What Kind Of Japanese Banana Did I Purchase?

Filed Under: Vegetables, Fruit Plants · Keywords: Japanese Banana, Purple, Leaves, Medicinal · 1589 Views
Recently I had purchased a Japanese Banana, had purple leaves and looks like an ear of corn. I was told by the grocer that it tastes like a regular banana, but have read that it is for medicinal purposes and used for folliage and not edible.
Please let me know more about this vegetable/fruit.

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3 Answers

Answer #3 · Gardenality.com's Answer · From your description of this banana plant, it could be the Red Leaf Banana (Musa ensete Maurelii), also known as Red Abyssinian. These decorative banana plants grow thick trunks and gigantic dark purple leaves. The fruit is inedible. I've uploaded a picture of this variety. Let us know if this is it.

Also, here's a link to the Gardenality Plant File:


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Answer #2 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Jessica-The Japanese Banana (Musa basjoo) is also known as the Japanese Fibre Banana or Hardy Banana. This banana wouldn't be sold by a grocer as far as I know.
The banana fruit formed are yellow-green, around 2 to 4 inches long and 1.5 inches broad; they are inedible, with sparse white pulp and many black seeds.

In gardens it is used as a hardy 'tropical foliage' plant. In its home range in Japan, where it is thought to have been imported from China, the fibres of the plant are used to produce textiles known in Japanese as bashofu ( "banana cloth"). In Chinese medicines, physicians use root stem, flower, leaves, rhizome of Musa basjoo for clearing heat-toxin, quenching thirst and disinhibiting urine.

I will continue to research one that might be sold in grocery stores that may have a reddish colored leaf that is named the Japanese banana.


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Answer #1 · Gardenality.com's Answer · Hi Jessica,

I'm not sure which Japanese Banana you are talking of. The regular bananas that you can eat are in the Japanese Banana family. Many different cultivars. Some have purple or reddish foliage, some have green foliage, and some have both purple/reddish and green foliage.

Are you saying in your above question that the fruit looks like an ear of corn? Or is it the foliage that looks similar to a corn plant?

Brooks Wilson))

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