Musa textilis - Née
Common Name Abaca
Family Musaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A species of banana native to the Philippines, grown as a commercial crop in the Philippines, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
Range Southeast Asia - Philippines.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Full sun

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Musa textilis or commonly known as Abaca is a banana species native to the Philippines and is mainly cultivated for its fiber. It is evergreen and perennial, and grows about 4 - 6 m in height with a clump of large pseudo stems that can be up to 30 cm in diameter. It produces runners along the ground that take roots at each segment to form new plants. The leaves are dark green but light green on the the underside and oblong. The fruits are inedible containing irregular shaped seeds. Abaca fiber or commonly known as Manila hemp is the strongest of the natural fibers. It is highly durable and resistant to salt water damage. It is used in the paper industry and in handcrafts like bags, carpets, furniture, and clothing.

Musa textilis Abaca
Musa textilis Abaca
Jürgen Steger, Sachsenleinen GmbH
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Musa textilis is an evergreen Perennial growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. and are pollinated by Birds, Bats.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.

Musa abaca Perr. Musa amboinensis Miq. Musa mindanaensis Miq. Musa tikap Warb. Musa troglodytarum te

Edible Uses
None known
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.

None known


Other Uses
Other Uses The sclerenchym fibres of the leaf sheaths are used to make ropes for ships and nets that are resistant to salt-water[317 ]. The fibre is also used to make sacks, cloth etc[46 , 317 ]. In Japan it is used for making special paper for the construction of movable room walls[317 ]. With the advent of synthetic fibres, demand for this plant has been reducing, though it is becoming increasingly popular as a source of fibre for pulp[418 ].
Cultivation details
Industrial Crop: Fiber;  Management: Managed Multistem;  Minor Global Crop;  Other Systems: Multistrata.

A plant of the hot, humid tropics adapted to an average relative humidity of about 80%[418 ]. The present zone of successful cultivation lies within the latitudinal range 15°N and 5°S. In the Philippines it is usually grown in regions below 500 metres in elevations but it can be grown in the tropics at altitudes between sea level and 1100 metres[418 ]. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature falls within the range 20 - 29°c, but can tolerate 16 - 33°c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,800 - 3,000mm, tolerating 700 - 4,400mm[418 ]. Prefers a sunny position[418 ]. Plants can succeed in most humus-rich, fertile soils, so long as they are well-drained[418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, though it can tolerate 4.5 - 8[418 ]. Prefers a position sheltered from strong winds. A perennial plant, growing for 18 - 36 months years before first harvest and with a economical life of 6 - 15 years[418 ]. In the Philippines, the annual fibre yield ranges from 0.31 - 1.71 t/ha, while in Ecuador, yields are between 1.5 - 2.5 t/ha[418 ].
Seed - Division of suckers with a portion of the rhizome[200 ].
Other Names
Found In
Asia, Fiji, Hawaii, Pacific, Philippines*, SE Asia, USA,
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 : This taxon has not yet been assessed
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Ensete ventricosumEthiopian Banana, Abyssinian banana20
Musa acuminataDwarf Banana, Edible banana40
Musa balbisianaPlantain, Plantain Banana41
Musa basjooJapanese Banana22
Musa x paradisiacaBanana52
Musanga cecropioidesCorkwood34


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
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Subject : Musa textilis  

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