Musa velutina, pink banana seeds
Musa velutina belongs to the family of the Musaceae, the bananas. It also known as pink banana and is used as an ornamental plant in Europe. The pink banana is native to Africa and Asia, but occurs meanwhile also in America. M. velutina is one of the smallest bananas in the Musa group. It reaches a height of just 1,80 m. Due to that it is perfect suited for being planted into a container, to be kept inside the house. The trunk of the pink banana is a not a real trunk, it is built up of the leaf sheaths.
The leaves of the pink banana are light green and have a parallel venation. They get about 1 m long.
The flowers of M. velutina are surrounded by pink bracts to attract pollinators. They stand together in erect inflorescences. The fruits of the pink banana are also pink and longish ovate. They get 7,5 cm long. It can last up to 3 years until one can harvest fruits for the first time. The fruits are from the botanical view berries. They are pubescent. This has given the pink banana the additional name pink velvet banana.
The pulp is white. The fruits can be eaten but they include very hard seeds. One should be really carefully when eating a fruit to avoid a visit at the dentist. The seeds are small, round and hard- shelled.
The hard seeds of M. velutina should be roughened before planting. Therefore one can use sand paper or a rasp. After that treatment the seeds should be put into water for 12 h. As a substrate for the pink banana a mix of humus and rough sand is the best. At a temperature of about 23°C and constantly moist substrate, germination occurs after about 4 weeks. Sometimes it can take some more time until the first seedlings emerge. The pink banana is not winter hardy and should be put into the house over winter. A temperature of 10°C is best during winter. The pink banana will lose some of her leaves during this period, but they are rebuilt in spring.