Musa "Gros Michael"

Last year I obtained a tissue culture of Musa “Gros Michael” and today planted it out in one of my banana planters. It will probably fruit a year from now and be ripe that summer.

Thought that variety was wiped out by disease years ago.

Liked those better than the Cavendish we have now

It was abandoned by commercial growers due to susceptibility to disease in tropic-like areas with high humidity. It works fine at my location provided the winters stay moderate. It requires less disease maintenance than my pit fruits.

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Is is true that they taste like the artificial banana flavor?

My classmates and I made “artificial banana flavor” in high school chemistry when Gros Michael was being sold in the stores. What we produced in class reminded us more of artificially flavored candies and pastries than what we considered “real bananas”.

Gros Michael are sshowing back. That one looks an awful lot like a Cavendish too me. I read Cavendish is in jeopardy of a fungus now.

I’m absolutely certain it’s Gros Michael. I’ve grown both. The two of them and several other hybrids look identical at this stage. The proof is in the fruit and the male flowers.

That’s cool. I’ve been growing Cavendish for years.never been able to get one big enough to fruit. I tried storing my biggest dormant and it died but I had a pup as backup in the greenhouse. I have another pup from last year that I’m going to do my best to grow it to flowering. If not I’m done trying.

“Doing the dormant thing” is difficult. I applaud your efforts! :slightly_smiling:

The shortest time from pup to ripe fruit in your zone (with dormant overwintering) recorded on is 4.5 years.

Well good thing they are only $0.52 a pound here. Lol


I planted the Gros Michael to replace a cooking type banana I didn’t care for. I also have 3 other dessert type bananas growing, all with different flavors: Pisang Ceylon, SH 3460, and Namwa. I’ll be posting pictures of them later on.

I’m growing two Veinte Cohol. I bought them about a year ago as TC plants. I kept them potted and in my greenhouse over the winter. They’re pretty good sized now. Not sure if they’ll ever fruit, but it’s fun trying.

Good luck with yours, Richard.

Exactly. People have been known to fruit Veinte Cohol in TN after 2 years, keeping them in semi-dormant state with lighting throughout the winters. The issue is accumulating enough degree-days for the corms to mature and send up a flower. Some trials (mine included) have produced poor results by stimulating bloom with fertilizer. It would seem there’s a critical mass that has to be obtained and then you get quality fruit.

there’s another early-maturing banana, the super-sweet “señorita” cultivar, but not sure if it is available in usa

Rob, if you get a full size banana fruit down there, I’m going to invite myself over and make a road trip to your place south of Nashville to see it! Good luck.

You’re welcome anytime! :slight_smile:

jujube, that one does sound promising from the info I’ve read on it. Maybe @Richard knows if it’s available here.

it is susceptible to many diseases, so i doubt if it is or will be.

will probably take some time for a specimen to pass quarantine(officially declared disease-free) and then tissue-cultured from there.

Tissue cultured, phytosanitary certified trays of 72 plant starts are available commercially from AgriStarts in Florida. If you’re just interested in one or two then contact sddarkman at

As for disease susceptibility in non-tropical climates, they are hardier than many of the fruiting plants we grow.

Early maturing is relative to climate. In the tropics, Musa takes 6-10 months from plant start to fruit harvest. Here in my zone 10b it takes 14-18 months - with the exception of unusual winters e.g. the freeze of 2007.

The same ripening period is true of Avocados and Oranges - from flower to ripe fruit.