Phenological parameter responses gauge banana fruit production potential in the coastal region of Alabama, USA

E.L. Vinson III, E.D. Coneva, J.M. Kemble, F.M. Woods, J.L. Sibley, P.M. Perkins-Veazie, E.G. Fonsah
Studies conducted whether to determine ornamental appeal, commercial fruit production, ideal plant spacing and arrangement or cultivar performance all demonstrate that bananas (Musa sp.) can be produced in the subtropics and marketed locally. In Alabama the area that presents the most potential for successful banana production is along the coast as mean monthly maximum and minimum temperatures are within cardinal temperature ranges for 7 months during the year with mean temperatures slightly above range from mid-June to mid-August. Cardinal temperatures for banana production falls in the range of 14-31°C with optimal range of 22-31°C. Thirteen banana cultivars representing three size categories according to vigor and six genomic groups were planted in the coastal region of Alabama in Fairhope on June 5, 2013 as follows: 'Grand Nain', 'Dwarf Cavendish', 'Dwarf Red', 'Dwarf Green', and 'Double' (dwarf); 'Gold Finger', 'Viente Cohol', 'Raja Puri', 'Ice Cream', and 'Cordaba' (medium); and 'Pisang Ceylon', 'Sweetheart', and 'Saba' (tall). Total number of leaves produced by banana cultivars was within the range that signals floral initiation during the first season. Leaf longevity in most banana cultivars was similar to other bananas cultivated in the subtropics. Leaf emergence rate (LER) showed a steady increase from June to August and were similar to leaf emergence rates of banana plants produced in other subtropical regions around the world. This report focuses on medium-size bananas, among which 'Gold Finger' was the most adapted to coastal Alabama while 'Raja Puri' was the least. Preliminary phenological and physiological data support banana fruit production in coastal Alabama, USA.
Vinson III, E.L., Coneva, E.D., Kemble, J.M., Woods, F.M., Sibley, J.L., Perkins-Veazie, P.M. and Fonsah, E.G. (2017). Phenological parameter responses gauge banana fruit production potential in the coastal region of Alabama, USA. Acta Hortic. 1178, 61-66
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1178.11
Musa, Cavendish, non-Cavendish, crop diversity, banana production, subtropical fruit, phenology

Acta Horticulturae