Many people are familiar with the banana tree (Musa) from exotic trips and holidays, since they grow everywhere in hot regions, from Tenerife to Indonesia and from Thailand to Mexico. Although it’s called a banana tree, what looks like a trunk is actually overlapping widened leaf stems which together create the apparent trunk of this perennial plant.
The range of banana trees is limited. The most common varieties are Musa ‘ Dwarf Cavendish’ and Musa ‘Tropicana’. Most banana trees are offered as dwarf banana trees, and their size also makes them suitable for the living room. All plants are characterised by the large, smooth-edged leaves, often with a slightly wavy edge. There are sometimes darker markings on the leaf which further enhance the decorative value. With hardy bananas it’s useful to know that only the rhizome is properly hardy, and the aboveground parts are sensitive to frost.