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Musa Basjoo banana trees thrive in Kentucky - and farther north

GARDENING: The plants grow tall and bear fruit - but not for food. Plants, advice on growing them will be available at the Farmers Market on the Square, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY, on Saturday, June 7, 2014, 8am-1pmCT
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Special to ColumbiaMagazine.com

Bananas growing in Kentucky is not something you see every day and when you do you can bet that some gardener devotes a lot of time to them. Until now.

Musa Basjoo is a cold hardy banana that is native to the Ryuku Islands near Japan. It can be grown directly in the ground year round as far north as Canada.


This is a large, fast-growing plant that grows to 6-14' tall and even taller given the right conditions.

Gardeners grow these plants not for their fruit (which is small, green and inedible) but for their ornamental foliage which lends an exotic and tropical look to the landscape.

Trees produce huge paddle-shaped leaves that grow to 2' wide and to 6' long. Creamy yellow flowers may appear in summer on mature plants to be followed by inedible green fruit.

Master Gardener Barbara Armitage will have Musa Basjoo Banana Trees at Farmers Market on the Square on Saturday and will answer questions about growing banana trees or other landscape plants at her Tucker Station Farms booth at the Farmers Market on the Square, Adair Annex Parking Lot, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY, 8am-1pmCT, Saturday, June 7, 2014.


This story was posted on 2014-06-06 07:17:20
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A cold-hardy banana tree for Adair County



2014-06-06 - 1535 Bull Run Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Barbara Armitage. Wayne Armitage stretches to his full height in front of a towering Musa Basjoo banana tree at Tucker's Station farms. The tree is native to the Ryuku Islands near Japan. It can be grown directly in the ground year round, here in South Central Kentucky and even as far north as Canada. This one appears to be about the maximum height the plant is known to grow, about 14 feet. Barbara Armitage will have them available Saturday, June 7, 2014, at the Farmers Market on the Square, which is held each Saturday, 8am-1pmCT, in the Adair Annex Parking Lot, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY.
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Musa Basjoo banana tree flower buds grow 10 inches or more



2014-06-06 - 1535 Bull Run Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Barbara Armitage. Science fiction stuff? - "With flower buds reaching 10 inches or more in length the bloom on the Musa Basjoo reminds me of something you might see in a science fiction movie rather than in a southern garden," Barabara Armitage, who cultivates the trees at Tucker's Station Farms, says.
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