Author Topic: Top 5 banana varieties  (Read 9340 times)

Kona fruit farm

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 427
  • Aloha
    • Big Island; Hawaii. Kona 1700' Elev. Zone 12a
    • View Profile
Top 5 banana varieties
« on: October 19, 2016, 01:22:07 PM »
For those of you that are into growing bananas.  What are your top picks? Currently I'm growing

-Brazilian apple banana
-Mysore
-namwah
-kuli klai (I think that is lady finger but not positive)
-gros michel
-gold finger
-praying hands
-1000 finger
-Maoli (cooking banana).

Any other top notch varieties out there that you consider must have?
With 3 acres of prime real estate for growing tropicals... why not create my own garden of eden?? Work in progress

Aaron

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
    • SWFL
    • View Profile
    • http://nofogroves.com/
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2016, 01:28:38 PM »
raja puri is the best ive tried.

ricshaw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1598
    • USA, Southern California, Zone 10b
    • View Profile
    • ricshaw805 YouTube Channel
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2016, 03:09:33 PM »
I think it would be different for Hawaii, Florida, Southern California, etc.

Mark Steele, a banana expert where I live, recommends Pisang Awak varieties (Namwah, Misi Luki, Ice Cream) and Dwarf Brazilian (Pome) for Southern California growers.

He also recommended Rajapuri as the best shortest variety for fruit.

Mark is an avid banana grower living in Ventura, CA. Mark's small yard is packed with about 20 different varieties of bananas, most of which he has fruited.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 03:21:39 PM by ricshaw »

Kona fruit farm

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 427
  • Aloha
    • Big Island; Hawaii. Kona 1700' Elev. Zone 12a
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2016, 06:31:22 PM »
Awesome. Raja puri sounds nice. Is there another name for it?
With 3 acres of prime real estate for growing tropicals... why not create my own garden of eden?? Work in progress

bsbullie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9621
    • USA, Boynton Beach, FL 33472, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2016, 06:32:00 PM »
I think it would be different for Hawaii, Florida, Southern California, etc.

Mark Steele, a banana expert where I live, recommends Pisang Awak varieties (Namwah, Misi Luki, Ice Cream) and Dwarf Brazilian (Pome) for Southern California growers.

He also recommended Rajapuri as the best shortest variety for fruit.

Mark is an avid banana grower living in Ventura, CA. Mark's small yard is packed with about 20 different varieties of bananas, most of which he has fruited.

I think what you are trying to say is the recommendation was for bananas in the ABB group.

My favorites are the red bananas (of various names) and Pisang Raja.
- Rob

bsbullie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9621
    • USA, Boynton Beach, FL 33472, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 06:34:50 PM »
Awesome. Raja puri sounds nice. Is there another name for it?

It is commonly known as Raja Puri here.
- Rob

ricshaw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1598
    • USA, Southern California, Zone 10b
    • View Profile
    • ricshaw805 YouTube Channel
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 07:28:55 PM »

I think what you are trying to say is the recommendation was for bananas in the ABB group.


For those of you that are into growing bananas.  What are your top picks?

I may be wrong... what I was trying to say was top picks may be different for different growing regions.

zands

  • wango_tango_mango_zango
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4424
    • Zone 10b, Florida, USA, 33321
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 08:05:53 PM »
I like eating bananas, cooked plantains etc. I have mulched mango trees with spent banana stalks (they had fruited) I cut down. I have taken their leaves and thrown them on my lawn then mowed them into it as fertilizer. Bananas can provide a lot of quick growing biomass for mulching purposes. Yes they are watery so this biomass will melt down a lot but is still free biomass.
If I had a large property I would have one third of it growing bananas. To eat and to use for mulching biomass for my serious stuff such as mango,avocado onward.

You want to mess around with bananas get some of these wire saws on ebay. Order straight from China at one dollar or so. Last time around I got a few at 89 cents a piece.


« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 08:11:11 PM by zands »

LivingParadise

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 679
    • Florida Keys, Zone 11a
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 08:56:12 PM »
Well, I currently have Dwarf Namwah, Cavendish, Ice Cream, Raja Puri, Royal Purple, Pineapple Banana, Kandarian, and Balbisiana (and hoping to add 2-3 more when I get access, like maybe Saba, Velutina, and something else like an Apple Banana or something). Really hoping some of these end up making the list! :) I got the Namwah, Ice Cream, and Raja Puris because they were highly recommended for flavor, so I would expect at least one of those 3 to show up in the top 5.

I wish I could contribute to ranking, but so far, I have only tasted the Namwah, so can't compare to the others. It was definitely good, but too dense for my preference to be ideal for me, which is why I am now hoping for Ice Cream to turn out to be a true Ice Cream, which is supposed to be fluffy and more vanilla flavored, rather than the Dwarf Namwah which was tangy.

This is going to depend on personal preference a lot. I'm not a big banana flavor fan, but they are super easy to grow here, and a great investment. So my preference is for different textures and flavors from Cavendish banana, hence Raja Puri, Pineapple Banana, etc. Something that's not really much like a banana at all. :) Also, if you were asking about landscaping preferences, some just have gorgeous leaves or other qualities that led me to them. I also have a fascination with the idea of the original seeded varieties, because they are such old and (to me) exotic plants, so that is why I ended up with those - apparently though, some are actually good eating, despite the seeds.

I don't have enough experience yet to say which grows faster or better than another, but at this point all have done reasonably well.

I would really like to see people's listing of plantains included, or as separate but additional list, here also. I have yet to taste one I grew myself. I'm not a plantain connoisseur, so 1 or 2 varieties is plenty, so I'd like to pick the best flavored out there. My picks so far came about merely because I needed something very tall from a landscaping perspective, and these were rated as good for the height.

bsbullie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9621
    • USA, Boynton Beach, FL 33472, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 09:22:56 PM »
Well, I currently have Dwarf Namwah, Cavendish, Ice Cream, Raja Puri, Royal Purple, Pineapple Banana, Kandarian, and Balbisiana (and hoping to add 2-3 more when I get access, like maybe Saba, Velutina, and something else like an Apple Banana or something). Really hoping some of these end up making the list! :) I got the Namwah, Ice Cream, and Raja Puris because they were highly recommended for flavor, so I would expect at least one of those 3 to show up in the top 5.

I wish I could contribute to ranking, but so far, I have only tasted the Namwah, so can't compare to the others. It was definitely good, but too dense for my preference to be ideal for me, which is why I am now hoping for Ice Cream to turn out to be a true Ice Cream, which is supposed to be fluffy and more vanilla flavored, rather than the Dwarf Namwah which was tangy.

This is going to depend on personal preference a lot. I'm not a big banana flavor fan, but they are super easy to grow here, and a great investment. So my preference is for different textures and flavors from Cavendish banana, hence Raja Puri, Pineapple Banana, etc. Something that's not really much like a banana at all. :) Also, if you were asking about landscaping preferences, some just have gorgeous leaves or other qualities that led me to them. I also have a fascination with the idea of the original seeded varieties, because they are such old and (to me) exotic plants, so that is why I ended up with those - apparently though, some are actually good eating, despite the seeds.

I don't have enough experience yet to say which grows faster or better than another, but at this point all have done reasonably well.

I would really like to see people's listing of plantains included, or as separate but additional list, here also. I have yet to taste one I grew myself. I'm not a plantain connoisseur, so 1 or 2 varieties is plenty, so I'd like to pick the best flavored out there. My picks so far came about merely because I needed something very tall from a landscaping perspective, and these were rated as good for the height.

Raja Puri is an excellent banana.   If you can find it, go for the Pisang Raja.  You ahould also look for a dwarf or tall red (goes by a number of names).  One of the best tasting bananas available.

