a very limited selection as compared with earlier times. The numbers available are very small, but I will try to help, depending entirely on the growth habits of the individual bananas. The small ornamentals are known, but the labels on the various edibles suffered an unfortunate fate between 2011 and 2014, and I mostly can't identify which is which now. All I can say is that the plants are separated from each other, and distinct. If they are edible, then I stress that I only brought the better eating ones here to this property. If you buy plants from me I can promise that they have been well tested by my family, and by customers, over many, many years. It's just that I can't name most of them!
Sizes, and getting your banana plants
Mostly I don't have plants in plastic bags and potting mix for sale. Often, depending on the season and the growth of the individual clumps, I can supply suckers with a small amount of root growth for you to plant and grow for yourself. (Guidance on how to do it is available- just ask me.)
In any case, full size bananas in PB40s become very large and then are too expensive to try shipping them via a courier. Please enquire
further -- you can email me by clicking here. Occasionally I have bagged plants available. Or you can commission me to produce one or more for you in the warm months. Otherwise it's rooted suckers when available.
Ornamental bananas, some relatively new
I also have several ornamentals grown by a friend who has done some importing of seeds. I have put two of them right at the end of this list below.
Musa acuminata ssp. sumatrana (syn. Musa zebrina)
Slender stems to 3m, and leaves heavily marked with irregular claret blotches. Very ornamental. Colour disappears during our cool winters and returns with increasing warmth from mid-spring onwards. The photos show colours have fully returned by the start of December. The leaf backs are a wonderful solid burgundy. The dramatic patterning is all on the leaf fronts.
Musa coccinea (syn. Musa uranoscopos)
No common name
Ornamental species from Indochina, grown for its gorgeously vibrant, bright scarlet inflorescence. If the flower stalk is cut, then it will last at least three weeks in a vase with water. As good as any Heliconia, especially any Heliconia outdoors in Aotearoa. It's a dwarf, growing up to about 2m+ outdoors, so it's easy to tuck in amongst other plants.
Musa cv. 'Dwarf Jamaican Red' [AAA]
Dwarf Jamaican Red
Very beautiful red stems and leaf center ribs make it full of ornamental potential. But, it's heat demanding. NZ seems too cool for it to fruit well, or to grow really vigorously outdoors, but again it's performed in a suntrap in Thames (and maybe elsewhere?). I am now trying it outdoors again here in the Far North. The bananas are small, even from under plastic, somewhat darker in flesh colour, and with a different flavour that is typical of the Indian subcontinental types that I've grown before. The fruit go yellow on the skin as they mature, but some red was left on mine.
Musa cv. 'Hamoa' (Silk/Sugar type [AAB])
It's unclear what the origin of this name is -- it's a 'Silk' banana type, and quite possibly 'Apple' under another name, with similar virtues and vices. That is, thin skin (which may split near ripening); a bit more mild astringency if not fully ripe than some other cultivars; and different texture- an attractive fruit with nice flavour, and not just a repetition of most other common cultivars in NZ. Worth having for variety if you already have Australian Lady Finger types.
Musa cv. 'Pacha nadaan' [AAB]
An improved Australian Lady Finger type. Good bunch size, and fruit flavour like commercial fruit. Bred for cool tolerance and wind resistance (ie, in Australian conditions).
Musa cv. 'Paka'
Given to me by an acquaintance as the Samoan variety called 'Paka', this provides medium bunches with nice tasting fruit. It's one of the ones whose fruit we sold readily at weekend markets.
Musa cv. 'Pisang Awak' (syn. 'Ducasse' [ABB])
The most common variety in Thailand, and popular in northern India and Malaysia. Does well in NZ, and, despite its origins, has a bit more vigour under cool conditions than most good edible bananas.
Musa cv. 'Samoan Large'
I'm not sure of the true name of this variety, but we were given it as 'Samoan Large'. It's different to anything else that we had at Nestlebrae South. Whichever cultivar it actually is, there is no doubt that it performs well for me. It's vigorous as a plant, the bunches are not huge, but are fairly good, and the bananas are quite fat by NZ standards, and they eat well.
No common name
A small species (to 2m) from Assam and northeast Indian. Yellow flowers on an erect pink-red inflorescence. Stems are red-black, and the leaves can show a burgundy-pink underside sheen. A really good subtropical ornamental for the warm garden.
Musa ornata var. violacea
No common name
Bluish leaf tones, with a burgundy sheen at times, and powdery white on new leaf stems. A very beautiful pale violet flower.
No common name
A dwarf ornamental banana, now sometimes seen in subtropical NZ gardens, with striking pinkish flowers and fruit. Clumps rise up to 2 to 2.5m tall.
Musa mannii x Musa ornata cv Royal Purple
This one has a really quite robust flower, stronger than most M. velutina flowers, which it otherwise somewhat resembles. Come to think of it, 'Mike Tyson' mightn't be a bad name for it! The new leaves show interesting patterning on the underneath, although this seems to fade with time.
Musa ornata pink flowered seedling
This one is like a rather delicate version of M. violacea crossed with M. velutina, with plenty of stems and flowers so far. In the well populated group of M. ornata variants or hybrids.