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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 01-19-2009, 08:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Joy Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Of the 4 species of wild musa found in Malaysia, this is the most common.
I wanted to highlight this plant sometime ago but I just didn't know how to get about it! It's so common here that I (personally) find nothing special about it. Over here, it is a weed. It grows everywhere, in the bushes, forests, in the city and even in the center of housing areas. Nobody cares to rid of it and they are much tolerated especially by the Malay population here.

As we all know, the M-a is the progenitor of most edible 'naner cultivars and how true it is! If you get the chance to taste the seeded fruit, you will know. It is very aromatic and very sweet, except that the fruit is basically a seed pod, chock full of it. The Malays have a recipe for a dessert which they extract the pulp of the fruit and mix it with flour. Each fruit has approx 90-105 sds. Imagine a bunch!

First impression of this sp is the undersurface of the leaf. It is a waxy white in color and it can be seen from a distance away as evident in the photo. The upper surface is a matte green. When young, it often has maroon red blotches. Most fade away when the plant is about 3-4ft tall. Call me an optimist, I am still looking for an adult plant with colored leaves! The mid rib is yellow both at the top and bottom of the leaf.

This plant grows to a p-stem height of about 9ft. Most flower and fruit at about 6-7ft. The bud is a beautiful Carmine red. This is a very tolerant sp as it can be seen growing in all sorts of conditions, from very wet to very dry.
Up to now, I am still amazed (and still taking pix) of the seedlings' leaves. They tend to have bluish iridescent on the uppersurface caused by the presence of wax. Just lovely!

Parts of the plant are used by the different races here. It's leaves are used to wrap cooked food and as a wrap in steaming food. Many just use it as a disposable plate of sort especially by the Indians. The Indians also use whole plants which are cut with the flower and propped up as a decoration for ceremonies.
In the past, the p-stem is cut into small sections and used as a supplementary pig fodder. The bud is eaten raw or cooked here as a salad.

In its natural habitat, it is not seen in the understorey of the forest. They are abundant in the open areas whether dry or next to a stream. Sunlight is very important for it. I have observed that birds or small mammal such as monkeys seem to eat only the fruits which are ripen on the plant. Raw fruits are always untouched, but once it ripens, it is gone in a very short time.

For more pix, pls check my photo gallery for the M-a Album

Baby Blue! All sdlgs have a certain amount of blue iridescent on the uppersurfarce. This is the 'bluest' I have seen so far.


The undersurface of the leaf is a waxy white. Lucky me, the breeze helped me to get this pix. Really stark against the dark forest background.


A typical habitat of the M-a-s-m. Open forest area with lots of sun light.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Tog, I really enjoyed your article and pictures. Even though this subspecies may be considered a weed in your neck of the woods, I think this would make a great piece for the magazine. Most folks don't have the good fortune of being able to go out and view bananas (and other plants) growing in their natural habitat like this. I think readers of the magazine would love to see your photos and read your account of seeing them in the jungle.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Brent, thanks for your most kind words. I will work on this for the mag later but I still want to get more pix of it in the city. I am trying to get a couple of pix of it right in the centre of the city with the KL Twin Towers as the background. That will convince people it's really a weed! But darn the traffic jams and parking problems, it will take a while though!
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

When I was a kid I would subscribe to a reptile magazine and the articles I still remember were the collecting adventures.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Tog, I am part way on reading a book on "Plants and Flowers of Malaysia" and it mentions the Acuminata along with Truncata and Violascens. It says that they grow all over the peninsular except in the south. As this is an old book( 1992) I imagine that they may well have spread further south.

I really enjoy your forages to the jungle and the pictures that go with them. Keep them comimg
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Yo Mark! Glad you enjoy my ramblings.
Ok mate, let's recap on the 4 species found in Peninsular M'sia;

M-acuminata subsp malaccensis - All over the country!

M-violascens - Only along the Western part of the peninsular. From North to South.

M-acuminata subsp truncata - On the Central highlands of the Malaysian Main Range. This mountain strip max at about 10,000asl acts as a divider.

