Banana del Paranа
Tree of medium size native to the eastern United States, the Asimina triloba also known as the banana of the paranа reaches a height of 7-8 meters, developing very slowly. It has a short stem, from which many large branches branch out, which divide in a rather disordered manner, but giving rise to a fairly rounded crown; the large leaves are oval, cuoiose, in autumn, before falling, they become golden-yellow. Before the leaves, at the beginning of spring, on the branches of a year large red-brown flowers bloom, from which the fruits, similar to bananas, 10-15 cm long, come together in groups of three or four; the fruits are edible, have a creamy pulp, with a sweet taste, similar to banana and pineapple. From many this plant is also referred to as mountain banana because of its banana-like fruits in the shape and flavor that mature even at typical heights of the mountain horizon.
As regards exposure to the sun's rays, the young banana trees of the Paranа need to be placed in semi-shaded places, while the adult trees prefer full sun. These trees, which look very exotic and tropical, do not fear the cold and can withstand temperatures close to -20 ° C. Their optimal resistance to frost makes them perfect for harsh climates and for areas of northern Italy in which temperatures in winter can drop well below zero.
The mountain banana plants can be satisfied with the rains, even if it is good to water the young specimens in the warm periods of the year, especially in case of prolonged drought. In the winter months you must instead suspend watering to avoid dangerous water stagnation. The mountain climate, with frequent rainfall in summer and in the warmer months, is very suitable for the growth of these species.
As as regards the soil, the asimina prefer soft, well-drained soils, rich in organic matter. These trees produce numerous suckers, which it is good to eradicate for a good development of the plant and to avoid that these secondary branches take energy from what is the central trunk of the Asimina.
The characteristics of the ideal soil for the plant can be justified by considering its natural habit of origin. Coming from flood plains or developing close to streams and creeks, the paranа banana grows optimally where the soil is loose, rich in debris and silty.
A type of soil that the plant cannot stand is the calcareous one.
The multiplication of these plants occurs by seed, while agamic multiplication is very difficult because the cuttings do not produce roots. One aspect to consider is that if not sown immediately, the seeds must be buried in damp soil and exposed to winter temperatures or even in the refrigerator. The young plants must be cultivated for at least a couple of years in pots, and then they settle down taking care not to touch the earth around the roots. As for the cuttings, this usually does not take root.
Often, when one decides to reproduce the plant, plants with the same characteristics as the original ones are not obtained and they also generate fruits (in most cases) of lower quality.
Pests and diseases
Specimens of Asimina triloba are generally not attacked by pests or diseases.
We can however talk about some particularities of the plant.
The banana of the paranа is a toxic species (without taking into consideration the fruits of the plant that are edible). This is because inside the same substances with antimitotic activity are present and following in-depth studies it was discovered that these substances could be used in the care of turmors.
To emphasize once again, the toxicity of the plant. Some people in fact show allergic reactions to contact with the leaves of this species.
The plant does not have particular problems with pests and diseases also because, thanks to its strength and resistance, it does not need any kind of treatment.