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Banana Identification Mystery Nanner? This is where you can get help to identify your banana plants. Upload some pics to your gallery and post a thread and let everyone know as much info that you have of the plant.


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Old 08-17-2005, 11:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default M. acuminata sdc

Still gathering banana species info. around here

Is a M. acuminata novak sdc species correct or redundant?
I bought mine some time ago and the little plastic thingie in the pot stated:

"Musa acuminata novak"

Are all "acuminata" also "novak"?
Are all "acuminata" also "super dwarf cavendish"?

I have noticed that this plant has some red variegation the the leaves, not as much and profuse as my "zebrina", but it's there.

Any help appreciated.
Thanks,
tropicalkid
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Old 08-17-2005, 12:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. acuminata sdc

I may have remembered these incorrectly but from memory, these are the general things that comes mind about your question:

The third name is usually the name of the person who first designated the name of the species, or the place or botanist honored, etc, ie, the most common is Linneaus. If the third name is enclosed in quotes, then that is the name of the cultivar.

To tell you frankly, the naming of bananas is the most chaotic and problematic of all species. There seems to be no consensus on how to scientifically name bananas of various cultivars.

Most of the bananas that are edible came from polyploid hybrids between the Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana groups, so many would argue that most bananas should be named as Musa acuminata x balbisiana. Although there are various Musa species aside from acuminata and balbisiana and possibly some edible types come also as hybrids of other species grouping aside from these two.

So as a convention for me, I would follow Musa 'variety name' [AAB]. The letters in bracket are optional for me, since I can look these up quickly, but they are a reminder about ploidy levels and to designate how many chromosomes come from acuminata and how many from balbisiana.

Last edited by JoeReal : 08-17-2005 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. acuminata sdc

JoeReal,
you have it right at the end with Musa 'Cultivar Name' (Group Genetics). They abandoned trying to give cultivated Musa Linnean binomials awhile ago. The edible bananas are not species, Musa acuminata is a wild species of which some edible bananas are derived from, same with M. balbisiana, but there are also other species involved in some. Musa acuminata also has many subspecies such as zebrina, banksii, malaccensis, microcarpa, siamea just to name a few and are written as Musa acuminata subsp. zebrina for example. These are very different from edible bananas. Musa acuminata 'Novak' is an incorrect name, you will not be able to take a hike through Borneo and find wild 'Super Dwarfs' growing all over, the proper name is Musa 'Novak' or 'Super Dwarf' plus (AAA Group), no species names are needed because they are not species. Also, plantain is a general term for any banana that is too starchy to be eaten raw, not all plantain type bananas are derived purely from balbisiana, most are dervived from both and some dont have any balbisiana genetics.
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. acuminata sdc

Thanks a lot Gabe!
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Old 08-17-2005, 08:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. acuminata sdc

There are some comments about 'Novak' under Super Dwarf Cavendish at Dave's Garden:
http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/60087/

Novak is registered as "Super Dwarf Banana". It is not Super Dwarf Cavendish. I have read it is a mutant of Grand Nain. It rarely exceeds 4 ft., has a thick pstem & large elongated leaves. Although it is mainly grown as an ornamental, it does produce small, very sweet fruits. There is little info on the internet. Most sites lump it in with SDC.
This is from :
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~drc/mcavendishii.htm

Some of these ornamental clones have brand names such as 'Bananarama', 'Tropicana', 'Chyla Dwarf' and at least one, 'Purple Rain' with very dark leaves, is (or rather was, the protection seems to have lapsed) protected under European Plant Breeders' Rights. 'Bananarama' and 'Chyla Dwarf' are very dwarf. The most dwarf of all is probably 'Novak' a plant with an interesting and rather sad history.

'Novak' was developed as a radiation-induced mutant at the IAEA/FAO Joint Laboratories in Siebersdorf, near Vienna in Austria. The scientist in charge of the programme at the time, and a great Musa expert, was a Czech scientist, Dr Frantisek (Frank) Novak. Frank was tragically killed in a car crash while travelling in Czechoslovakia shortly after the collapse of the Iron Curtain. The plant is named for him.

There is a variant of 'Novak' derived from tissue culture and known as 'Little Prince'. This plant was erroneously marketed as a form of Musa basjoo in the UK in 2003.

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Old 08-18-2005, 11:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. acuminata sdc

There is little to no difference between 'Super Dwarf' and 'Novak', despite there possibly different origins, they are both small forms of 'Cavendish' of which there is little to no difference. Its like the 'Green Ae Ae' and 'Popoulu', even though they come from different origins ('Ae Ae' most likely being a spontaneous variegated sport of 'Popoulu' and then 'Green Ae Ae' being a spantaneous revert back to all green), they are so similar you would have trouble distinguishing them by anything except for origin.
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Old 08-18-2005, 02:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: M. acuminata sdc

Thanks everyone for the info.To me it seems that the one I have is the "novak" variant, as it has a short plump psudostem, elongated leaves, and a bit of noticeable variegation in the leaves.I posted a photo of it at the gallery.By the way, my goal is to get it to fruit, and no choking so far.
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