M-gracilis - Certain areas of the Eastern side of the peninsular. So far from the info I gathered from the locals, the Purple color form is rarer than the White form.

So far I have done Threads on 3 of them and I can't wait for the rains to clear so I can go and nail the 2 color forms of the M-gracilis on the Eastern side.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Iy only mentions three in the book Tog, But like I said its old I am also taken with all the different types of Nepenthes that you have growing over there too.

I have found myself skipping the text in the book and just drooling over the pictures

Look forwards to you finding the Gracilis once the rains stop.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Very interesting Tog,thanks.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

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Iy only mentions three in the book Tog, But like I said its old I am also taken with all the different types of Nepenthes that you have growing over there too.

I have found myself skipping the text in the book and just drooling over the pictures

Look forwards to you finding the Gracilis once the rains stop.
Poor guy probably didn't go east! There are 11 sp of Nepenthes in Peninsular M'sia. I have hunted down 9 of them. Too lazy to do the other 2 cos too remote and not spectacular in form. Mark, when you see them......they are like a whole football field packed FULL! No kidding.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

OK OK no need to rub it in

I am so envyous of all the wonderful plants you have growing just outside your back door.All I have at the moment is frozen basjo and sikki stems
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Quote:
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So far I have done Threads on 3 of them and I can't wait for the rains to clear so I can go and nail the 2 color forms of the M-gracilis on the Eastern side.
Me neither, I am anxiously awaiting the next installment! As I become older, it is with some chagrin that I realize I may never get to visit Malaysia and see such beauty. Vicariously, I live through your eyes and senses as you trek through the jungle. To use an overly used word in its proper meaning, it must be AWESOME!
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

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OK OK no need to rub it in

I am so envyous of all the wonderful plants you have growing just outside your back door.All I have at the moment is frozen basjo and sikki stems
Please don't forget your Variegated Rajapuri and Variegated Musa basjoo and Variegated Musa acuminata subsp sumatrana and.....what else you are hiding from me mate?
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Me neither, I am anxiously awaiting the next installment! As I become older, it is with some chagrin that I realize I may never get to visit Malaysia and see such beauty. Vicariously, I live through your eyes and senses as you trek through the jungle. To use an overly used word in its proper meaning, it must be AWESOME!
Scot, I am expecting Bob in 2010 and I am gonna take that bum go deep in the jungle to do some game fishing(lots of nice eating big 'uns) and let him hunt/steal all the musa and plants he wants. Maybe you should join him then. Hey, I am serious.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Scot, I am expecting Bob in 2010 and I am gonna take that bum go deep in the jungle to do some game fishing(lots of nice eating big 'uns) and let him hunt/steal all the musa and plants he wants. Maybe you should join him then. Hey, I am serious.

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Old 01-19-2009, 03:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

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Scot, I am expecting Bob in 2010 and I am gonna take that bum go deep in the jungle to do some game fishing(lots of nice eating big 'uns) and let him hunt/steal all the musa and plants he wants. Maybe you should join him then. Hey, I am serious.
You didn't tell me that you have fish there! I am so in!
Guess I better start saving for it. Perhaps I will combine it with China. That would be a dream come true. And yes, I am serious, too!
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You didn't tell me that you have fish there! I am so in!
Guess I better start saving for it. Perhaps I will combine it with China. That would be a dream come true. And yes, I am serious, too!
When you do make it, make sure you go back on a different flight from Bob's cos I will alert my chaps at the customs to check him for plants! Darn, should have PM'd you n this. Now he knows it.....

The best time to be here for jungle fun is around late Feb to Apr when it is dry. Otherwise, you will just be totally soaked and feeding leeches.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Cool Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Don't sleep while I'm there!
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Don't sleep while I'm there!
I only sleep with my wife(if I have one), I am wide awake with other .....never mind! I will make you an exception. Hey young 'un, it's 4.15 am here, sleep?
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Yeah should have known.
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis - Grandaddy of edible 'naners

Tog, you've done it again, my man! Great pics. Wish I had the money and the time, I'd come pay you a visit also! Best,

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