Variegated Banana

Variegated Banana

Variegated Banana Plant

Variegated banana plant is one of the most rarest and beautiful plant in its family. It is a hybrid of plantain (AAB) that have beautiful white stripes on the leaves and also on its fruits, it is a must have for variegated plant lovers. Distribution of this plant are native to region across Southeast Asia and South Pacific. 

Historically, in Hawaii, bananas were brought to the islands during ancient times and earned the nickname “canoe fruit,” as they were transported from the South Pacific via immigrating peoples and explorers on canoes. With many banana varieties introduced to the tropical, humid climate of Hawaii, they became a staple food source and were highly cultivated for select traits.

Varigated bananas were considered to be one of the rarest of the cultivars for its unique color variegation and were decidedly reserved only for the Hawaiian royal family. The bananas were considered so sacred that the penalty for growing the fruit outside of the royal family was death. In the modern-day, Varigated bananas are now available for home cultivation and have earned many local names in Hawaii due to their striping. Hawaiian locals often refer to the bananas as Ae’ Ae’, which roughly translates to “hair prematurely graying” and is a reference to the white striping on the leaves and peel. They also use terms derived from animals to describe the fruits, including Manini, which is a name for a striped surgeonfish and Koa’e, which is a young tropical bird with striped feathers.

How to care

Because of the genetic mutation, the loss of some green pigmentation on the leaves which are the site of chlorophyll makes it harder to photosynthesis the sunlight. However this plant can grow successful in sheltered space (No direct sunlight) with well drained fertile soils and high humidity. It require a great amount of moisture but do not overwater and also need protection against heavy wind.


This plant are triploid hybrid (AAB) from M. acuminata × M. balbisiana. It can grow up to 5 m tall when adult (approximately 1 year). The leaves are variegated and the number of leaves can be up to 6 - 20 or more. Fruits are also variegated and relatively bigger than the banana with thicker peel. 


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Differences between banana and plantain

Statistically, banana is the world’s second most important fruit crop after oil palm. It is grown in 130 countries worldwide, world production of banana stood at 71 million metric tons per year,  while plantain is grown in 52 countries with world production of 33 million metric tons per year (FAO, 2004).

Banana and plantain are both in the same genus Musa, however there are different in their size, flavor, and uses. The size of plantain is bigger, starchier and lower in sugar than banana. They are less sweet and usually require cooking to enjoy the taste.

The nutritional value for both plantain and banana are slightly different. Below is the nutrition differences between banana and plantain for 100 grams according to Healthline website :









31 grams

23 grams


2 grams

3 grams


465 grams

358 grams


32 mg

27 mg

Vitamin C

11 mg

9 mg


Plantains has bioactive compounds that helps anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. It also has high levels of potassium to reduce blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Other than that, it can also play important role in promoting digestive health with their fiber content.

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Author : Haziq Zainal

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