'Williams' is a cultivar of the Giant Cavendish type in the Cavendish subgroup. It is one of the most widely grown cultivars in commercial plantations.
History, distribution and economic importance
'Williams' is believed to have first appeared as a tall mutant in a 'Chinese Cavendish' ('Dwarf Cavendish) plantation in Australia in 19101 . It soon started replacing 'Chinese Cavendish' and, by the 1950s, became the most widely grown cultivar in the country.
It was introduced in Hawaii in 1953, where it soon replaced 'Chinese Cavendis'h in commercial plantations and also became the third most popular backyard banana (after 'Chinese Cavendish' and 'Hawaiian Apple').
The pseudostem of Williams has dark brown, black or red streaks.
The rachis is only partly instead of fully clothed, with a long naked section of rachis and a crowded cluster of leaf-like bracts right above the male bud and very small neuter flowers just below the fruit.
The colour of the bract internal face is yellowish. Male flowers are whitish with yellow tips.
Fruits are 15-23 cm long, slightly curved, and about 5 times as long as broad. Their apex is more bottlenecked than for other Cavendish clones, especially before full maturity. Like other Cavendish, they have a tuft of dead floral relicts at the tip.
Agronomic traits, yield and fruit characteristics
Williams is a medium to tall plant (2.4-3.7 m)1 . Time from planting to harvest is around 12 months. Williams has a very large, cylindrical bunch, with up to 300 evenly sized and shaped fruits that point evenly upwards.
Days from planting to flowering: 351.12
Days from flowering to harvest: 188.22
Days from planting to harvest: 539.32
Height at shooting (cm): 161.22
Height at harvest (cm):
Girth at shooting (cm): 57.92
Functional leaves at shooting: 12.42
Total leaves at shooting: 12.72
Mean bunch weight (kg): 25.8, 28.2, 28.52
Number of hands:
Total number of fruits:
Number of fruits on hand:
Finger length (cm): 18.3, 19.72
Finger girth (cm): 12.1, 12.42
Finger weight (g):
Reaction to pests and diseases
'Williams' is highly susceptible to black leaf streak and to Mycosphaerella leaf speckle3 . Epidemics of Cordana leaf spot have occurred on' Williams' in New South Wales, Australia4 .
It is resistant to Fusarium wilt race 1, but susceptible to race 45 .
It was found to be susceptible to Radopholus similis6 .
'Williams' is susceptible to Banana bunchy top virus7 .
Fruits are less susceptible to cigar end rot1 .
Reaction to abiotic stress
'Williams' has good tolerance to wind1 . In St Lucia, 'Robusta' suffered 2.5 times more wind damage than 'Williams'8 .
While it is not especially cold tolerant1 , 'Williams' can grow in cooler environments2 . Low temperatures can induce choking in 'Williams'.
Williams seems less sensitive to water stress than 'Grande Naine', but more sensitive than 'Robusta'2 .
Recommendations for cultivation
The heavy bunch often requires propping to prevent toppling1 .
See also on this website
- Figue Pomme
- Gerei Langi
- Giant Cavendish
- Grande Naine
- Gros Michel
- Iholena lele
- Maoli Maoli
- Ney Poovan
- Obino l'Ewai
- Pei Chiao
- Pisang Awak
- Pisang Jari Buaya
- Pisang Lilin
- Pisang Raja
- Sukali Ndizi
- Yangambi Km5