Hua Moa is an excellent Polynesian style plantain.  French Horn or Super Plantain are excellent classic plantains.
- Rob

nighthawk0911@yahoo.com

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 265
  • Blue lives matter.
    • SW Florida Zone 9B
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2016, 09:42:07 PM »
Hey guys

I have experimented with trying to grow about 5-6 different common banana varieties over the years here in 9B all with the same results.  They grow fine until the first frost hits and then they are killed outright or at least down to the ground.  Even if when come back there isn't enough time for them grow, flower & mature fruit in the approx. 9 month window between frosts.  Are they any good tasting very fast growing "idiot proof" banana varieties that will reliably produce fruit here in 9B?   I'm sure there probably are, but so far I have had rotten luck with my few attempts with bananas and it's discouraged me from trying again.

Thanks!!
Blessed be the man who plants a tree knowing he will never live to enjoy it's fruit or shade.

SoCal2warm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1518
    • zone 10 and zone 8a
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2016, 10:33:06 PM »
'Pisang Ceylon' is a type of Mysore banana, and is regarded by many expert banana connoisseurs as their favorite tasting variety, in part because it has those fruity tropical flavors they are looking for.

I'm growing one in zone 10 California and it is doing great.

bsbullie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9621
    • USA, Boynton Beach, FL 33472, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2016, 11:09:40 PM »
'Pisang Ceylon' is a type of Mysore banana, and is regarded by many expert banana connoisseurs as their favorite tasting variety, in part because it has those fruity tropical flavors they are looking for.

I'm growing one in zone 10 California and it is doing great.

It is also known as an improved Mysore due to it slightly stronger pseudostem.  Flavor is good, a balnced sweet and subacid flavor however doesn't compare to the reds, Pisang Raja,  Raja Puri, Glui Kai aka Kluay Kai aka Klui Kai and some other exceptional varieties.
- Rob

Vernmented

  • Starry Nursery/Plant Hoarder/Zone Pusher/Biochar Enthusiast
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1331
    • USA, Florida, Sarasota, 9B/10A
    • View Profile
    • Starry Nursery Instagram
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2016, 11:46:36 PM »
I had some Saba bananas 3 weeks ago and was very impressed. Possibly the best I have had. 
-Josh

venturabananas

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
    • USA, CA, Ventura, zone 10
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2016, 02:04:42 AM »
'Pisang Ceylon' is a type of Mysore banana, and is regarded by many expert banana connoisseurs as their favorite tasting variety, in part because it has those fruity tropical flavors they are looking for.

I'm growing one in zone 10 California and it is doing great.

It is also known as an improved Mysore due to it slightly stronger pseudostem.  Flavor is good, a balnced sweet and subacid flavor however doesn't compare to the reds, Pisang Raja,  Raja Puri, Glui Kai aka Kluay Kai aka Klui Kai and some other exceptional varieties.

This illustrates the problem in making recommendations.  Tastes are so different and climates are so different.  I've tried all the ones Rob mentions (except Pisang Raja) and I wouldn't rank any of those above Pisang Ceylan (Mysore) for flavor.  I like the ones with some tartness -- e.g., not the Reds.  So, you kind of need to figure out which flavors you like, or try them all and whittle them down to what you like.

Yes, the ABB varieties are the easiest ones to grow in CA, but the OP doesn't have that constraint.

Another consideration is heights.  I'd grow Dwarf Brazilian instead of Brazilian because they get less wind damaged and are easier to harvest, but the fruit are identical.  In CA, Rajapuri is virtually identical to Dwarf Brazilian and Brazilian in flavor, but with worse texture (tends to have a corky core), but it is a really nice and short plant.  Not sure if you'd have the same texture issue in Hawaii.

Kona fruit farm, go to the other site whose names starts with bananas and look up posts by Robguz24.  He's another guy on the Big Island growing dozens of different varieties.  Might be worth a trip to his small farm to try some of them before you get more.

One that I'd add to the top 5 list for flavor that isn't on it yet would be FHIA-02.  Rob grows that one and you could probably get a keiki from him.

