Tropical style summer plantings are all the rage - just look at the Exotic Garden at Great Dixter.
So impressive new tropical plants that will thrive outside in our summers are always in demand - and this new ornamental banana is simply stunning.
‘Siam Ruby' is a red-stemmed and red-leaved banana with green flecks in the leaves and will bring real drama and bold colour to large summer containers and tropical style plantings.
This new banana is probably less robust than those bananas which overwinter happily outside in the London suburbs and other areas but should thrive outside in summer in much of the country. "It's very new to this country," Simon Gridley of Amulree Exotics
told me, "it's never been grown here until this year. But from our own experience and feedback from our customers it's fine outside in spring and summer, doing well in large containers. And one thing we have learned is the colour is much better if the plant is kept in full sun."
Relatively modest in size - the largest specimen in existence is only 3m/10ft tall - ‘Siam Ruby' arose in Papua New Guinea as a sport of ‘Tapo', which has green leaves generously speckled in red. It was introduced into the west by the American nurseryman Tony Avent of Plant Delights who came across it while travelling in Thailand.
Musa ‘Siam Ruby' is now available in Britain from Amulree Exotics
You can read the article on bananas from the May 2002 issue of The Garden here