Musa sikkimensis ‘Bengal Tiger’
Musa sikkimensis ‘Bengal Tiger,’ also known as Bengal Tiger Banana or Darjeeling Banana, is an extraordinary ornamental banana plant originating from the eastern Himalayas, specifically the Sikkim region in India. Belonging to the Musaceae family, this unique banana species showcases captivating features that make it a sought-after choice for landscaping.
Elevate your garden’s aesthetics with the mesmerizing ‘Bengal Tiger’ banana, adding a touch of the exotic to your outdoor space.
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Musa sikkimensis was discovered by western horticulture in the late 19th century. British botanist Sir George King was instrumental in identifying this striking banana species during his exploration of the Sikkim region in the eastern Himalayas. In 1886, he officially described and named it “Musa sikkimensis” to commemorate its origin. Its distinct maroon-red undersides of leaves caught the attention of botanists and horticulturists worldwide, leading to its introduction to botanical gardens and subsequent cultivation as an ornamental plant, treasured for its unique beauty and cold-hardiness.
The standout characteristic of ‘Bengal Tiger’ lies in its large, paddle-shaped leaves adorned with a striking and vibrant colour pattern. The prominent maroon-red stripes running lengthwise across the leaves resemble the majestic coat of a Bengal tiger, hence the name. As the plant matures, these patterns become more pronounced, adding to its visual appeal.
Care & Size Guidance
For plants grown directly in the ground, cut stems back to 60cm after frost kills the leaves, wrap stems with hessian, horticultural fleece, or any other breathable material, and apply a thick mulch to the ground to protect the roots. Plants in containers may be kept in a dry, unheated area over winter.
Whether kept indoors or outdoors, it’s important to consider that the Darjeeling Banana is a large plant when it matures, and thus requires a spot with enough space.
Banana & ginger care
Bananas and gingers are heavy feeders and require plenty of water and fertiliser throughout the growing season to achieve maximum results.
For more information, check out out care guide for outdoor banana plants.