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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 10-23-2008, 07:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Joy Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Everyone knows about the Musa acuminata but the subspecies truncata is a little known form endemic to the highlands of Peninsular Malaysia.
I see the Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis everywhere I go and I was curious about the subsp truncata. Literature on it was scarce, so I took a drive to the western side of the Main Range and went up to almost 6,000ft asl. The following are my observations;

Range
They are found from about 2,500 ft asl upwards. The matured plants display a green/black pseudostem at a lower elevation. Plants from 4,000ft asl have totally black pseudostems and petioles. I know that reptiles tend to be darker in pigmentation in the highlands as to be able to absorb heat better, is it the same with this musa?

Size
The matured plants are about 12ft in pseudostem height with long narrow leaves.

Foliage
It is interesting that the subsp malaccensis have a slivery underleaf and green mid rib while the subsp truncata is a semi gloss green underneath with a red mid rib.
The young plants of the subsp truncata have very narrow and lanceolate leaf whereas the subsp malaccensis young have broad oval leaves. Interesting!

Note the red mid rib and glossy undersurface.


Leaf upper surface is matte with very slight wax.


A clump growing at 5,000+ft asl

I had no luck in locating any flowering or fruiting plants. I will go again on another time as I want to get the seeds.

Please check my photo gallery for more pix of this plant.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Hello Tog! Very interesting information. Musa acuminata happen: Musa acuminata ssp. acuminata Musa acuminata ssp. alasensis Musa acuminata ssp. banskii Musa acuminata ssp. bantamensis Musa acuminata ssp. breviformis Musa acuminata ssp. burmannicoides (= Calcutta 4: Referenz specie INIBAP) Musa acuminata ssp. burmannica Musa acuminata ssp. cerifera Musa acuminata ssp. errans Musa acuminata ssp. halabanensis Musa acuminata var. longepetiolata Musa acuminata ssp. malaccensis Musa acuminata ssp. microcarpa Musa acuminata ssp. microcarpa Borneo Musa acuminata var. nakaii Musa acuminata var. rutifiles Musa acuminata ssp. siamea Musa acuminata ssp. truncata Musa acuminata var. sumatrana Musa acuminata var. tomentosa Musa acuminata ssp. zebrina At me grow from seeds Musa acuminata ssp. siamea, but flowerings at them yet were not. Excellent photos Musa acuminata ssp. truncata, thanks Tog! It would be desirable to see flowering and fruits Musa acuminata ssp. truncata, you have such photos? Tog, I think to you it is necessary to place this information in Wiki, it very interesting with good photos.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raules View Post
Hello Tog! Very interesting information. Musa acuminata happen: Musa acuminata ssp. acuminata Musa acuminata ssp. alasensis Musa acuminata ssp. banskii Musa acuminata ssp. bantamensis Musa acuminata ssp. breviformis Musa acuminata ssp. burmannicoides (= Calcutta 4: Referenz specie INIBAP) Musa acuminata ssp. burmannica Musa acuminata ssp. cerifera Musa acuminata ssp. errans Musa acuminata ssp. halabanensis Musa acuminata var. longepetiolata Musa acuminata ssp. malaccensis Musa acuminata ssp. microcarpa Musa acuminata ssp. microcarpa Borneo Musa acuminata var. nakaii Musa acuminata var. rutifiles Musa acuminata ssp. siamea Musa acuminata ssp. truncata Musa acuminata var. sumatrana Musa acuminata var. tomentosa Musa acuminata ssp. zebrina At me grow from seeds Musa acuminata ssp. siamea, but flowerings at them yet were not. Excellent photos Musa acuminata ssp. truncata, thanks Tog! It would be desirable to see flowering and fruits Musa acuminata ssp. truncata, you have such photos? Tog, I think to you it is necessary to place this information in Wiki, it very interesting with good photos.
Kinda reminds me of reading all of the "begats" in the Bible.
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

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Originally Posted by Chironex View Post
Kinda reminds me of reading all of the "begats" in the Bible.
Haha... Scot.. that's a good one!
Yep, Musa acuminanta is sure one heck of a complex. Some experts stop at 6 subsp but the list can go on depending on who's talking about what. Obviously Andrei is quite a serious follower of this group.

