Banana 'Dwarf Orinoco' (Musa acuminata)
The Dwarf Orinoco Banana Tree reaches all the heights of a great banana without stretching its trunk to any great height, only climbing an average of 6-10 ft. tall. This dwarf Musa sports cold tolerance to zones as low as 7b, far colder than the average banana.
The easy-maintenance Orinoco grows best in full sun but will tolerate up to 30% shade under ideal conditions. It is a vigorous grower, sporting a thick trunk and an ability to fruit within a year. Visually, it is identifiable by its entirely green trunk. You can anticipate finding fruit bunches of up to 5 ‘hands’ of 6-inch long, angular bananas.
The Venezuela-native Orinoco creates outstanding fruit which ripens without splitting, thanks to its extra-thick skin. Those outstanding fruits can be heavy on the dwarf tree, so ensure to give it support when carrying large heads of fruit! Biting into a ripe Orinoco bears a silky, sweet experience with a hint of a strawberry undertone. You can eat it out of hand during its starchy green-yellow stage or ripen it to banana-bread brightness to experience its ideal sweetness. The Orinoco is a favorite for frying due to its ideal firmness.
But don’t just take our word for it, fry up some home-grown fritters of your own!