The lovely Musa dasycarpa really stands out for me. There are other bananas with pink flowers, but this one also has bright pink fruit! Better yet the fruit is very sweet and edible, although filled with seeds. This species is also more cold tolerant that other bananas. It's definitely not the hardiest but can survive temperatures down to -12C (USDA zone 8a). It even stays relatively small and only grows to about 2m in height.
This species was originally referred to as M. velutina. It was thought to be discovered in 1875 but it turns out it was actually described 8 years earlier in 1867. The first person to discover/describe the plant generally gets the naming rights, so the proper name is Musa dasycarpa.
This is the second species that I've tried previously but couldn't get to germinate. I think the issue was heat. I have found a lot of conflicting information on germinating these bananas. I'm going to try using moist compost and planting each seed about 1/2 cm deep. Allegedly they like temperatures between 21C and 25C with a day/night fluctuation. People keep recommending this but if they're not getting results I don't know why they still try it.
There are other theories that seeds from bananas that ripen in warm weather germinate quickly (2 weeks) with heat. Those that ripen in cooler weather germinate more slowly (2 months) and heat doesn't help. The seeds I ordered would have been collected in the summer. I've always had luck germinating bananas with heat so that's what I'm going to try. Wish me luck!
The next species up is Pride of Madeira (Echium fastuosum).