Mountain banana: properties and cultivation

Mountain banana: properties and cultivation

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Mountain banana, a decidedly atypical and lovable banana, with a fruit with an exotic flavor and characteristics that are very different from a "classic" fruit, banana or other that you consider. It remembers the normal banana also for its overripe banana smell emanating from its flowers, but otherwise this plant not very common in Europe compared to overseas, deserves a page all to itself and is worth reading, getting to know, and taste its fruits. I'm excellent for those who feel weak as for those who play sports and do not want to be blocked by cramps.

Mountain banana: the plant

This plant, contrary to its almost namesake, comes from cold forests of the United States of the American East and not from the areas where the tropical climate reigns. Its origins are to be found in the Nebraska area, towards Maine but also in Louisiana up to northern Florida.

It is undoubtedly very ancient, the footprints it left with its leaves tell us, which make us think that the Mountain banana it already existed 5 million years ago and was well appreciated by the populations who in the following eras found it spontaneous on their path. Only later it was decided to cultivate it, but we humans immediately fed on it. In Europe not really immediately, however, because the first seedlings they arrived in 1736, to be precise in England.

Mountain banana: characteristics

The Mountain banana is the only member of the tropical family of the Annonaceae that we can find in temperate zones, is called Asimina triloba, actually, but also mountain banana, Paw Paw is Hoosier banana, for friends.

Before running into annoying misunderstanding, we clarify that the Mountain banana it is not ONLY a fruit plant but also an ornamental plant, with its beautiful and very elegant green foliage, whether it has a rounded shape or resembles a pyramid.

It is not very high, about 6 meters, maximum, but the leaves are noticeable for their dark green color and because they hang down, large, becoming golden brown in autumn and then fall and reappear in spring. THE Banana flowers of mountain are large, imitating the leaves, and a beautiful deep purple.

Mountain banana: cultivation

It is not difficult to cultivate the Mountain banana, make it bear a lot of fruit, a little more, but with a green thumb we can do it. It does not fear the cold, on the contrary, it does not tolerate the sultry heat and if it has the choice, it prefers the continental climate: cold winters and cool and breezy summers.

When it is an adult, the ideal is to keep it in full sun, when young in semi-shade, possibly in a fresh, deep and fertile soil, but clayey or calcareous soils do not scare our Mountain banana. After regular watering in its infancy, necessary, then it arranges itself and we just have to be careful in periods of drought that it does not dry out so as not to compromise the production of the fruits.

Unless aesthetic needs arise, the Mountain banana it needs pruning only to remove those daughters that weaken it, for the rest it does not require other particular care and also very resistant to diseases. Lately they are seen less and less in the wild but the crops of Mountain banana, a sign that it begins to be appreciated as plant for gardens, public and private. even outside the United States.

Mountain banana: the fruit

The banana fruit of mountain is very precious and at the same time with anomalous characteristics to be found in a fruit in the classical sense. IS' rich in vitamins C and A and also, strangely, protein: excellent for the weak, debilitated and convalescent. It has a high energy power and at the same time abounds in the amount of mineral salts it contains: this makes it perfect against diseases due to magnesium deficiency such as muscle cramps. For sports enthusiasts it is a good snack support given its high concentrations of calcium, magnesium and potassium.

THE fruits of the mountain banana they ripen towards the end of August, maximum 4 for each flower and the flower is cup-shaped, single and compound, violet. Returning to the fruit, it has an elongated shape, about 15 cm for 50 - 250 grams of weight: it depends a lot on the variety as well as the color that varies from green to yellow, but the peel is always smooth and thin.

The pulp has a creamy consistency, smells a lot and can be yellow, ivory color or even tending to orange. The flavor of the Mountain banana understood as a fruit it is a cross between the classic banana and the mango, and inside it also has two rows of large brown seeds similar to large elongated beans.

Mountain banana at the Green Coldiretti Oscars

The cultivation in Italy of Mountain banana is among the innovations that we find in Oscar Green by Coldiretti, presented last Thursday 14 July in Milan. Just wanting this plant so strange and useful in our territory, was considered one of the most interesting and curious young entrepreneurial ideas and was told in the presence, among others, of Livia Pomodoro President of the Milan Center for Food Law and Policy, of Ettore Prandini President Coldiretti Lombardy and National Vice President of Coldiretti.

Mountain banana: price

For a young plant of Mountain banana we can spend an amount that varies from 15 euros to 30. It is undoubtedly an important and precious presence, both from the aesthetic side and from the nutritional point of view, provided it bears fruit.

Among the fans of the Mountain banana we also find many important people such as US President George Washington. Before him, the Red Indians loved it very much and for centuries considered it a plant with healing powers thanks to the vitamins and minerals contained in its fruits: they called it Paw Paw and in America it is still known today.

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