The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Japanese Banana
Musa basjoo is a Evergreen Perennial up to 3.00 metres tall.
It has edible, medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
E. Asia - Japan.
Requires a rich soil and a sunny sheltered position[
]. The large leaves are very easily torn by the wind[
This species is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain and even there will require protection in colder winters[
]. It thrives and fruits in south-western Britain[
] where it survived the very severe winters of 1985 to 1987[
Plants are herbaceous and die down after flowering, forming new shoots from the roots.
Cultivated in Japan as a fibre plant[
The nectar of the flowers is sweet and drinkable[
The roots are diuretic, febrifuge and sialagogue[
]. A decoction is used in the treatment of beriberi, constipation, jaundice, dropsy, restlessness due to heat, leucorrhoea and croton bean poisoning[
The leaves are diuretic[
A fibre is obtained from the leaf stems[
]. Used for cloth, sails etc[
]. The fibre can also be used for making paper[
] The leaves are harvested in summer and are soaked in water for 24 hours prior to cooking. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then beaten in a ball mill for 4½ hours before being made into paper[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse[
]. The seed usually germinates rapidly. Pre-soak stored seed for 72 hours in warm water, if it is still floating then it is not viable. Sow in a warm greenhouse in spring, planting one large seed in each pot. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 24 weeks at 22°c[
]. Grow the plants on in the greenhouse for at least 3 years before trying them outdoors. The seed remains viable for 2 years[
Removal of suckers as the plant comes into growth in spring.