Musa, Banana 'Ice Cream'

Musa acuminata

Family: Musaceae
Genus: Musa (MEW-suh) (Info)
Species: acuminata (ah-kew-min-AY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Ice Cream


Edible Fruits and Nuts

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:

Fuchsia (red-purple)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Theodore, Alabama

Tucson, Arizona

Encinitas, California

Escondido, California

Fresno, California

Hayward, California

Irvine, California

Pasadena, California

Rancho Mirage, California

Sacramento, California

San Diego, California

Santa Barbara, California(2 reports)

Thousand Oaks, California

Upland, California

Apopka, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Casselberry, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida

Jupiter, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Melbourne, Florida

Navarre, Florida

Orlando, Florida(5 reports)

Ormond Beach, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Riverview, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Rotonda West, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Cordele, Georgia

Richmond Hill, Georgia

Hilo, Hawaii

Honomu, Hawaii



Salem, Kentucky

Marrero, Louisiana

Vinton, Louisiana

Dorr, Michigan

ST JOHN, Mississippi

Austin, Texas

La Feria, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Waco, Texas

St John, Virgin Islands

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 18, 2014, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I bought a itty bitty pup at the Hayward Farmers Market in June. Maybe a foot tall,for $10. Cheap.. By mid October the largest leaf is 6' off the ground,and its now 3-4 plants.
I do notice the leafs haven't shredded and have a nice satiny sheen to them.
Its growing in dark rich clays..holds water and yet isn't soaking wet. That and some general organic fertilizer is all she needs.
I will update if she bears next year....

Update: She has fruit now in July 2016. How fast the time went.


On Apr 20, 2009, Jungleman from Pasadena, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Blue Java ( I hate cute common names like 'Ice Cream') is one tough banana. I do have a couple of caveats, however.

This banana cannot take full sun in warm, arid climates, such as mine (inland Southern California). It needs afternoon shade, at the very minimum, and prefers only morning sun. I would also add that one should not water it during the winter, as it goes semi-dormant once temps are below 50 degrees at night.


On Jun 26, 2008, SelenaLatina from Marrero, LA wrote:

This banana was hard to come by in my area, but I am so glad to have it. I have had it for almost 3 years in a 24 inch pot. It never has flowered or fruited yet. It was a baby the first year I purchased it in the summer, and then it froze when we had a few 28 degree nights the following winter. It was just a dead looking stalk after that, but did come back the next spring. It overwintered in my new green house the second winter and it produced 3 babies this past spring. The original plant is 10 feet tall and still alive. I just put it in the ground this year with 2 of the babies still attached and I am hoping for some bananas soon! I planted the other baby in my mom's yard for Mother's Day, and she is sure it will surpass my plants here at my house. We are both in the same zipcode... read more


On Jun 26, 2007, handbright from Coral Springs, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

These plants haven't stopped fruiting since I planted the original. Although she is long gone, her babies continue on. About every 4-6 months I'm able to harvest another stalk, each yeilding about 75-100 bananas. The fruit stalk is very heavy, the bananas are very delicious, and they look astonishing in a huge (and I mean huge) fruit bowl. Wonderful banana for looks and fruit.


On Nov 27, 2006, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

From Just Fruits and Exotics: "This banana plant is covered with a silvery-white powder. When the fruit is ripe, the snow-white flesh is honey sweet and tastes like vanilla ice-cream. Honest! Bare root only. Zones 8B-10."


On Jul 21, 2005, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

Some friends from Hawaii visited and named it an "apple Banana", stating they are common and prized there. They are very good.
Last year we had some at about 20 feet tall. A few years ago I had to use a tall ladder to get the fruit down, and it was very heavy.


On Sep 27, 2004, WalterT from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I just posted two images of Musa acuminata. One is of a bunch of young bananas hanging in a 15 foot tall tree and the other is of a single flower.
This banana grows all over southern California in frost free areas. When ripe the fruit is delicious with a distinct apple flavor. The plant has three pups at its base, the tallest is already one meter and will produce next year's crop.

July 22, 2005. I agree with what "trois" wrote. This banana has a distinct apple flavor when fully ripe. This year I have five plants growing and may get one or two bunches of fruit this fall and more next summer. Yummy!


On Jul 23, 2004, tovis from Dorr, MI wrote:

I've been growing 8 of these plants, my friends know them as my babies. I am quite suprised by how fast they grow and how interesting they are compared to native plants of my area. I purchased 6, 2 were brutalized in shipping so my vendor send me new ones at no charge. I nursed them all back to health and the look incredible in pots. I don't know what I am going to do when they get full size though. I have one banana tree now in Michigan that is about 5ft tall, and thats in the largest pot I could find at Home Depot. For northern growers I would say be patient, if you keep them outside when you watch the news and see its cold bring them in. I am also growing Californa Hardy, and Dwarf Cavandish. I want them to eventually grow banana's but am not looking forward to them dying afterwards.


On Oct 3, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of maybe hundreds of edible forms of this species, but the one I think tastes the best is one of the more reliable growers in Southern California. The flavor is incredible- very creamy and sweet. It only takes 2, maybe 3 years from a seedling to fruit producing mass of bananas. It helps a lot of thin out the suckers to 1-2, leaving the main plant to only have to compete with a few suckers... otherwise too much energy goes into the suckers and the main stem doesn't make as much fruit. Once fruiting, it dies and one or two of the suckers will fruit out in a year or two. Frost is a big problem in zone 9b, and will usually set back the plant and stop the fruit maturing dead in its tracks.. you need basically a frost free winter to get a good set of fruit.