Musa balbisiana or commonly known as Plantain is a native to eastern South Asia, northern Southeast Asia, and souther China. It is a perennial plant that reaches a height of around 6 m, with pseudo stems of up to 30 cm in base diameter. The leaves are upright and in clumps. The flowers are red to maroon. The fruits are pale yellow and inedible when raw due to its numerous seeds. It is cooked when ripe. The underground stem can be eaten as a vegetable. The inner stem and male flower clusters are used in curries. The fruit also has medicinal properties but no detailed information was provided. The leaves can be used as food wrapper or as plates. The stem yields fiber and the whole plant yields dye. Plantain can be propagated by division.
Musa balbisiana is an evergreen Perennial growing to 5 m by 3 m at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Birds, Bats. It is noted for attracting wildlife. Suitable for: light , medium and heavy soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils. It can grow in semi-shade or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.
Forests, on forest edges, in ravines and on water sides.
A plant of the humid tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,200 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 23 - 28°c, but can tolerate 16 - 38°c. Mature growth can be killed by temperatures of 8°c or lower, whilst young growth can be killed at 12°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,300 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 5,000mm. Prefers a position in full sun or light shade. Succeeds in most moderate to fertile soils that are well-drained. Requires a position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, tolerating 4.5 - 7.5. Flowering Time: Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall. Bloom Color: Fuchsia . Spacing: 36-48 in. 4-6 ft. 6-8 ft. .