|According to Cheesman 1948a (p. 13) "Musa sapientum
is the most confounded and confusing combination in the whole literature of Musa".
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The very different synonymy offered for the different forms
of the name seem striking but are probably not.
According to Stover & Simmonds, Linnaeus originally
applied the name Musa sapientum to the 'Silk fig' (AAB group).
Some authors (e.g. Burkill 1935) use the name Musa
sapientum to apply to the desert 'bananas' and Musa paradisiaca to apply to
'plantains' (cooking bananas). Cullen 1997 says Musa sapientum is the
"cultivated banana". On the other hand, RHS 1956 uses the name Musa
paradisiaca to apply to both 'plantains' and 'bananas'.
oddly, the plant is listed as a Famine Food. This
may be a reference to the vegetative parts of the plant rather than the fruit. The
terminal (male) part of the inflorescence is cooked and eaten and the pedicel is also
chopped, cooked and eaten e.g. in India.
Ethnobotanical information on bananas at the USDA ethnobotanical
database is given under this name.