I did this checking because I was kinda frustrated that I do not know the wild Musa of M'sia. Since I started, I am not going to stop... Next, I am onto your current fav, Musa gracilis. It is a common plant on the East side of the peninsular and I have already made calls to get some specimens from different localities. I am just too lazy to drive some 300 miles to see it. The cousin to this is the Musa violascens which is on the West side where I am located. I called my collector and he said he will get me some specimens when the rain ease off. It's raining like hell here now. It's about 2hrs drive so I will probably go and get some photos ensitu and if luck would have it, seeds. These 2 are the lesser known Callimusa and not popular as they are not of food value to the locals. Scot, I will keep you updated of your fav. Maybe you want a M violascens to complete your collection? Haha..
Andrei, thank you for your comments. I will go back another time to get photos of the M a truncata in flower/fruit. The other M/a is the subsp siamea which is found in the extreme north.
I will also try to look for the natural hybrid of the M/a subsp malaccensisX M/a subsp truncata since their range overlap. It will be interesting to see which taxa has the better morphological influence.
Ok... I have to stop here as it can get very boring and confusing with all this "begatting..." as Scot calls it... Haha...
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Tog, thanks, I will necessarily watch a theme and to expect a photo of flowering of these wild versions. On the Internet there are not enough information and a photo of wild versions Musa acuminata, as well as Musa Itinerans. The new information on wild kinds will be very interesting for looking. Tog, we will expect a photo of a flower and fruit, whenever possible the big photos (size) and a photo in jungle. Good luck in researches!
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Great post Tog. Interesting observation about the reptiles at higher altitude exhibiting darker color for heat retention. The photos in your gallery have me jealous in cold New Jersey about now. It would be nice to climb nearby mountains on a tropical botanic expidition whenever I had time.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Great post Tog. Interesting observation about the reptiles at higher altitude exhibiting darker color for heat retention. The photos in your gallery have me jealous in cold New Jersey about now. It would be nice to climb nearby mountains on a tropical botanic expidition whenever I had time.
Thanks Bob. About the reptiles, that used to be one of my main business in supplying live specimens to zoos and research. Quite a few species evolved to such a condition like the Boelon's python from PNG which is found at and above 10.000+ft asl. If you are ever in this region do come by and I can take you around looking at plants and such. Highlands are boring with basically, ferns, gingers and bamboos. Foothills are the greatest with high diversity especially in the southern region where it is generally wetter.
I wanted to highlight the Musa acuminata because it is the main progenitor of edible bananas and it looks like we have taken it for granted(especially me!). I will do another post soon of the Musa acuminata subsp malaccensis and show that it is actually quite a pretty plant which is worth cultivating. Though seeded, its fruits are very sweet and flavorful and the locals use it to make banana cakes. Will update soon.
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Tog, I am always interested in rare forms of bananas. Especially wild bananas, Australimusa, Callimusa and Rhodochlamys - crosses, hybrids, whatever it is.

I want to find some of the rarer forms and TC them to find out what media works best. This will make them more available to our members and we can perpetuate the rare forms to help avoid extinction and perhaps make new crosses. Gabe is doing a lot of research on Eumusa-Rhodochlamys breeding and I would like to research crosses of Callimusa and Australimusa. Wish I could figure out how Eumusa crosses with Australimusa - mother nature has her secrets...

So, keep me posted as to what you find. Thank you!!!
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Yo Scot, I will do what I can to fuel your fire... I am getting my collectors over East M'sia(Borneo) to get the new Callimusa spp there. There are quite a few new discoveries. The only problem here is, when I get them, I can only ID them by their locality until they flower. Personally, I tend to like the Callimusa's. I even got my chaps in Thailand to check out the new Rhodoclamys in the Indo Chine region. On top of this, I ordered the complete collection of cultivars and species from one of the university's propagation centre. Howzat for crazy? By the line 'collectors', there are two types used by me - the good guys, ie the academics, and the bad guys, you know bad guys! Haha.. I have been in the plant trade for rare stuff for quite a while now so it is quite easy to source stuff, all you gotta to is to pay! Sure, definitely I will keep you posted. See what the .org did to me... from a decent plant guy, I have gone truly Bananas!!! Jarred...you are to be held 100% responsible...
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Thanks Tog, may take you up on that some day! Next trip is to Africa though. I want to hunt a cape buffalo before I get too old. (48 and aging fast!!!!) Looking forward to update , and pics.
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Hey Tog, thanks for the pictures! I got to see lots of Musa acuminata supsp. siamea in Thailand (pics in my gallery), but that was about it for native species that I saw there. Interesting about the black pseudostems from higher elevations, and your theory makes sense. I listened to a talk from Dr. Sandy Echternacht, UT's herpetologist (well, he's a professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, but Herpetology is his field). He talked about black coloration on reptiles on some islands in the Carribean, and how it varied within the same species from island to island. I don't remember most of the seminar though...it was a seminar, lol. He has a bunch of articles published, I'm sure if someone was interested they could find them on Google Scholar or another scholarly search engine.

