Bananas you can grow

Tim Chapman
Tue, 29 Nov 2011 13:58:21 PST

There are Musa spp with true dry season dormancies such as the relatively new species M siamensis and some of its subgenera relatives.  Musella, now supposedly back to Ensete lasiocarpa is also winter dormant.  Other Ensete also have dry season dormancies. 

Tim Chapman

Ps if the banana book is hard to find I have some extra copies still in the original plastic that I got from stokes in a trade. 

On Nov 29, 2011, at 11:33 AM, "John Grimshaw" <> wrote:

> Apropos of Musa being a geophyte, which would normally be expected to have 
> an underground dormant phase, I would say that this pushes the boundaries of 
> the definition a bit, as in natural situations they are effectively 
> evergreen and ever-growing. Obviously some of the harder ones can survive 
> being defoliated by frost, but does this qualify them as geophytes? When I 
> was last in Tanzania (2009) my area was very hard-hit by a long drought and 
> established banana clumps were reduced to bare 'poles' with perhaps a few 
> tatty greenish leaves from the centre. I've no doubt that the clumps 
> survived, however, and are probably bearing now, so in climatic emergencies 
> the geophytic back-up plan works, but it's not the normal form of growth for 
> Musaceae.
> John Grimshaw
> Visit John Grimshaw's Garden Diary
> Dr. John M. Grimshaw
> Sycamore Cottage
> Colesbourne
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> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "James Waddick" <>
> To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 3:13 PM
> Subject: Re: [pbs] Bananas you can grow
>>> I am trying to buy a copy of "Bananas you can grow" by James Waddick
>>> and Glenn Stokes. I think James is a member of PBS.
>> Dear Shirley,
>> Finally a topic I can speak on with some expertise.
>> Please send me a private email to and I
>> can help you locate a cheaper copy.
>> When the book was published one reviewer (from the
>> Smithonian, no less) said it was "the best book available on growing
>> bananas.". Although humbled by his comments, this is a very small
>> competition and at the time was the ONLY book on the topic. True,
>> but....
>> Bananas, by the way, are quite suited to this forum as large
>> geophytes. My M. basjoo has been through a number of hard freezes and
>> the grove is in the process of dying down and going dormant for
>> winter. I have had a growing expanding grove here in the ground for a
>> decade and more. I'll soon add a thick layer of leaf mulch to protect
>> the underground rhizomes from temps down to -12  F (last year's low).
>> Once warm weather returns I can get 20 feet of spectacular tropical
>> growth in the summer season. It gives me warm thoughts just
>> contemplating it as the snow prospects are building by the day.
>> So while we are at it, does any one grow 'Musa 'Mekong Giant'
>> in a cold climate with success.
>> So Shirley and John, have any banana experiences to share?
>> Best Jim W.
>> -- 
>> Dr. James W. Waddick
>> 8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
>> Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
>> USA
>> Ph.    816-746-1949
>> Zone 5 Record low -23F
>> Summer 100F +
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