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Species Bananas Discussions of all the different wild species of banana (non edible), an aspect of the hobby that deserves its own section.


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Old 03-08-2007, 11:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Ok, so there is what is being sold as Musa itinerans, and has been for several years now in the U.S., that looks like this:

From Agristarts.com:

And one of my pics (plant came from Agristarts):


This plant was, and still is, being advertised as growing to 38' tall or more in the wild, but it flowers at much less than that in Florida (15 feet, give or take a few feet).
Banana-tree.com sells plants of what they call Musa itinerans var. gigantea, which is now known as M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis. The picture on their website does match var. xishuangbannaensis, but the description of the plant doesn't! Some of it does but this part does not:

From their website:http://www.banana-tree.com/Product_D...t_ID~18962.cfm
Quote:
this vigourous grower develops a powdery blue-green coating over much of the trunk and leaf petioles which remains for several years until eventually turning a pinkish-bronze color
And the picture from banana-tree.com:


I have a young var. xishuang, and I can assure you that there is no blue-green wax on the pseudostem! In fact, it is pinkish-bronze right now. Actually, it has maroon splotches, and has some yellow also.

The there is Musa 'Burmese Blue'. We now know that it has been named Musa itinerans var. guangdongensis. There are several other varieties coming to light as well. I believe this part of the thread has been covered by another previous thread, but this is what I want to know:

What is the first banana that I posted?

It isn't Musa itinerans. New pups come up directly off the corm, with no long rhizomes (as with itinerans). It forms a dense mat, which itinerans does not. Gabe and I discussed this a little. Could this be Musa yunnanensis? The description on Nature Products website certainly matches it, and so does the bloom!


What do you think?
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

I would guess it to be a Musa yunnanensis variety as Musa itinerans is a traveling banana, so that is the first thing to notice even if its not flowering. Seed dealers rarely seem to get identification right on new varieties. There are also lots of new undescribed varieties (new species and variations of previously described species) coming out of Yunnan, so who knows. When they go out and collect these plants they could be anything.

Musa itinerans var. itinerans (the original form) has whitish fruit a dark purple (solid) male bud. M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis seems to be very similar to var. itinerans except much larger. Other M. itinerans varieties sometimes have striations on the male bud.
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

I'm curious, what are the odds of the seeds mutating? Is this just another example of sellers making up attractive names? Could it be that the sellers don't really know what seeds they're getting. Other than the visual, do they check the genetics?
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

It is very unlikely seeds are "mutating" from the original wild species. What is really happening is that there are many undescribed and rather unknown to science wild banana varieties out there. When seed collectors find one they don't know the first thing they do is go to literature looking to match it up with a previously described species. This does not always work due to the fact that many of these new varieties are just that, "new", so there is not going to be any reference information on it. Sometimes instead of describing what is it, they tack on the name of the closest previously known species. So you see, many mistakes are made due to lack of knowledge on what the plants are that are actually being sold.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

I am considering sites for planting an Musa itinerans itinerans, should this be planted in partial shade?
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Gosh, we seem to be asking the same questions in different threads of this forum!

What I'm now calling my "yunnanensis" was purchased as itinerans var. gigantea. Below, you state:

"New pups come up directly off the corm, with no long rhizomes (as with itinerans). It forms a dense mat, which itinerans does not."

In my other thread asking the same question, you state:

"Well, there are papers describing both species, both written by Markku Hakkinen. The main difference between Musa itinerans var. itinerans and Musa yunnanensis is the fact that M. itinerans var. itinerans sends pups out up to 6 feet away from the parent pseudostem. Also, M. yunnanensis is very waxy, but M. itinerans var. itinerans is not at all. However, M. itinerans var. chinensis is very similar to M. yunnanensis, exept for the flower and fruit. M. yunnanensis has a very lanceolate-shaped female bud, where M. itinerans has an ovate-shaped bud. "

This describes my plant perfectly, and mine looks just like the picture of yours growing against the wall.



Actually, mine looks like hell right now since I transplanted it about a month ago. It was in full sun and I thought it would appreciate more shade. Oh well, maybe next year.

