Musa ornata – Flowering Banana

Musa ornata - Flowering Banana, Ornamental Banana (flowers)

Musa ornata - Flowering Banana, Ornamental Banana (flowers and green fruit)

Musa ornata - Flowering Banana, Ornamental Banana (fruit)

Musa ornata - Flowering Banana, Ornamental Banana

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Musa ornata

Common Names: Flowering Banana, Ornamental Banana

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

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.

Special Characteristics

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
Subclass: Zingiberidae
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Musaceae – Banana family
Genus: Musa L. – banana
Species: Musa ornata Roxb.