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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 24 | Musaceae | Musa

4. Musa acuminata Colla, Mem. Gen. Musa. 25:66. 1820.

小果野蕉 xiao guo ye jiao

Pseudostems green with black blotches, ca. 4.8 m. Leaf sheath and petiole pruinose; petiole ca. 80 cm, margin erect or spreading and basally with scarious wings; leaf blade adaxially green and pruinose, abaxially yellow-green and pruinose or not, oblong, 1.9--2.3 m × 50--70 cm, base cordate, asymmetric, midvein adaxially green, abaxially white-yellow. Inflorescence subhorizontal or vertically reflexed; peduncle usually downy or hairy. Bracts bright red to dark violet, sometimes yellow at extreme apex, ovate, apex usually acute. Male flowers ca. 20 per bract, in 2 rows. Compound tepal white or cream, lemon yellow at apex, 3.5--4 cm, apex of outer lobes with a hooklike, hairy appendage; free tepal not more than 1/2 as long as compound tepal, apex emarginate, shortly apiculate. Infructescence ca. 1.2 m; peduncle to 70 × ca. 4 cm, white setose. Berries incurved, green to yellow-green, 5-angled when young, cylindric at maturity, ca. 9 cm, white setose, base curved and attenuate into a stalk, apex contracted into a rostrum 6--10 mm. Seeds numerous in wild plants but absent in cultivated clones, brown, depressed, 5--6 mm in diam., irregularly angled. 2 n = 22, 33.

Shaded and moist ravines, marshlands, semimarshlands, slopes, also cultivated; near sea level to 1200 m. Native in W Guangxi and Yunnan; cultivated in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Taiwan, and Yunnan [India, Indonesia (Java), Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam].

Wild plants are diploid (2 n = 22) and bear fruits containing numerous seeds making them inedible. Cultivated plants are triploid (2 n = 33) and bear seedless, edible fruits; such plants have been called M. acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ ( M. cavendishii Lambert ex Paxton; M. chinensis Sweet; M. nana Loureiro).


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