Musa assamica

Musa assamica Hort. Bull.
Musa assamica Cat. Hort. Bull 1871.
Musa assamica G. Mann ex J. G. Baker, in J. D. Hooker, The Flora of British India 6: 263 (1892).
Musa assamica W. Bull ex J. G. Baker, Annals of Botany 7: 222 (1893).
Musa assamica Hort.

Accepted name none - species ignota
Authorities The authority for there being no accepted name is Cheesman 1949i.

The sources for the forms of the name quoted above, which all refer to the same thing, are respectively as follows:

Baker 1893, 222.
Cheesman 1949i, 134.
Index Kewensis cited by Cheesman 1949i, 134.
Schumann cited by Champion 1967, 38.
Champion 1967, 38.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons lists Musa assamica G. Mann ex J. G. Baker in J. D. Hooker, Fl. Brit. India 6: 263 (1892) as an accepted name.

Description "This is a peculiarly dwarf-habited and elegant species, and has been imported from Upper Assam. The slender pseudostems are about a foot and half high, green, bearing a crowded tuft of several elliptic lanceolate leaves, which are stalked, about a foot in length, remarkably unequal-sided at the base, acute at the apex, and running out into a slender tendril-like point. The leaves are green, with a narrow purple border."

(Cheesman 1949 citing the catalogue of William Bull for 1871).

References Baker 1893 : 222, Baker 1894b : 263, Champion 1967 : 38, Cheesman 1949i : 134, Fawcett 1913 : 272, RHS 1956, WCM
Comments Baker's note on Musa assamica in The Flora of British India is at 

As noted above there are references to this plant in the literature under various forms of the name, respectively; Baker 1894b, Index Kewensis vide Cheesman 1949i, Fawcett 1913 and Champion 1967 (two name forms cited). They are all the same thing.

Several of the references link M. assamica specifically with M. sanguinea e.g. RHS 1956 says that it is "probably identical with M. sanguinea". This speculation is not warranted because, as Cheesman says "there is a note among the Musa material in Kew Herbarium in which Mann (who was responsible for collecting altogether four new species of Musa in Assam) states that he does not know which of the Assam species has been called "assamica". We may conclude fairly safely that the plants offered for sale [by William Bull] were young specimens of one of the species subsequently fully described - viz. M. sanguinea, M. velutina, M. mannii or M. aurantiaca. It is quite impossible, from a description that would fit almost any Musa seedling at one stage of its life, to connect M. assamica with any one of the four".

Musa x assamica is listed at  This is a totally unwarranted use of a name that can have absolutely no connection with a reputed modern hybrid from China.

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last updated 04/09/2008