Trying to get to the bottom of this mess too!

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Last edited by coast crab : 09-14-2009 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Your plant looks the spit of what we've been getting as itinerans in the UK for I don't know how long.I've had mine for 3 possibly 4 years now and they've been around longer than that I'm sure.And they definitely pup from the corm right next to mummy.
Andrewinholland has just posted up some pics of his itinerans flowering over on gotegrowingontheedge.net :: View topic - flowering itinerans and zebrina
Looks an exact match wouldn't you say?
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Steve,

My suspicion is that the vast majority of what's floating around the world as itinerans of any variety is actually yunnanensis.

Like I said in my other thread, when you guys have the real thing in numbers to share please let me know. Consider this a standing request, and put me on your list - or I'll hunt you down. I want to buy some and plant them at our botanical gardens to trial. I'm eager to see what they'll do here in my climate. Very few people seem to have the different itinerans varieties true to name. It is important to me to be sure that what I'm buying is as close as it possibly can be - and it doesn't look like any nursery has it right.

Right now our botanical garden has 2 bananas planted on the grounds, velutina and African red. I personally have 28 others, and as they multiply I'll use them as the start of the banana collection. Heck, some of what's in pots now may end up there next spring, I'm out of space!

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Old 09-14-2009, 05:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Ken, I would definitely put M. itinerans in dappled shade in S. FL.!

Russell, Your plant is M. yunnanensis. You are correct about Most M. itinerans in cultivation now actually being M. yunnanensis also.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Thanks Frank,

I planted it in shade this morning where it will get an hour or two of morning sun. I'll closely watch its growth habit to see if it clumps, and how it sends out "pups." It does have a bit of "waxyness" to the leaves.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
I have a young var. xishuang, and I can assure you that there is no blue-green wax on the pseudostem! In fact, it is pinkish-bronze right now. Actually, it has maroon splotches, and has some yellow also.
What the crap? Were did you get it? I fought with TianZi for over a year trying to get healthy material over here. All they sent me were four little turd, half-dead corms. Those rotted out in one week.
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by buffy View Post
What the crap? Were did you get it? I fought with TianZi for over a year trying to get healthy material over here. All they sent me were four little turd, half-dead corms. Those rotted out in one week.
Since I posted that in early 2007, I have since ID'ed it as var. itinerans, not var. xishuangbannaensis. Wish we could get the monster over here already!

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Old 09-17-2009, 06:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

I guess I knew that. I had a brain fart. I didn't look at the dates above.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Musa itenerans does not like the warm spring /summer of South Florida. It does do better than Basjoo here and seems to like early spring and late fall weather.

[Banana Gallery - Musa itenerans http://www.bananas.org/gallery/water...&filefix=.jpg]

(credit [Bananas.org - View Profile: Caloosamusa Caloosamusa])


Last edited by Caloosamusa : 11-25-2009 at 08:40 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

there are some 'xing's about in Europe.(well Germany at least)

I'm probably the only person who's managed to kill not one but 2 of them

I will try again soon as I am hoping to have something special to trade shortly
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Musa yunnanensis is very cold hearty maybe send someone a pup in a more colder zone to see if it will grow...& survive... that should help....
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: frank.....what about that 40 ft thai species??

i wonder what it might be? it came from doi inthanon, the highest mountain in thailandat 4000-5000 ft. its been hardy here in central alabama. looks like an itinerans, but what variety?

i can also add that yunnanensis doesnt like the summer heat of central alabama. it almost stops growing. i got it as "itinerans".

bananas got frosted last night.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can We Clear up Musa itinerans...PLEASE?

Hi Guys!
I know this thread is very old now, but as it seems to be more about Musa yunnanensis despite the thread title, I'll post this here.

The point I want to make here is that, most of us define M. yunnanensis by the waxy character, but that is not always true. Musa yunnanensis var. yongpingensis (Syn. Musa 'Tibet'), which is quite possibly from the highest elevation of any wild banana (2250 m asl) is not very waxy at all.

Sorry the picture's a bit big!

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