The demise of the Cavendish banana is at hand. Yes, the writing is on the wall for the Dwarf Cavendish banana, that curvy and beautifully nature-wrapped yellow potassium punch of perfect snack fruit imported to us from tropical climes. Panama disease, the insidious rot that wiped out the Gros Michel banana back in the 50’s is once again the culprit. 😦
I’ve written about the demise of the banana before it looks like Panama disease has reached Africa now, where many people depend upon the fruit for their livelihoods and where it is a major part of the diet (plantains are a cooking banana). This is not a good situation.
From what I read in Wikipedia, Panama disease TR4 (the disease strain killing off the Cavendish banana) has been around since the 1980’s. The strain that all but wiped out the Gros Michel took 50 years to do so. This strain is also supposed to be more virulent. I’m not holding out much hope of my grand kids being able to enjoy a banana, not without significant cost of importing from overseas at least. 😦
On the bright side, my little Lady Fingers banana pup that was toasted in the greenhouse in a frost, has lived to tell the tale. I potted up Lazarus as he has been named (he did come back from the dead after all) into a black rubbish bin made into a wicking bed looking most sad and sorry and he is currently about 15 inches tall and with several lovely green leaves. I’m still not holding out massive amounts of hope for fruit but if nothing else he looks lovely and green and I may get a pup or 2 from him. 🙂