Musa velutina is a species of banana native to northeast India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and southwestern China. It is commonly known as the pink banana or the hairy banana, due to its pink inflorescence and the velvety hairs on its pseudostems. The fruit of Musa velutina is small, about 3-4 inches long, and has a bright pink skin with soft, sweet, and flavorful flesh. While it is not widely cultivated for commercial use, it is a popular ornamental plant in gardens and landscaping due to its striking appearance.
Musa velutina, the hairy banana or pink banana, is a diploid species of wild banana. These plants are originally from Assam and the eastern Himalayas.
The fruits are 3 in (8 cm) long, pink, and fuzzy. They are borne on erect flower stalks with a pink inflorescence. Musa velutina flowers at a young age, doing so within a year. The fruits peel back when ripe.
It is often grown as an ornamental plant, but has soft, sweet flesh that can be eaten. The seeds are quite tough and can chip a tooth. To sow, first soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours. They should be planted in fine compost and kept at a constant temperature of 20°-24 °C (68 to 75.2F) with full natural light. They take up to around 6 months to germinate.
Plants may be placed outside during warmer months but should be taken into a conservatory or greenhouse or given other protection in winter. Musa velutina has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Species: Musa velutina H. Wendl. & Drude