Musa acuminata subsp. banksii

Musa acuminata L. A. Colla subsp. banksii (F. J. H. von Mueller) N. W. Simmonds, Kew Bulletin 11 (3): 463 (1956).

Accepted name

Musa banksii F. J. H. von Mueller, Fragm., 4: 132 (1863 - 4).


Musa acuminata L. A. Colla subsp. banksii (F. J. H. von Mueller) N. W. Simmonds, Kew Bulletin 11 (3): 463 (1956).


1. Musa paradisiaca subsp. seminifera (J. de Loureiro) J. G. Baker of E. Christophersen, Flrg. Pls. of Samoa, B. P. Bishop Mus. Bull., 85, 1 (2) : 253 (1915).
2. Musa banksii (F. J. H. von Mueller) var. muelleriana K. Domin Bibl. Bot., 85, 1 (2): 253 (1914).
3. Musa banksii F. J. H. von Mueller, Fragmenta phytographić Australić, 4: 132 (1863 - 4).
4. Musa banksiana S. Kurz, J. Agric. Hort. Soc. Ind. Part 1. 5 (3): 164. (1877).


There is debate as to the status of this taxon. The authority for Musa banksii as the accepted name is Argent 1976 and Simmonds & Weatherup 1990. The authority for Musa acuminata subsp. banksii as the accepted name is Shepherd 1990. 

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons lists Musa acuminata subsp. banksii (F.Muell.) N.W.Simmonds, Kew Bull. 11: 463 (1956 publ. 1957) as a synonym of Musa banksii F.Muell., Fragm. 4: 132 (1864) which is given as the accepted name.

1 & 2 are from Simmonds 1956.
3 is from Sagot 1887 as "Muller (Benth. Flor. Australić)".
4 is from Kurz but I think this is also simply a typographical error on p. 164 for Musa banksii mentioned on p. 162.


Eumusa (Musa) 1


Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islands and Australia.  See map at Musa acuminata.




Argent 1976 : 87, APNI, Balick & Cox 1996 : 85-86, Cheesman 1947 b : 109, Daniels et al 2001, GRIN, Hotta 1989, Jarrett 1986, Pollefys et al 2004, Shepherd 1990, Simmonds 1956 : 463, Simmonds & Weatherup 1990 : 570, Stover & Simmonds 1987, WCM.


Simmonds 1956 treated this taxon as a subspecies of Musa acuminata but Argent 1976 considered that it is "premature to assume a cline linking M. banksii with [Malaysian] forms of M. acuminata" and gave it specific status. A numerical taxonomic study by Simmonds and Weatherup 1990 tends to support Argent's contention that M. banksii is best treated as a species. However, Shepherd (1990, p. 158) considers that Argent's separation of M. banksii was made on "quite erroneous" grounds and treats it as a subspecies of M. acuminata.  This is accepted for example by Daniels et al 2001.

Simmonds gives the Samoan vernacular name for this plant as 'Fa'i taemanu' which he translates as 'wild banana' (fa'i = banana). A somewhat more robust translation of 'tae manu' as 'animal excrement' is provided by Balick & Cox. Unsurprisingly in the circumstances, the Samoans consider the seeded fruit to be a famine food only.

home     next

last updated 21/04/2008