Musa cheesmanii

Musa cheesmanii
N. W. Simmonds, Kew Bulletin 11 (3): 479 (1956).

Accepted name Musa cheesmanii N. W. Simmonds, Kew Bulletin 11 (3): 479 (1956).
Authorities Simmonds 1956.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons lists Musa cheesmanii N.W.Simmonds, Kew Bull. 11: 479 (1956 publ. 1957) as an accepted name.

The termination should be "ii" ICBN Art. 60 Rec. 60C.1.(b).

Section Eumusa (Musa) 2
Distribution India (Assam).
Description "Plant large and robust, densely stooling ; pseudostem somewhat swollen at the base, up to 6 m. tall, intensely brownish-red pigmented, with green or red undersheaths, slightly waxy towards the top, most conspicuously so in young suckers ; petiole, the margins narrowly scarious, inclosed and tightly clasping the pseudostem ; lamina hardly waxy though greyish in tone, rounded at the base, midribs purple-brown ; juice watery-milky ; inflorescence oblique or pendulous, far outshot on a rather slender glabrous peduncle 4 cm. thick ; female flowers about 12 per bract, the ovary pale green, 6 cm. x 4 - 8 mm. wide, ovules biseriate and about 160 per ovary, compound tepal creamy shading to pale yellow at the tip, 4 cm. long, free tepal 2 cm. long, slightly corrugated, truncate-acuminate at the tip, stigma bright orange, style white, staminodes 5, white, very short ; fruit bunch very lax, up to 10 hands of fruit ; fruits biseriate in the centre of most hands (uniseriate in small bunches), curved-spreading and angular, tapering to the long (4 cm.) pedicel, acuminate at the apex, ca. 10 x 4 cm., pale whitish-green in colour but not waxy except on the pedicel and there only faintly so ; seeds flattened-subglobose, 8 - 10 x 5 - 7 mm. deep, intensely rough-warty ; male rachis pendulous, about 120 cm. long at fruit maturity, flushed purple just above the bud, the bract scars not prominent and rather widely spaced ; male bud turbinate, high-shouldered imbricate at the tip, about 2.5 times as long as broad ; bracts raised 1-2 at a time, deciduous, not rolled, ovate, obtuse at the apex, dull purple and finely ribbed, the tips yellowish-green without, deep crimson to the base within ; male flowers about 20 per bract, biseriate, the compound tepal 35 mm. long, pale creamy yellow with yellow tips, free tepal translucent, non-corrugated, truncate and minutely acuminate at the tip, 14 mm. long, anthers yellow, stigma orange".

(Simmonds 1956).

References Champion 1967 : 39, Novak 1992, Simmonds 1956 : 479, WCM.
Comments Simmonds comments that:

" This handsome species is very abundant on the lower stretches of the Manipur road and it is curious that it has not previously been recognised as distinct. It differs, however, in several important respect from its congenors [M. sikkimensis and M. nagensium] and its seeds are, so far as is known, unique in the genus. [ ] They are strangely reminiscent of Musa balbisiana in being subglobose and rough-warty but more than twice as large in linear dimensions.

This species is named in honour of E. E. Cheesman, long Professor of Botany at the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture [Trinidad] and founder of modern banana botany."

Type: B.E. 90, 7.5.55, MP.

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last updated 30/04/2008