Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ae ae bananas

TOG with one of his clumps of ae ae bananas
A few weeks ago, fellow blogger, TOG of Coral Gables, generously gave me a pup from one of his ae ae bananas. These huge, beautiful plants produce not only variegated leaves, but also fat, variegated fruit, which, TOG assures me, tastes wonderful, and can be treated as bananas or plantains, depending on their ripeness.

The ae ae comes from Hawaii and is difficult to grow anywhere on the mainland, although TOG has grown them successfully for 40 years. In fact, just after he gave me mine, folks from the Montgomery Botanical Center (closely related to Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens) were coming to get replacements for theirs that had died.

I was expecting a small pup, but I was given one that was about seven feet tall. TOG cut back the leaves to lessen the stress on the plant, and I planted it close to a coconut palm, where it seems to be quite happy. Fingers crossed it will survive and thrive!



My newly planted ae ae

9 comments:

Susan said...

What a generous friend. Good luck with your new banana. His are quite impressive.

Meems said...

Stunning bananas with variegated leaves. I haven't ever seen this type before... maybe because I've not been to Hawaii. Won't it be great to have something so unusual in your very own garden and to know it came from a friend! I hope it does well for you.
Meems

mr_subjunctive said...

I've never seen that sort of variegation on a banana before either. Pretty awesome.

NanaK said...

Very beautiful plant. I'm sure it will do well in your garden. Your friend sure has a lot of success with those bananas. Hope to hear a post about the fruit in the future!

Floridagirl said...

I saw this one a couple month's ago on Noel's Hawaii blog. It is so very beautiful! Not one I've seen around my part of Florida. From the photos, it looks like a huge banana; perhaps that's why the pup is so big. I love your pic of the frog and your leaning coconut palm. : )

Penny said...

@Susan: He is, indeed, very generous. I know if you lived in South Florida, he would let you have one. I also plan to post some more pix of his amazing plants.

@Meems: You should go! I lived halfway up Haleakala on Maui in 1980. It was truly breathtaking, and no tourists up there, either! It actually reminded me of rural England, would you believe. You really would love it there. (I'm sure Noel would agree!)

@Mr. S: Do I detect British genes? You have a very British sense of humor (humour)judging by your blog. :)

@Nana: Thanks. If I can do half as well, I shall be ecstatic!

@FG: I missed that post; I'll have to look for it, and pick his brains for more info.

Norma said...

What an unusual present Good Luck and Lots of Bananas
Norma Watson Ganmain NSW Australia

Penny said...

Hi, Norma. Thanks for stopping by. The ae ae would love Darwin and northern Queensland. I wonder if anyone is growing it there?

David, Melanie and family said...

Penny-
I love the Ae Ae banana tree! What a wonderful plant. I bet every leaf is unique. Just wait until you get some pups of your own. That will be an exciting moment. I remember when this plant sold for over a $100 a piece when it first came on the market. Sadly, Houston goes through such terrible dry periods that I can't afford the gallons of water it takes to keep the rare bananas happy. Musa 'rojo' or blood banana is another very cool one. I used to have it.
David /Tropical Texana