The banana plant is of the easiest possible culture; a rough, rich loam, an abundance of water, heat and room to grow, are all that are required. Occasionally we see a bunch of M. Cavendishii in our northern hothouses, and if I had the chance of some millionaires I would raise my own bananas. That would be as reasonable as Levi P. Morton producing his own cream, which costs him the same price as his champagne.
To those who have only tasted the bananas picked green in the West Indies and ripened in the hold of a vessel or heated warehouse and finished off in the sleeping apartment of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the fresh yellow fruit ripened on the plant is as Mr. Morton's Jersey cream to a very thin sample of skim milk. You are not, however, likely to embark in the banana industry, and as our government will soon own a large part of the world suitable to their culture we will leave that to the new office which will be known as " Secretary of the Tropical Fruit and Tattooing Department."
Musa ensete, from Abyssinia, and M. superba, from the East Indies, make very ornamental plants for the subtropical garden and for specimens on the lawn. You can raise them from seed, or buy young plants at a very low cost. They should always be planted out where a good, fast growth is wanted.
Though tropical plants, you can store them during winter in a cool house with little water, or they can be lifted, the ground shaken off the roots and laid under a bench, or they will keep in a root-house or cellar when not below 40 degrees, but 50 degrees is better.
In sheltered places they make fine specimens on a lawn with their broad, tropical leaves, especially M. ensete, but in windy places their leaves rip and tear, giving the plant a very ragged appearance.