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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 10-01-2007, 04:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

Here is a new photo of the inflorescence opening on the Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis. It is smaller and not as colorful as NP's photo on their website.

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Old 10-01-2007, 05:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

By size it looks to me just like the "orginal" form, M. itinerans var. itinerans. They are very similar to each other except that var. xishuangbannanensis is massive.
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

Nice! I'll be lucky to ever get a bloom off of mine in my zone 7a climate, but you never know. I just hope it is zone 7 hardy! I'll be sure to let you know next spring, lol.

Gabe, maybe it's climatic differences that are due to the size discrepancy? I'm no expert on the climate in Xishuang, but is it as hot and humid as Central FL?
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

Is M. itinerans var. itinerans the banana that was originally introduced as Musa "Yunnan"? If so then the inflorescence on it is smaller than the Musa in the photo. Also, it has stayed in a tight clump while our var. xish. is a major runner.
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

Here is a M. itinerans var. itinerans/ Musa "Yunnan" inflorescence

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Old 10-02-2007, 09:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

I still wonder about the true identity of that second banana you posted, Eric. To me, it looks just like the Musa yunnanensis on the NP site. Another thing that bothers me even more than that is exactly what you mentioned: It stays in a very tight clump, and doesn't send any long rhizomes out! How can it possibly be Musa itinerans if it isn't itinerant? The leaf bases are very similar though. Another thing is that, according to the description of Musa itinerans, there is no wax on the petioles or pseudostem, yet that one has plenty of wax on the pseudostem and petioles, especially at a young age. Your thoughts?

This is supposed to be cleared up in an upcoming paper in Novon early next year I think.
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Old 10-02-2007, 09:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

It is confusing. On NP's website, the photos of M. xish. and Musa spec nova look different but both are called M. xish. If you click on the M. xish. it is still called M. itinerans var. gigantea in the text. Could it be a 4th variety of M. itinerans?

http://natureproducts.net/Forest_Pro.../Musa_nov.html

http://natureproducts.net/Forest_Pro...rans_tall.html

http://natureproducts.net/Forest_Pro...ans_small.html
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

The Musa sp. nov. 'Big Flower' and var. xishuangbannaensis (and var. gigantea) are the same, they could just look different because they male buds shown are at different levels of advancement.

There are at least 6 different varieties of M. itinerans known in China, however none are published yet.

After looking at more M. itinerans pictures I would agree that your second photo is much more M. yunnanensis like, especially if it is not a runner.
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

I sure wish NP still sold seeds. They must not update their banana info that often, because it's said Musa sp. 'Nov' or whatever for several years now, hasn't it? And no photo updates either. That and they still say they have seeds available, but they really don't.

Those flowers do look a bit different, but I think what Gabe said makes sense. I need to get a new pic of mine up for you to see soon (like before it freezes here!). It looks great, and has sent out a total of 5 pups this year. I have some pics in my gallery.

Gabe, have I finally converted you to my theory that Musa itinerans 'Yunnan' (at least the one many have been selling as such) is actually musa yunnanensis?
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

Here is a clump of M. itinerans /M. "Yunnan" The tallest stems are 15-20 ft tall. Believe it or not, this clump sprouted from seed in early 2005. It is on the opposite side of the garden from our original plants. Something is distributing the seeds, probably racoons (hopefully not elephants!) as we find them all over the Garden (50 acres). The make a big clump quick if not removed. None are flowering but just wanted to get a photo of how tight a clumper these are, no runners.

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Old 10-07-2007, 06:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

Nice mat! I have my mat in full sun, and it does fine here in Knoxville. It's very cold-hardy also. I am sticking to my theory that the banana in the last photograph is, in fact, NOT Musa itinerans, but m. yunnanensis. Here is part of the original description of Musa itinerans, from Cheesman (1949):

Plant stooling freely and developing long rhizomes which turn up 2 metres and more away from the parent stem ; pseudostems attaining 4 m. or more in height, 20 - 25 cm. in diameter at base, green with varying development of reddish-brown or blackish pigmentation according to age and exposure ; leaf-sheaths and petioles devoid of wax.

The highlights in bold are certainly not true of the plants in the picture in question. Simmonds (1956) also points out:

Study of the geographically intermediate forms - if any - in Indochina and southern China would be extremely interesting. I have seen a number of herbarium specimens of wild bananas from Yunnan but have unfortunately been unable to identify them with any confidence".



I wonder if this banana is one of the intermediate forms that he couldn't identify with any confidence! It is from the Yunnan province...
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Musa itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis inflorescence photo update

Eric, I just returned from my "Dizzy World" vacation in Orlando. I did go to Leu Gardens and was able to inspect both clumps in the photo you posted. Very impressive, the gardens were incredible.
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