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MUSA 'Cardaba'

Image of Musa 'Cardaba' (Saba, A B B Group)



Botanical Name

MUSA 'Cardaba'( Saba, A B B Group)

Plant Common Name

Banana, Cardaba Banana, Hybrid Banana

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A starchy banana that may be eaten raw but usually cooked, the Cardaba banana is a vigorous, very cold-hardy, fast growing, tropical herb (not a tree) with large, flat, whitish blue-green leaves. Very popular in the Philippines, the fruits are sliced into chips, fried and called turones. Hands are lined with plump, non-uniform, angular, green fruits rich in starches and may be better called a sweet plantain.

The hybrid 'Cardaba' is a triploid plant (ABB) with most characteristics of the parent Musa balbasiana. Thus, it is tolerant of drier soil and colder conditions than others as well as having good resistance to the Sigatoka leaf spot diseases. It is highly regarded not only for its starchy white flesh and attractive foliage lacking red tones, but also vigorous growth and ability to be used as a shade "tree".

As with all bananas, each stem flowers and sets fruit only once before dying. That stem is chopped out as the plantain hand is harvested so that the other stems can grow fully. This wind-sturdy cultivar easily forms smooth, green, waxy stems that are as round as a basketball or larger in a large clump.

Carbada banana plants prosper in warm fertile soils with consistent moisture. Full sun exposures are best and a long growing season is required to set the flowering stalk and subsequent fruits. Avoid sandy, poor soils unless compost, mulch or other rich organic matter can be placed over the root zone. These plants are often root-hardy in warmer temperate zones and rejuvenate after spring frosts but may not attain ripe fruits during the growing season. Large but thin, the leaf may shred in high winds upon the thick stem trunks. The exotic and tropical look of 'Cardaba' is reason enough to grow it; the palatable starch of the fruit lends it a prominent place in home vegetable gardens as well as for ornamentation or shade in the landscape.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    8'-18' / 2.4m - 5.5m (15)

  • Width

    10'-20' / 3.0m - 6.1m (12)

  • Bloom Time


  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage


  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Purple, Brown

  • Flower Color Modifier


  • Fruit Color

    Green, Sea Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    White, Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    White, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    White, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    White, Blue Green, Olive

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Feature Plant, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border, Shade Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing