Have you ever heard or tried the Blue Java banana? Or perhaps you know it by the very cute name of Ice Cream banana. The flesh of the Blue Java banana has the consistency of ice cream and is flavoured with hints of vanilla. Many compare its taste with that of vanilla ice cream or vanilla pudding.
The Blue Java banana goes by a few other names, apart from Ice Cream banana (as they refer to it in Hawaii), and is called the Hawaiian banana in Fiji, Krie in the Philippines and Cenizo in various parts of Central America.
It is a hardy, cold tolerant banana cultivar that produces plump, sweet bananas slightly shorter than the common Cavendish banana. This banana gets its name from its blue-green skin when it is unripe, which gradually turns into a pale yellow, with a show white coloured flesh that can be eaten raw or cooked.
Where are they grown?
The Blue Java banana is a rare hybrid of Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, and is known to survive cold climates as low as -7°C.
They are mainly cultivated in Hawaii and some parts of Southeast Asia and Central America since the 1920s. This banana species goes by the name ‘Hawaiian banana’ in Fiji, ‘Krie’ in the Philippines, and ‘Cenizo’ in certain parts of Central America.
It will grow up to 18 feet/5.5 metres tall, and 10 feet/3 metres wide, with large silver-green leaves packed around a stout, sturdy trunk. Many online vendors across the US will deliver the tree straight to your door and you can easily find small plants of around 5 inches/13 cm up to fully grown banana trees.
A full to partial light is recommended for these tropical trees, and they will mature quite fast. A small plant may take up to around nine months before it bears fruit, but otherwise, your Blue Java banana tree should give you plenty of bananas to harvest, year after year. Browning of some of the leaves over the winter period is normal, but expect the tree to bounce right back come springtime.