The largest species of banana from the mysterious mountains of New Guinea

MUSA INGENS (World’s largest banana)

The plant species Musa ingens is the physically largest member of the family Musaceae. Musa ingens is native to the tropical montane rainforests throughout New Guinea, Indonesia, between abont 1300 and 2000 m elevation.

The pseudostem of Musa ingens is slightly swollen towards the base and covered in a whitish waxy layer. its leaves can reach a length of 5 meters and the trunk to at least 15 m tall, about a meter in diamater at the base and a total plant height of 20 m or more, it is the undisputed record holder for the largest and tallest of the bananas and the largest non-woody plaпt in the world.

It surely is one of the wonders of nature how an herbaceous plant growing from an underground rhizome and producing densely packed leaf beases can reach a size larger than many woody trees.

The large inflorescence can hold over 300 oblong fruits to 18cm long that are filled with blackish brown seeds and yellowish pulp that is edible, sweet and delicious. Few seeds have ever made it into cultivation in the past and most have perished before their time because they were handled incorrectly or picked immature.

Due to its highland habitat, it will not grow in tropical low land climates but succeed only at some altitude where nights are cooler, or in oceanic, warm temperate climates such as Portugal, northern New Zealand, coastal California, coastal southern Brazil or on Atlantic islands such as Madeira or the Canary Islands.

Germination is likely most successful in conditions similar to those in their natural habitat. In the case of Musa ingens, that is damp, with warm days and cool nights. They can not grow in deep shade. They are opportunistic plants with seeds that may lie in the soil for many years.

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