My top 5 list for flavor (not considering production, ease of growth or harvest, etc., and eaten raw, not cooked):
1.  Pisang Ceylan/Pisang Klotek/Mysore (basically all the same flavor, all Mysore varieties)
2.  Dwarf Brazilian/Brazilian/Rajapuri (all Pome varieties that taste the same, or darn similar)
3.  FHIA-01 (Goldfinger)
4.  FHIA-18 -- tastes pretty much the same as Goldfinger and is its sibling
5.  FHIA-02

All of these have some tartness, though some just a little (FHIA-02).

Ones that I've tried that would not make the top 5 for flavor list (in no particular order):
Reds
Namwah varieties (Dwarf, Misi Luki, "fake Ice Cream")
Blue Java / true Ice Cream
Cavendish
Rose
Saba varieties (Saba/Cardaba/Praying Hands)
Yangambi KM5
Orinoco (great for cooking)
Monthan
Cavendish
Sucrier/Pisang Mas/Kluai Khai
Maoli varieties (great for cooking)

fruitlovers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15883
  • www.fruitlovers.com
    • USA, Big Island, East Hawaii, Zone 13a
    • View Profile
    • Fruit Lover's Nursery
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2016, 02:15:28 AM »
For those of you that are into growing bananas.  What are your top picks? Currently I'm growing

-Brazilian apple banana
-Mysore
-namwah
-kuli klai (I think that is lady finger but not positive)
-gros michel
-gold finger
-praying hands
-1000 finger
-Maoli (cooking banana).

Any other top notch varieties out there that you consider must have?
Ones that are very easy to obtain in Hawaii, top notch, and not on your list: Silk Fig (aka Manzanillo), Cuban Red (aka Jamaican Red--there are dwarf and standard size versions), Ice Cream Banana (aka Blue Java).
Oscar

bsbullie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9621
    • USA, Boynton Beach, FL 33472, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2016, 02:38:14 AM »
'Pisang Ceylon' is a type of Mysore banana, and is regarded by many expert banana connoisseurs as their favorite tasting variety, in part because it has those fruity tropical flavors they are looking for.

I'm growing one in zone 10 California and it is doing great.

It is also known as an improved Mysore due to it slightly stronger pseudostem.  Flavor is good, a balnced sweet and subacid flavor however doesn't compare to the reds, Pisang Raja,  Raja Puri, Glui Kai aka Kluay Kai aka Klui Kai and some other exceptional varieties.

This illustrates the problem in making recommendations.  Tastes are so different and climates are so different.  I've tried all the ones Rob mentions (except Pisang Raja) and I wouldn't rank any of those above Pisang Ceylan (Mysore) for flavor.  I like the ones with some tartness -- e.g., not the Reds.  So, you kind of need to figure out which flavors you like, or try them all and whittle them down to what you like.

Yes, the ABB varieties are the easiest ones to grow in CA, but the OP doesn't have that constraint.

Another consideration is heights.  I'd grow Dwarf Brazilian instead of Brazilian because they get less wind damaged and are easier to harvest, but the fruit are identical.  In CA, Rajapuri is virtually identical to Dwarf Brazilian and Brazilian in flavor, but with worse texture (tends to have a corky core), but it is a really nice and short plant.  Not sure if you'd have the same texture issue in Hawaii.

Kona fruit farm, go to the other site whose names starts with bananas and look up posts by Robguz24.  He's another guy on the Big Island growing dozens of different varieties.  Might be worth a trip to his small farm to try some of them before you get more.

One that I'd add to the top 5 list for flavor that isn't on it yet would be FHIA-02.  Rob grows that one and you could probably get a keiki from him.

My top 5 list for flavor (not considering production, ease of growth or harvest, etc., and eaten raw, not cooked):
1.  Pisang Ceylan/Pisang Klotek/Mysore (basically all the same flavor, all Mysore varieties)
2.  Dwarf Brazilian/Brazilian/Rajapuri (all Pome varieties that taste the same, or darn similar)
3.  FHIA-01 (Goldfinger)
4.  FHIA-18 -- tastes pretty much the same as Goldfinger and is its sibling
5.  FHIA-02

All of these have some tartness, though some just a little (FHIA-02).

