More kinds of bananas

small bananas with a teaspoon and coffee mug
Monkey bananas with a teaspoon and coffee mug

We have visited Cotters’ Market a few times in the last month and have been enjoying ‘monkey bananas’, always on sale there but rarely in shops, in consequence. As you can see from the photo, they look much like miniature Cavendish bananas (they are shorter and much slimmer than our sugar bananas, featured here with the same teaspoon and coffee mug). They don’t last so well, going from green to black in only three or four days, but they are good to eat while fresh, sweet and slightly acid with a smooth texture – although one is rarely enough.

Names of banana varieties are often problematic but I think I have this one worked out: its official name is Musa acuminata (AA Group) ‘Lady Finger’ and is a ‘Monkey Banana’ here but a ‘Lady Finger’ or ‘Sucrier’ elsewhere, a ‘Golden Banana’ (pisang mas) in Malaysia and an ‘Egg Banana’ in Thailand and Cambodia (kluai khai or chek pong moan respectively) (Sources: wikipedia ‘Lady Finger Banana‘ and this big list from Melbourne University, plus forums)

I don’t know whether I will ever grown them, since it appears that only a few varieties may be sold as plants and the monkey banana is not on the list. On the other hand, I now have a young Pisang Ceylan plant, a thoughtful Christmas gift bought from the Blue Sky stall at Cotters’. It is growing well in a pot and ready to be planted out once the wet season has come and gone and the new plant won’t be washed away before it establishes itself. Its first fruit may arrive in time for next Christmas.

4 thoughts on “More kinds of bananas”

  1. Pingback: Red Dacca Bananas
  2. I planted out the Pisang Ceylan yesterday, since the cyclone season is over and the wet season is, if not finished, at least well on its way out. It has been doing well in the bigger pot I put it in soon after Christmas and is about 750mm tall to the top of the trunk.

  3. Sue from Blue Sky bananas just emailed me to say:

    Hi Malcolm,
    I was googling banana varieties this morning, and came across your mention of us. Thank you! The regulations have all changed, and you can grow lots of other interesting varieties now. We’ve now got Senorita, Pisang Mas, Red Dacca, Pacific Plantain as well as all the usual varieties such as Ladyfinger, Goldfinger, Blue Java, Pisang Ceylan, Dwarf Ducasse and Cavendish!
    Regards, Sue Althaus
    Blue Sky Backyard Bananas

    I don’t carry advertisements on Green Path but I’m happy to pass on good news such as this from a local business.

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