Local Vegetables of Thailand title
Botanical Name Index Family Name Index Local Vegetables of Thailand Home

Musa spp. (Musaceae)
Vernacular name: kluai
Common name: banana (English)

  Perennial herbs, tree-like, up to 8 m tall, aerial shoots or pseudostem grown from a true underground stem (corm), a short or long rhizome grow laterally to produce a clump of suckers. Roots fibrous, succulent. Pseudostem succulent, consisting of overlapping, compressed leaf-sheaths. Leaf-blades oblong, up to 500 by 100 cm, midrib pronounce with distinct pinnately arranged, parallel veins. Inflorescence terminal, one from each pseudostem; compound spike-like, compact and conical to ovoid or narrowly ellipsoid; each group of flowers enclosed in a large ovate or narrowly elliptic, pointed, reddish bract; female flowers develop toward base, male flowers toward the distal end of the inflorescence. Infructescence bears hands of fruits, and a long bare axis and terminating in a cone inflorescence of male flowers and subtending bracts. Fruit a berry, ± cylindrical, ± curved, rounded or nearly 4-sided in cross-section.
  M. acuminata: inflorescence horizontal or pendulous, peduncle usually downy or hairy, male flowers not red, fruits subsessile, seeds compressed; extremely variable and at least 5 sub species are distinguished
  M. balbisiana: inflorescene horizontal or pendulous, peduncle glabrous, male flowers tinged with red, fruits long-pedicellate, seeds subglobose.
  Common commercial cultivars grown for their fruits in Thailand include ‘Namwa’, ‘Hom-thong’, ‘Khai’. Many other cultivars grown locally throughout the country. These cultivars are seedless. Few wild species are common in moist, partial shade along creek or on mountain slope, from near sea level to above 2,000 m altitude.
  Young fruits, young pseudostem, and inflorescence are common ingredient of various local dishes throughout Thailand. Young inflorescences are sometimes eaten raw with local hot and spicy dishes. They are normally cooked as main ingredient of curries.
  Banana is normally multiply by separation of suckers from the mother clump. The suckers are planted at 3 by 4 m spacing.  

Fruits
Fruits

Market
Market
Flowers
Flowers
Stem
Stem
Leaves
Leaves
Aerial part
Aerial part

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