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Plant Informational Database

Yunnan Banana

Musa yunnanensis

A newly described banana species (in 2006), similar to Musa itinerans, but distinct in its cold hardiness. Mostly known as an ornamental, it does bear 3" fruits, but little information is available about their eating quality. Still quite rare and highly desirable.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.


A beautiful banana growing up to 20-25 feet. Features huge, long leaves that grow to several feet. New leaves have red coloration on their undersides.


Exact hardiness is unknown. It may be close to as hardy as Musa basjoo, and has reportedly tolerated temperatures down to 10F. Upon freezing weather the plant will die back to its base, but quickly grows back once weather warms up.

Growing Environment

Grows well in humid environments, but is suitable in most gardens during warmer months provided regular water. Grow in shade or filtered sun. Intense, direct sun can damage the leaves.


By seeds or offshoots.


Sought after as an ornamental and for its cold tolerance. There are relatively few banana's that survive outdoors outside of the tropics.

Native Range

Native to Yunnan, China near the Mekong river at elevations up to 5000 feet. There may be some subspecies native to a broader area, but the taxonomy remains to be cleared up and exploration of this species continues.

Related Species

Musa velutina
Pink-Fruited Banana
Musa yunnanensis
Yunnan Banana