|Propagation:||From seeds and offsets|
|Adult size:||Up to 2 m (7 ft) inside; up to 7 m (23 ft) in the wild|
|Watering:||Let soil dry slightly before watering|
|Fertilization:||Potassium-rich during active growth|
|Toxicity:||Non-toxic; fruits are edible|
Musa acuminata (common name: Bananito) is a species of the genus Musa that originates from Southern Asia.
Unlike commonly thought, Musa acuminata and its relatives are not trees, but indeed herb-like plants, that grow large enough to adopt an arborescent form, due to the petioles of the leaves forming a dense pseudostem looking much like a tree trunk.
The plant produces large green leaves that easily get ripped when grown outside. It will grow to a maximum height of about 2 meters inside. It produces offsets as it gets older.
M. acuminata will enjoy fertilizers rich in potassium during active growth period - they actually require a pretty rich soil, so fertilization must be frequent during the growth season.
Full sun or at least four hours per day.
Pests and diseases
This plant needs a lot of water to grow, and frequent waterings should be expected.
M. acuminata is the only banana species to flower inside, given proper time and conditions. The inflorescence will be enormous, bent and give birth to purple bracts. The flower will produce short yellow or pink bananas, that are edible. The plant dies after bearing fruits; by then however, it has usually produced one or more offsets to replace it. M. acuminata is not season-dependent and may flower and fruit at any time of the year.
List of cultivars and history
The varieties "Dwarf Cavendish" and "Super Dwarf Cavendish" (a.k.a. Bananarama) are probably the most popular cultivars of the species. The two of these, come from the Cavendish banana commonly found in groceries, which itself is derived at least partially from M. acuminata. In fact, for a time, the species name was M. cavendishii, referring to the Dukes of Devonshire, the Cavendish family. The gardener of the family, Sir Joseph Paxton, named the species in the 18th century after receiving two specimen from Mauritius by a British resident there. The species became an instant hit and more plants were ordered from Mauritius; plants were brought to Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Australia, where it established itself as a major crop.