Ones that I've tried that would not make the top 5 for flavor list (in no particular order):
Reds
Namwah varieties (Dwarf, Misi Luki, "fake Ice Cream")
Blue Java / true Ice Cream
Cavendish
Rose
Saba varieties (Saba/Cardaba/Praying Hands)
Yangambi KM5
Orinoco (great for cooking)
Monthan
Cavendish
Sucrier/Pisang Mas/Kluai Khai
Maoli varieties (great for cooking)

One very important message to take from this is that tastes are subjective so what I may like and recommend may be different from what someone else recommends and neither is right or wrong.   Same goes for mangoes.

I tend to prefer bananas that are very sweet,  strong/full flavor and not anything that is similar to a cavendish type or grocery store banana.  I would also put varieties that have a subacid component as my favorites.  Not that they arent good. Just not what I like if I have the choice.

Regarding the FHIAs, they are bred for disease resistance and positive and improved frowth characteristics.  FHIA 1. The Goldfinger, has been toted with as a commercial variety to replace the cavendish type in some areas.  It is the most commercial and accepted flavorwise of the group.  The FHIA q8 is an improved substitute for the Apple Banana.

If the reds are not a favorite and you like the subacid characteristic, you might like the Pisang Raja.  Its an Indian banana that is very sweet, strong and custardy with a faint hint of subacid component but nothing like a Mysore.
- Rob

venturabananas

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
    • USA, CA, Ventura, zone 10
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2016, 12:05:41 PM »
If the reds are not a favorite and you like the subacid characteristic, you might like the Pisang Raja.  Its an Indian banana that is very sweet, strong and custardy with a faint hint of subacid component but nothing like a Mysore.

I've always wanted to try Pisang Raja but I've never been able to find it in CA, or from a business elsewhere that can ship to CA.  There's one here that is claimed to be a Pisang Raja variant, but it's not -- it's just another Pisang Awak ("Namwah").

merce3

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
    • west central fl, 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2016, 09:32:02 AM »
1. pitogo - tennis ball shaped and perfect flavor and creaminess to me
2. pisang jari buaya - very tart bananas that are skinny
3. mysore
4. namwah
5. hua moa/ele ele (plantain)

Kona fruit farm

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 427
  • Aloha
    • Big Island; Hawaii. Kona 1700' Elev. Zone 12a
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2016, 04:56:48 PM »
Good stuff. Thanks everyone.  Yes I have eaten the silk fig a lot when I was living in Venezuela.  They call it manzano there.  Delicious. I need to get that one
With 3 acres of prime real estate for growing tropicals... why not create my own garden of eden?? Work in progress

Saltee

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 57
    • Coral Springs Florida, Zone 10b
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2016, 04:31:35 PM »
I'm growing dwarf cavendish. The sucker actually grew and surpassed the original pretty fast

fruitlovers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15883
  • www.fruitlovers.com
    • USA, Big Island, East Hawaii, Zone 13a
    • View Profile
    • Fruit Lover's Nursery
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2016, 05:48:51 PM »
Good stuff. Thanks everyone.  Yes I have eaten the silk fig a lot when I was living in Venezuela.  They call it manzano there.  Delicious. I need to get that one
Have them, if you want a start let me know next time you come over?
Oscar

mysteryknight

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 134
    • San Diego
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2022, 01:43:18 PM »
'Pisang Ceylon' is a type of Mysore banana, and is regarded by many expert banana connoisseurs as their favorite tasting variety, in part because it has those fruity tropical flavors they are looking for.

I'm growing one in zone 10 California and it is doing great.

I am in San Diego, if you ever have pups I would be willing to buy some off of you or trade for something.

James

ben mango

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 856
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2022, 05:11:30 PM »
Tuu gia
Popoulu
Fehi
Namwah
Silk fig

1rainman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 341
    • Florida
    • View Profile
Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2022, 06:43:05 PM »
South Florida. I like raja puri. It's also tough and likely to get bananas in the short time frame. Size being 8 foot or so perfect size tree. I also like the small bananas, great taste.

Red banana is great but very cold sensitive so anywhere with a freeze during winter is not good.

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk