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Bananas grown on Isle of Wight

Wed 19 Sep 2012

Bananas grown on Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is one of the only places in the UK where bananas can be grown, with one island garden showing off the fruits it has been able to cultivate this summer.

Bonchurch Inn on the Isle of Wight has grown musa basjoo bananas, but unfortunately for the owners they are inedible.

According to a report by the Isle of Wight County Press, this type of banana has a lot in common with the dwarf variety, which will also only flower and fruit when its stem has reached a certain maturity.

It was noted that although the bananas growing in the courtyard of the Isle of Wight pub are attractive for visitors to look at, they cannot be eaten.

Simon Newton, who runs Bonchurch Landscapes, planted the banana tree about six years ago to add to his range of exotic plants, which already includes palms and other tropicals and sub-tropicals.

Nino and Gillian Besozzi are the current owners of the Bonchurch Inn and they stated they have taken great joy from the fact the banana tree has been successfully flowering so close to the location, which may be set to attract an influx of tourists on Isle of Wight holidays as a result.

Dean Brooman, the grandson of the Besozzis, said: "We haven't given it any protection in the winters when it has just died back. Every spring there has been new growth. We have been rewarded with big flowers and three bunches of green bananas."

Musa basjoo, sikkimensis, Musella lasiocarpa and possibly itinerans are all varieties of banana tree that are recommended to be protected indoors during the winter months, but it seems as though the tree at the Bonchurch Inn has thrived despite no such measure being taken last year.

As well as being one of the finest spots on the Isle of Wight to enjoy a drink with the family, the Bonchurch Inn has a self-contained holiday flat that can be rented out by travellers.

Posted by Jon NobleADNFCR-3083-ID-801452610-ADNFCR

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