Snow Banana
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Snow Banana
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Snow Banana • Mizo: Sai-su
Botanical name: Ensete glaucum    Family: Musaceae (Banana family)
Synonyms: Musa nepalensis

Snow Banana is a banana-like plant which does not form stolons. Pseudostems are yellow-green, with black-purple spots when old, cylindric, up to 5 m, base swollen and jarlike. Leaf-stalks are short, leaves oblong, 1.4-1.8 m × 50-60 cm, smooth, base wedge-shaped, tip tail-like. Inflorescence is cylindric, huge in size, up to 2.5 m. Bracts are numerous, overlapping tile-like, persistent. Flowers are 10-20 per bract. Compound tepal is about 2.5 cm, tip 3-cleft. Free tepal is inverted-heart-shaped, shorter then compound tepal, tip with a large mucro. Berries are purplish black, glaucous, obovoid-oblong, about 9 × 3.5 cm, base long pointed, tip rounded and with persistent flower part. Seeds are black, round, about 1.2 cm in diameter, smooth. The plants are found growing on slopes, besides streams in India, and in fairly dry open areas, preferrably grasslands, up to 1600 m elevation. Flowering: all year.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Ganesh Villa, Kalimpong, West Bengal.

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