I know that there are some high elevation M. acuminata supsp. siamea in Northern Thailand somewhere, I saw it in a collection report on the INIBAP site once. I'd be interested if they had some exceptional cold-hardiness. Keep us updated! Thanks,

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Old 10-25-2008, 10:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Yo Frank, coming back to the melanism of the pseudostem, I am very curious and interested in the following;
1. As they have been at a higher altitude, are they genectically 'fixed' in its coloration?
2. When they are being grown at almost at sea level will the seedlings I collected at 4,000 ft asl become greener?
3. Will the future pups in time revert to green?
I cannot find any literature on this subsp as it has hardly been experimented as a food cultivar since the indegenous people (aborigines) in M'sia are not found in the highlands. They populate the foothills and lowlands where M/a subsp malaccensis is abundant.
Regarding whether they can be cold hardy, the highlands here record at 60F or so but... extremely humid..that is wet! I didn't post any pix of them in their habitat as it was very misty and all my shots came out bad. It was quite a sight to see them grow amongst the tree ferns, Cyathea contaminans. So unless where you are is wet which is essential to them I think it may be a problem.
Since I got the plants back, I have been keeping them very moist by watering them at least 3 - 4 times a day. The smallest plant's leaves all dehydrated by the 2nd day even though my place is very humid. I will keep them with me for another month or so until they shoot new leaves and I will take them to my nursery which is in a conducive jungle like environment. Interesting, ha?
One thing I forgot to add, they are not stout plants like the M balbisiana or M itnerans, they are quite wily with a diameter of only about 12 in plus.
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Tog, I wish I had some definitive answers to your questions, but I don't. I can only speculate! I would think that they would hold their color at lower elevations though, and that it probably is a genotype that is causing the black coloration, and not an environmental condition. Who knows though!

I didn't figure that the supsp. truncata would be cold-hardy...I was referring to the subsp. siamea in N. Thailand. You never know until you try it though. Some bananas from very warm places have more cold tolerance than one would think.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Hi Frank,
Tog, I wish I had some definitive answers to your questions, but I don't. I can only speculate! I would think that they would hold their color at lower elevations though, and that it probably is a genotype that is causing the black coloration, and not an environmental condition. Who knows though!

On the genotype part, it should hold the melanism but... if you refer to my initial post, plants found at 2,500 ft asl are not solid black. To me, 'why not'?? Higher altitude, solid black. Hmmm... This was what I was getting at. Are we having a chameleon here? Haha..
Gabe, I am sure you are watching from the sidelines, any input guru?

I didn't figure that the supsp. truncata would be cold-hardy...I was referring to the subsp. siamea in N. Thailand. You never know until you try it though. Some bananas from very warm places have more cold tolerance than one would think.

Sorry for my bad phrasing, I was refering the M/a 's condition being similar to N Thailand. Thai mountains are cold though, still moist and their winter rains are much worse than here. Probably, the M/a subsp siamea is more tolerant to a range of conditions since they are found at the Northern edge of Thailand and all the way to Northern M'sia.
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

I took these pics last summer in the lowlands of Caribbean Costa Rica(near Manzanillo).

These are not likely M. acuminata, however the owner of an organic farm said that he got the plants from the high Mountains of central CR.


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Old 10-27-2008, 12:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Thanks porkpi, for the interesting pix, highland plants, black pseudostems... hmm... you got me here...
Being I am from the other side of the world, where is CR?
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

CR=Costa Rica--central America--
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

Anyone have any ideas about what type these may be from Costa Rica? The coloration is stunning.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

I am very surprised! These plants are outwardly very similar. Beautiful plants! It seems to me, a unique way to learn Musa acuminata ssp. truncata it or not to wait flowerings of plants. And then to compare inflorescences and fruit.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:45 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa acuminata subsp truncata

I have just taken 2 variegated pups from my variegated Acuminata SSp.

Not sure what type of SSp it is as it was a Thai Ebay Plant. The parent has lost most of the variegation now. I was supprised to get the first two pups off and have them both be variegated

A few pictures of the little fellas are in my Gallery .
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