The Banana (Musa sapientum) is tropical and its cultivation on a commercial scale is carried on extensively in the West Indies, Central America, and Mexico. But in a small way, as combined ornamental and fruit-bearing plants, it is grown in South Florida, in Texas as far north as San Antonio, and in South Arizona and California. Amateurs who wish to grow fruit at San Antonio and at other points cut off the large leaves, wrap the stems with gunny-sacks, and mulch the crowns with raked-up leaves. Treated in this way new foliage usually starts in the spring early enough for developing flower-buds and fruit. But it often happens in milder winters that the foliage is held in South Florida, extreme Southern Louisiana, Southwest Texas, and South Arizona and California.

Varieties Of The Banana

Chamba (Hart's Choice)

Quite large, six inches long, straw yellow in color; skin soft and thin. Flesh delicate in flavor, very good. A leading variety in Florida, Louisiana, Southwest Texas, South Arizona, and California.

Chinese Dwarf (Musa Cavendishii)

Small, four to five inches long, by one and one-half inches in diameter; yellow, slightly curved. Flesh delicate and fragrant. This is a low grower and stands more cold than most other species. A leading species from Lower Florida to South California.

Japanese (Musa Japonica)

Bunch compact; thirty to sixty fruits, oblong pointed, narrowed at base; quality fair if ripened indoors after picking. The hardiest species with edible fruit.

Orinoco

This is a variety of the common banana (Musa sapientum). It is one of the hardiest and is much grown from Florida west to South California for combined ornament and fruit production. The bunches and fruits are medium size and fairly good in quality if ripened on the plant.