Musa textilis (Manila hemp, Abacá)
Location: Tropical Glasshouse
Musa textilis is a species of banana native to the Philippines, grown as a commercial crop in the Philippines and in Central America for its fibre known as Manila hemp, which is extracted from the leaf sheaths. During the 19th century, alongside sugar and tobacco, it was one of the main cash crops of the Philippines, which still produces 85% of world output. As the strongest of all natural fibres, it was once used primarily for rope, but is now mainly used for specialized papers such as tea bags, banknotes and decorative papers. The fruit is inedible due to its many black cone-shaped seeds.