Friday, July 9, 2010

Hardy Banana Plant

While a lot of plants are looking withered due to lack of rain (check out the NC Drought Monitor Link located in the right hand column under 'Helpful Links'), there is one plant out at the Arboretum that brings a bit of the tropics to Pitt County.  It is the Japanese fiber banana - Musa basjoo.  It can be found in our Landscape for Wet Sites.  This area receives its water from roof runoff.  Even though there has been no rain lately, the hardy banana is doing well.  The current issue of  Extension Gardener  for the Coastal Plains region highlights this plant.  You can also check out some reviews of this plant at Dave's Garden website and see more pictures at the JC Raulston Arboretum site.  While any fruit produced by this plant is not edible, it can make quite a statement.  It does die back in the winter, but grows back faithfully each year reaching heights 10 feet or more.