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17. Musaceae A. L. Jussieu

芭蕉科 ba jiao ke

Authors: Delin Wu & W. John Kress

Herbs perennial or monocarpic, growing from sympodial rhizomes or a massive, sympodial corm. Pseudostems composed of closely packed leaf sheaths. Leaves spirally arranged, petiolate; leaf blade entire, pinnately veined. Inflorescence terminal or rarely axillary, cymose. Bracts spirally arranged, often brilliantly colored, spathelike, large. Flowers bisexual or unisexual by abortion, zygomorphic. Perianth in 2 whorls; 3 outer tepals and 2 inner ones united into a compound tepal; third inner tepal free. Stamens 5, free; anthers 2-loculed. Pistil 1; ovary inferior, 3-loculed; ovules numerous per locule, anatropous; placentation axile. Style simple or capitate. Fruit a berry, fleshy or leathery and dry, indehiscent. Seeds hard, not arillate; embryo straight, surrounded by a ± well-developed endosperm and a mealy perisperm.

Three genera and ca. 40 species: tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and Asia; three genera (one endemic) and 14 species (four endemic, three introduced) in China.

Li Hsi-wen. 1981. Musaceae subfam. Musoideae. In: Wu Te-lin, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 16(2): 1--14.

1 Herbs monocarpic, 1-stemmed; pseudostem often swollen at base; bracts green; seeds usually more than (5--)10 mm in diam.   1 Ensete
+ Herbs perennial, tufted; pseudostems not swollen at base; bracts variously colored; seeds usually less than 7 mm in diam.   (2)
2 (1) Pseudostems less than 60 cm; inflorescence terminal, or axillary near base of pseudostem, conical, dense; bracts yellow to yellow-orange; bracts and flowers persistent   2 Musella
+ Pseudostems more than 60 cm; inflorescence terminal, not conical, lax; bracts green, brown, dull purple, or rarely yellow; bracts and flowers usually deciduous   3 Musa

Lower Taxa


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