Señorita ?

rane(Finland)July 7, 2005


I recently obtained a few banana plants of a variety called "señorita" in the Philippines. Didn't find much info on it by searching the net. Does it have another name elsewhere ?

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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

It was the first banana plant that I ever planted, when I was just about 5 years old. It is the fastest maturing banana that I know of. In just three months, it blooms after planting from a pup. The stem is red, grows to 4 to 6 ft tall at the trunk before blooming. Fruits are just slightly bigger than your thumb, some are bigger depending where grown. It is one of the sweetest bananas to eat. I like this type of banana in banana split ice creams, a lot better together with ice creams compared to other bananas, just my opinion. But the taste could be different if grown here in the US due to climate interaction.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 8:57PM
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I knew the fruits were small and sweet but I didn't know much about the plant itself. Hmm... if the trunk doesn't get any higher than 6ft I might be able to overwinter it indoors. Any estimate on total height ?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 11:10PM
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I like the idea of fruit in 3 months. Where can I get one?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 2:01AM
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It is common in the Philippines but I haven't seen it for sale anywhere else. (which is why I suspect it might go by another name in the rest of the world) Notice that JoeReal said it blooms in three months, after that it would still take some time before you can harvest any fruit.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 2:33AM
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Casa_Del_Gatos(z8 AL)

Yo quiero Señorita!

Put me on the list!
A banana that blooms in 3 months would seem to be the holy grail of bananas for container growers and those making do with a shorter growing season.

I found some info that called it a Monkey Banana or Sucrier, also Lakatan/Lacatan. Just about ALL info on them relates to the Phillipines. It's apparently the AA diploid genome, has thin skin and sweet fruit.

If the Phillipine Lakatan is actually the same plant, going Bananas says they have them for $20.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 7:22AM
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bananalover(GA z7b)

Maybe you could email them and see if another name for it is Senorita. They might know.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 7:54AM
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Lakatan is not the same, it produces much bigger fruit.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 8:03AM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Yes, Lakatan is the prime quality banana in the Philippines, and usually the highest priced banana fruit in the local market. For me, Lakatan surpasses the flavor and texture of the regular cavendish bananas in the western market. It has also a very long shelf life. For the western markets that have only tasted the cavendish and plantain bananas, they are missing out a lot in terms of taste and other qualities. Lakatan's trunk is about 8 to 10 ft when it usually blooms in 8 to 10 months. Remember that this is the tropics, those are 8 to 10 hot months, when translated to our US zone, it means 2-3 years. The shape and size of the fruits would be the same as that of the cavenidshes varieties. The flesh is orange colored instead of white or yellow, and remains relatively firm even when overripe, that is why the longer shelf life. I am wondering if the fruits are going to taste the same here in California. Our hot summer days and cool nights have been known to dramatically change the fruit taste of tropical fruits.

Senorita has a lot of other local names in the Philippines. Arnibal could be one of them, it might closely resemble the SARTTRA variety from SE Asia being sold by Some senorita can grow to as tall as 10' depending upon soil conditions, but commonly it is between 4' to 6' when it blooms. It is one of the fastest producing bananas. If you go to the local market, Lakatan would fetch the highest price while Senorita would be the cheapest banana. But I don't get fooled by this price discrepancy, I still liked the Senorita more than Lakatan. For me, Lakatan would be my next best tasting bananas in the Philippines. The shelf life of the Senorita fruits is also very short. It's pink pseudostems (makes a lot of pups) are very attractive.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 9:04AM
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TimChapman(Z8 Louisiana)

from the 'wild and cultivated bananas of the philippines'

inarnibal=arnibal=monkoy=senorita=cuarenta dias= sarat-sut = carinosa = lungsuranon outside of the philippines its known as Pisang Empat Puluh Hari (malaysia) and Pisang Lampung (indonesia).

it is an AA type. As far as edibles go, its pretty high on my highlist of things to try. There are some other interesting dwarf types from the philippines i'd like to try as well.

Tim Chapman

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 1:49PM
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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

I was tempted to bring just one tiny tissue cultured vial full of senorita plantlets from the Philippines, but that is not the way to do things the proper way. The proper way is to have them go through quarantine and have the Department of Agriculture observe them until they dehydrate and die.

So I just go to my small farm in the Philippines and pluck loads of senorita fruits anytime of the year that I happen to be there. Banana is also a very important export crop in the Philippines, so I don't bring my banana collections from California either, for fear of introducing exotic diseases that could potentially devastate the important crop. Bananas are never an important crop in California, however.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 7:54PM
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Found this document that lists (among many other things) more parallel names for Señorita. It is a bit confusing though...


    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 3:54AM
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TimChapman(Z8 Louisiana)


If you get an import permit (which is easy enough) and only bring back a test tube/magenta box or the like, you can most likely get it cleared at airport customs without having to send it to the inspection house and get an agent etc etc. I think the rule use to be 12 or less and they'll do it while you wait. A sterile culture should breeze through. You do need a phyto from the philippines of course.. an added nuisance since 9/11 (having a phyto prevents terrorism, don't ask me how or why.. thats a government thing.)

Tim Chapman

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 7:07AM
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Anyone out there have a pup of Senorita or Sarttra or Lakatan for sale or trade?
Going-bananas and Encanto farms no longer have any. I can wait until fall. Please email me if you have one or know of someone who does.
I plan to tissue culture them so that more people can grow them here in the USA.
Thank you!
skashoon5472 at

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 2:11AM
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