stooling freely ; pseudostems 2.5 - 4 metres high, 15 - 20 cm. in diameter at base, green
or more or less purplish or even almost black towards the base ; leaf sheaths and petioles
devoid of wax.
blades oblong, narrowing towards the apex, 1.5 - 2 metres long, 40 - 50 cm. wide, narrowly
truncate at tip, rounded at base, the two sides unequal at base, midribs green like the
lamina ; petioles 40 - 50 cm. long, relatively stout and stiff, holding the leaves at a
high angle, their margins distinctly developed, incurved, almost covering the adaxial
groove above, closely appressed to the pseudostem at base, not becoming scarious.
at first subhorizontal, its peduncle and rachis glabrous or minutely puberulent ; sterile
bracts green, up to 50 cm. long, very acute ; basal flowers female, the number of female
"hands" varying up to about 6, upper hands male.
flowers about 10 per bract in two rows ; ovary 5 cm. long, green, glabrous ; compound
tepal 4 cm. long, 1.2 cm. wide, white with pale green lobes, the lateral lobes
oblong-lanceolate, 5 mm. long, with filiform dorsal appendages also 5 mm. long, centre
lobe also with a dorsal appendage but somewhat shorter ; free tepal 3.5 cm. long, 2 cm.
wide, white, boat-shaped, corrugate in the upper third, with a minute apicula ; staminodes
about half as long as the styles.
Male bud in advanced blooming oblong-ovoid, blunt, the bracts very strongly imbricate, the
outermost being only about two-thirds the length of the bud. Bracts greenish-brown
or purplish-brown, sometimes green at their rounded tip ; outer surface quite plane,
shining with a polished appearance, inner surface much paler, almost white at base.
Bracts lifting one at a time, but persisting for two or three days after the sub-tended
flowers have dropped, so that there may be several open on the bud at one time ; firm in
texture, scarcely revolute on fading, but first strongly reflexed and then deciduous.
flowers about 10 - 12 per bract in two rows ; compound tepal 3.5 cm. long, white or cream,
the upper part and lobes slightly more yellow, the lobes about 3 mm., long with dorsal
filiform appendage 1 mm. long, the accessory teeth nearly as long as the lobes and
sometimes also appendaged ; free tepal about 2.5 cm. long, 1.5 cm. wide, translucent
white, acute, scarcely apiculate ; stamens at length slightly exserted.
bunch horizontal, lax. Individual fruit 5 - 7 cm. long (including pedicel), about 2
cm. in diameter at the middle, oblong-ovate or ellipsoidal, obsoletely angled at maturity,
narrowed at base into a stout pedicel 1 - 1.5 cm. long and abruptly at apex into a broad
truncate acumen about 7 mm. long ; pericarp 1 mm. thick, ripening yellow ; pulp scanty,
pale buff in colour.
Seeds numerous, subglobose-turbinate, very irregular in shape, usually higher than broad,
about 2 - 3 mm. across and 3 - 4 mm. high, smooth.