Musa ornata – Flowering Banana
Scientific Name: Musa ornata
Common Names: Flowering Banana, Ornamental Banana
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Hawaii Native Status: Cultivated. This ornamental garden plant is native to India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar (Burma).
Flower Color: Pink, Lavender
Height: Up to 9 feet (2.7 m) tall
Description: The inflorescences emerge from the tip of the plant and are erect, elongating, and have pink to lilac, petal-like bracts that open to reveal single rows of 3 to 6 deep yellow-orange, male or female flowers. The female flowers are the first to open on the young inflorescences. The male flowers open later after the fruit begins developing. Each row of female flowers produces an erect "hand" of 3 to 6 bananas. The bananas are small, greenish yellow to reddish purple, and contain numerous black seeds and creamy white flesh. The banana-like leaves have a sturdy midrib and are glaucous green, oblong, and up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long and 1 foot (30 cm) wide. The trunk-like pseudostems (formed by the tightly overlapping leaf sheaths) emerge from underground rhizomes and have a swollen base. The pseudostems die after flowering. The plants are suckering and form dense clumps.
The similar Hairy Banana (Musa velutina) also has upright inflorescences, but it has hairy fruit. Common bananas like Edible Banana (Musa acuminata) and French Plantain (Musa × paradisiaca) have drooping inflorescences.
Edible – The flesh of the ripe fruits is edible, but these bananas are very seedy and not worth the trouble to eat.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Family: Musaceae – Banana family
Genus: Musa L. – banana
Species: Musa ornata Roxb.