Musa brownii

Musa brownii

Accepted name none - nomen nudum
Distribution Australia (Queensland).
References Champion 1967 : 39, De Wildeman 1912 : 323, Fawcett 1913 : 278, Thozet 1866, Palmer 1884
Comments The entry in De Wildeman 1912 reads:

Musa Brownii F. v. Muell. ; André, in Illustration horticole ; Pucci, in Bollet. Soc. Tosc. Ort., 1906, p. 296. Distribution : Queensland.

Musa Brownii is not mentioned in F. J. H. von Mueller, Fragmenta phytographić Australić vols. 1 - 11 nor in Index Kewensis, the APNI database or WCM.

At there is (was) a reproduction of the pamphlet "Notes on some of the Roots, Tubers, Bulbs, and Fruits used as vegetable food by the Aboriginals of Northern Queensland, Australia" by A. Thozet published in Rockhampton, Queensland in 1866 to raise funds for the Rockhampton Museum Building Fund. The pamphleteer acknowledged his debt to the works of his "indefatigable friend, Dr. Ferdinand Mueller, to whom the scientific and commercial world owe so many valuable discoveries." There was obviously an intention to publish a set of illustrations of the plants "at a future period" but this seems not to have happened; we might otherwise have some clue as to the identity of Musa brownii. Musa brownii is listed as number 33 of a series of plants that can be eaten without any preparation, although Thozet seems in some doubt as to whether it actually needs cooking first. The note is as follows:

33. Musa Brownii, 1?. Muell. Native Banana. Morgogaba, Cleveland Bay Tribe.

Fawcett (also cited by Champion) notes that Musa brownii is quoted by Pucci (Boll. Soc. Tosc. Ort., 296, 1906) but "without description".  It is thus hard to understand how Fawcett can go on to say that Musa brownii "has been "referred to the section Rhodochlamys".  The name is also cited in Palmer, E. Notes on Some Australian Tribes The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 13, 1884 (1884), pp. 276-347.

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last updated 29/04/2008