Seeded banana (Musa species)

Also known as: ornamental banana

Seeded bananas have similar foliage to edible banana plants, but have inedible fruit containing many large seeds. They are environmental weeds that also pose biosecurity risks to commercial banana production.

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How does this weed affect you?

Seeded bananas have similar foliage to edible banana plants, but have inedible fruit containing many large seeds. A number of seeded and ornamental banana species are beginning to pose biosecurity risks in parts of NSW, both as invasive environmental weeds and as hosts to diseases and pests of the commercial banana industry. Three species are problematic as potential invasive weeds: 

Musa acuminata (seeded banana) looks similar to a commercial ladyfinger banana plant, but with a longer petiole (leaf stalk) and fruit containing over 200 seeds each. These plants have been found naturalising in parts of the North Coast (Lismore and Bellingen shires) and south of Sydney. 

Musa ornata and Musa velutina (ornamental bananas) have been grown and produced as ornamentals due to their palm-like foliage and eye-catching bright pink fruit on upright stalks. 

Most edible bananas are seedless cultivars that are derived from hybridisations of Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. There are also native Australian species of bananas - Musa banksii and Musa jackeyi. Further research is underway to establish and identify the varieties of seeded and ornamental bananas that are currently naturalising and posing biosecurity risks in NSW. 

References

Australian Banana Growers Council (2012) Seeded bananas a concern to industry. The Subtropics Banana News, Edition March 2012.

Far North Coast Weeds (2012) Fact Sheet: Seeded Bananas. Far North Coast Weeds, Lismore NSW.

Office of Environment and Heritage (2012), Regional Pest Management Strategy 2012–17, Northern Rivers Region: a new approach for reducing impacts on native species and park neighbours, Sydney.

Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (2016), The Biology of Musa L. (banana), Version 2, Australian Government Department of Health

 

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Control

Herbicide options

Contact your local council weeds officer for control advice for Seeded banana (Musa species).

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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
North Coast Regional Recommended Measure*
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfill the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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Reviewed 2017