Chinese Yellow Banana – Identification

Q: I live in Griffin and we bought a house with this huge plant at my front door. I was wandering if you had an idea what it might be.

A: It took a trip to Tampa, Florida to get the ID. My friend Tom Wichman is Master Gardener coordinator for Florida and he has seen lots of “banana-like” tropical plants.

Although I first thought this could be a ginger and another friend theorized that it could be bird-of-paradise, Tom says it is Chinese yellow banana, Musella lasiocarpa.

Gardeners on the Internet report that it grows as far north as Kentucky.

It’s not really a banana but the leaves are quite similar. The yellow protuberances at ground level may open into a lotus-like bloom in some years if you have a warm winter.

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