Older Plant Symptoms for Bunchy Top
  • BBTD is diagnosed by identifying symptoms of diseased plants or by submitting a banana leaf sample for virus testing
  • When older banana plants are infected late in their life cycle, they may show a range disease symptoms, from very obvious symptoms, to more subtle symptoms.
  • Generally, older banana plants (when infected at an advanced growth stage) show more subtle symptoms of the disease.
  • Young plants (keiki/suckers) get the virus from a diseaesed mother plant, and can show severe bunchy top symptoms.
  • If you suspect a banana plant may be diseased with the bunchy top virus, but you do not see the obvious bunchy top symptom, please inspect the leaves and petioles more closely for symptoms of Morse code, mottling and green J hooks

Some Symptoms of Banana Bunchy Top on Older Plants

Leaves at center are bunchy, upright, with yellow and wavy margins

Leaves are stiff and turned inward, curled

Leaves at center: bunchy, upright, yellow, wavy

Older plant with BBTD resembles a traveler's palm
Dwarf Brazilian 'Hawaiian Apple'

A somewhat more subtle bunching of the top leaves is evident in this older plant with BBTD
Cavendish variety

Leaves are slightly erect and upright. The petiole streaking confirms the diagnosis for this subtle expression of BBTD.

Photographs are courtesy of the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Maintained by Scot Nelson: snelson@hawaii.edu
Last Revised on September 12, 2006