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Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
Welcome to our exotic world of everlasting summers and tropical rainforests!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Musella lasiocarpa - A Chinese Dwarf Banana That Looks Like a Lotus


This is no April Fool's Day joke! This plant is not a true banana but a relative of the banana. The erect yellow flowers looks like a golden lotus which is a sacred flower in Buddhism. Sometimes, it is marketed as an auspicious Chinese New Year plant. The foliage is grey-green in colour. The plant is only about 3-4 ft tall.


In its native place, it grows high in the mountains up to 2,500 m (abut 8,000 ft) above sea level. For more information, visit San Marcos Growers and Wikipedia.

The flowers can last a few months.

“Musella lasiocarpa - A Chinese Banana That Looks Like a Lotus”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on April 1st, 2011.



Scientific name: Musella lasiocarpa
Common name: Chinese dwarf banana, golden lotus banana
Family: Musaceae
Category: Perennial herb, ornamental plant
Native and endemic to: Yunnan, China

The foliage is grey-green. In the picture above, the burgundy wine coloured foliage belongs to another species. I photographed this specimen at Floria 2010.

Growing requirements:
Full sun to partial shade. Avoid windy areas as it's leaves may get shreded. It will start to flower after about 2-5 years. Propagation is from seeds. To get them to sprout, one trick is to suck it in your mouth for a few minutes. The enzyme in your saliva helps to break the outer protective cover. Next, soak the seeds before planting in moist, loose soil. Keep in a humid area. It is expected to germinate in about 3 weeks. Cold hardiness Zone 6-11.

This is my entry for Fertilizer Friday this week, grateful thanks to Tootsie for hosting it here.

35 comments:

  1. Really lovely and unusual plant. Some of the exotic plants are really fascinating but unfortunately won't grow in my area.
    Cher
    Goldenray Yorkies

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  2. Cher, Theane, Happy Morning!

    I read that this banana is suitable for temperate climate.

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  3. It looks like banana, but is not a banana.

    Sound so familiar.

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  4. Rainfield, hahaha!

    Yes, Yes! It looks like a banana, smells like a banana?, maybe it's a banana but it is not!

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  5. Lolz at rainfield61 comment..korek3 haha. Whoa great to know got a distant relative so close to a lotus with flowers lasting for few months phew! Nice info. tQ.

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  6. Bananaz, Yeah, this banana has yellow flowers to match our common yellow banana fruits. You wanna add to your collection?

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  7. AB, Smells like a banana, looks like a banana but may not be a banana. A disgustingly familiar quote. Ha!

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  8. I'd never seen this plant so looked it up. Because it's so closely related to the banana it's illegal to grow them where I live (in case of transmitting disease to banana crops) so I will have to be content with seeing your beautiful plants.

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  9. Oh what an unusual plant. Can we make ulam from that banana;-).

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  10. Just what I needed this snowy morning, a sparkly yellow beauty facing me from the screen. Thank you, it's just lovely. Visit your page is even better now when I suffer from starvation, no flowers in sight outside.
    Have a nice weekend :)

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  11. The yellow ornamental banana is beautiful, it's just that the dehiscing parts seem to be unruly. It can be planted near the pink and violet and they will be very beautiful. I still havent seen it.

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  12. I have never seen this plant! It's indeed beautiful!

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  13. Well fool me you did,now that's one cool non banana ..lol Happy April fools day and hugs from Savannah, Cherry

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  14. Look like a banana but not? Thant means we cant even rebus this flower and eat with sambal belacan?

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  15. Very interesting plant! Have not seen anything like this before. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  16. Are they of the same variety as the purple ones in your photo? The purple ones are more familiar. Thanks for sharing . Interesting indeed.
    Rosie

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  17. One, Missy, Lotusleaf, Diana, Mia, Andrea, Kanak, Cherry, P3Chandan, Kitchen Flavours, Rosie.

    Thank your very much for the visit.

    I read from the internet that this plant has caused some problems for taxonomists as to classify it into which of the 3 genera (Musa, Musella, Ensete) in the family of Musaceae. Usually, if it is a banana, it will be classified under Musa.

    So, this Chinese Dwarf Banana is not a banana!

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  18. Rosie, the purple banana is Musa velutina, an ornamental banana.

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  19. A very cool looking flower and it's can last for months? BONUS!

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  20. What a lovely exotic flower Autumn. Just to let you know that blog that was coping my work and lots of other people work has disappeared. I hope it is gone forever.

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  21. How beautiful. Such a treat to see the different flowers that are grown in other parts of our world. Beautiful!!

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  22. Thank you for posting about such an unusual plant. I enjoyed reading about it and looking at your pictures, even though there is no chance I can grow it myself!

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  23. Your photos are beautiful. Such an interesting plant.

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  24. I don't use beautiful to describe it, i say it is yummy! Your video makes me pening... hahaha

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  25. Autumn Belle,

    Do you know where can I purchase this plant? would love one in my garden

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  26. Yeah yeah yeah you are so smart to read my mind haha. Was just wishing and thinking how nice if...with your kind permission shall add the pretty distance relative into my next headmast..tQvm~;).

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  27. Darla, Yes, it can last for many months, hence it is excellent as cut flower for the vase.

    Melanie, I’m so glad that copycat blog has been removed and I too wish that it is gone forever, Yay!

    Wsprsweetly of Cottages, Mel Cole, Clipped Wings,
    Welcome to My Nice Garden! Thank you very much for the nice comments.

    Masha, well, maybe you can grow it since the plant come from the cold climate mountains but you may not be able to find the seeds. If your friend is growing, can ask for a ‘baby’ plant.

    Milka, you are right. Now that I have looked at the video a few times and seeing the way they repeat the flower picture many many times, my kepala also pening – dizzy like going to have vertigo, so I’ll remove it soon.

    Aida, as I know, it may be available during the Chinese New Year season when growers bring them in and market them as auspicious plants. Having said that I haven’t seen any in the Malaysian market yet. There are websites that sells the seeds, but it is not easy to grow from banana seeds.

    Chandramouli S – This flower motif will look nice in your art and handicraft.

    Bananaz, Yes! You have my permission to use the picture. But wait! I have more nice bananas coming soon ;>)

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  28. Beautiful bloom! It looks like lotus indeed!

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  29. WWWWOOOOOOWWWWW!!! I thought the other post was gorgeous!! I really want one of everything you share...especially the bananas!

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  30. yellow banana flower - truly rare. The red tainted foliage truly give a lot of colour in the collection.

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  31. Malar, Tootsie, more bananas coming soon!

    James, the wine red coloured foliage belongs to another species of banana. This one has green foliage.

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