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Musa basjoo - Siebold.&Zucc.
Common Name Japanese Banana
Family Musaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range E. Asia - Japan.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full sun


Musa basjoo Japanese Banana

Musa basjoo Japanese Banana
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Musa basjoo is an evergreen Perennial growing to 3 m (9ft) by 2 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

M. japonica.

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Nectar.
Edible Uses:

The nectar of the flowers is sweet and drinkable[183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Sialagogue.

The roots are diuretic, febrifuge and sialagogue[147]. A decoction is used in the treatment of beriberi, constipation, jaundice, dropsy, restlessness due to heat, leucorrhoea and croton bean poisoning[147, 218]. The leaves are diuretic[218].


Other Uses

A fibre is obtained from the leaf stems[1, 11, 61]. Used for cloth, sails etc[46, 134]. The fibre can also be used for making paper[189] The leaves are harvested in summer and are soaked in water for 24 hours prior to cooking. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then beaten in a ball mill for 4½ hours before being made into paper[189].
Cultivation details
Industrial Crop: Fiber;  Management: Managed Multistem;  Regional Crop.

Requires a rich soil and a sunny sheltered position[11, 166, 200]. The large leaves are very easily torn by the wind[233]. This species is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain and even there will require protection in colder winters[1]. It thrives and fruits in south-western Britain[11, 59] where it survived the very severe winters of 1985 to 1987[K]. Plants are herbaceous and die down after flowering, forming new shoots from the roots. Cultivated in Japan as a fibre plant[11].
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse[134]. The seed usually germinates rapidly. Pre-soak stored seed for 72 hours in warm water, if it is still floating then it is not viable. Sow in a warm greenhouse in spring, planting one large seed in each pot. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 24 weeks at 22°c[134]. Grow the plants on in the greenhouse for at least 3 years before trying them outdoors. The seed remains viable for 2 years[134]. Removal of suckers as the plant comes into growth in spring.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Ensete ventricosumEthiopian Banana, Abyssinian banana20
Musa acuminataDwarf Banana, Edible banana20
Musa balbisianaPlantain, Plantain Banana41
Musa textilisAbaca00
Musa x paradisiacaBanana52
Musanga cecropioidesCorkwood34


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Botanical References
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Readers comment
Elizabeth Ann Rawden   Wed Aug 9 2006
very interesting, as I have fruiting six foot tall plant in my garden. Whole process an education to the grandchildren. June, July August, 2006, very hot & humid, producing very large leaves and four sets of small bananas. Many base plantlets.
   Mar 19 2014 12:00AM
I Live just outside Washington DC in Fort Washington MD, I border between zone 7a and 7B. I have had this wonderful plant in my yard for about 5 years now, it dies back to the ground each year. I always put a heavy mulch each winter and glad I did this year. This will be the hardest winter, I have my fingers crossed it will come back
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Subject : Musa basjoo  

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Edible Uses
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