Unusual ornamental banana from Yunnan Province in China. Very cold hardy, surviving temperatures into the teens. A single thick pseudostem, broad at the base and tapering toward the tip, grows 56 feet tall and is topped with dark green, 3- to 4 feet-long leaves. Prized by plant collectors for the exotic, waxy inflorescence that emerges at the plant's top and resembles a golden, 8 inches-wide artichoke; it can last all summer. Clusters of small true flowers peek out between the bracts. After flowering, the original pseudo- stem dies, but suckers sprout from the base. Best enjoyed as an oddity. During the course of flowering, it may drop its foliage and look like a big yellow starfish sitting atop a stump, but it can still stop traffic.