Sicana odorifera, commonly known as Cassabanana, is a tropical vine native to Brazil. It is a hardy, fast-growing climber that requires a supportive trellis, and can climb up to 2 feet. The foliage of this plant is a deep, glossy green, and it produces fragrant yellow and orange flowers from spring through summer. In USDA Hardiness Zone 6-10, the plant is a perennial and can thrive in full sun to semi-shade, and with moderate to regular watering.
In addition to its ornamental value, Cassabanana is a wildly versatile edible and ethnomedical plant, with a wealth of healthy benefits. Its cylindrical fruits are eaten fresh or in jams, jellies and other preserves, and can also be cooked as a vegetable or in soup and stews. This plant has been used medicinally as an astringent, diuretic, and to treat fever, bronchitis, and dysentery. The fruit of the Cassabanana vine is rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber, and is known to help regulate metabolism and aid in digestion. Each vine can produce up to 2.5 pounds of fruit in a growing season.
When growing Sicana odorifera in a pot, place in an area of full sun to semi-shade and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season. In colder regions, bring the plant indoors when temperatures drop and place in an area where it will receive plenty of sunlight.