But now that I have a greenhouse, I've been thinking about all sorts of tropical possibilities I would never have considered before. Besides, as many bananas as my kids eat, I should start a banana plantation. With visions of large yellow bunches of bananas ripening in my backyard, I bought a Dwarf Cavendish, a "Red" banana (Musa acuminata rojo), and an Ensete ventricosum. I really should have done my research first. It turns out that the Ensete is also known as the "false banana" for its resemblance to true bananas (genus Musa). While its starchy roots are a staple food in many African and Asian countries, it doesn't produce edible fruit. The "Red" banana is a true banana in the genus Musa, but it is an ornamental, and doesn't produce a tasty fruit.
Only one of my plants, the Dwarf Cavendish, produces a sweet banana most of us would recognize. In fact, the Dwarf Cavendish is the most widely grown banana on the planet, and is often called the 'Red Delicious' of bananas for its ubiquitousness. Oh well, I guess one out of three isn't too bad. I'll just have to take the others back. I just wish I had figured it out before I bumped them all up to 10-gallon pots. Live and learn. As well as banana plants seem to grow around here, if I can keep mine nice and toasty in the greenhouse, I should be harvesting my first hand as early as next year.