Musa errans

Musa errans (M. Blanco) N. G. Teodoro. The Philippine Journal of Science (serie C) 10: 390 (1915).
Musa errans (M. Blanco) E. Quisumbing. Studies of Philippine bananas. Philipp. Agr. Rev. 12 pt. 3: 1 - 73 (9 - 90?) (1919).

Accepted name Musa acuminata L. A. Colla subsp. errans (M. Blanco) R. V. Valmayor, The Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 84 (3): 328 (2001).
Synonyms Musa troglodytarum L. var. errans M. Blanco, Flora de Filipinas, 247 (1837).
Authorities Valmayor 2001.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons Musa errans (Blanco) N.G.Teodoro, Philipp. J. Sci., C 10: 390 (1915 publ. 1916) as a synonym of Musa troglodytarum var. errans Blanco, Fl. Filip.: 247 (1837) and Musa acuminata subsp. errans (Blanco) R.V.Valmayor, Philipp. Agric. Sci. 84: 328 (2001) which is listed as the accepted name.

Distribution Philippines.
Description Musa errans M. Blanco from Teodoro:

"Stem stoloniferous, not swollen at base. Flowers numerous in a fascicle, the bracts not bright red, spike of great size and pendant, height 2 m. or more. Normally seminiferous species, with very small, fingerlike or slightly swollen, indedible fruits, usually white or green bracts, which may be partially persistent, simple scales, and pistil in terminal flowers distinctly shorter than the stamens, trunks usually slender. Scale rarely two-thirds as long as perigonium, usually less acute, but with distinct apical shoulders. Bracts all freely deciduous, fruits subcylindric."

Musa errans (M. Blanco) N. G. Teodoro from Quisumbing:

"Stem stoloniferous, not swollen at the base. Flowers numerous in fascicle, bracts not bright red, or lilac, spadix large and pendant. Plants 2 or more meters high. Fruits inedible, with numerous seds, trunk usually slender, pistil in terminal flowers distinctly shorter than the stamens. Scale nearly 2/3 as long as perigonium or less, tip usually acute, with distinct apical shoulder. Fruits sub-cylindric, smooth, or slightly angular, bracts deciduous, greenish-red-yellow."

descriptions from Gerda Rossel.

References Champion 1967: 40, Cheesman 1948 b: 21, 25-26, Quisumbing 1919, Teodoro 1915, Uphof 1968, Valmayor 2001, Valmayor et al 2002.
Comments Nicanor Teodoro's paper, A preliminary study of Philippine bananas, is at

Subspecies errans is the form of Musa acuminata found in the Philippines although the name has a somewhat chequered history in the Philippines literature.

Manuel Blanco (a Dominican friar) was the first to write about the Philippines bananas.  He used Linnaeus' Musa troglodytarum as a basis and created three varieties according to Valmayor et al 2002 (see Musa troglodytarum).  One of these was Musa troglodytarum var. errans which he applied to the Philippine banana Saging Maching.  This is now understood as the Philippines form of M. acuminata, i.e. M. acuminata var. errans.

Teodoro created M. errans var. botoan to apply to Musa balbisiana which Blanco had treated (via Butuhan) as Musa troglodytarum.  Although not specifically mentioned by Teodoro, M. errans var. errans (created by default when var. botoan was established) applies to Saging Maching (saguing machin) which is missing from the list of Teodoro's bananas provided by Valmayor at al (Table 2 p. 6).  There is some logic to this since Teodoro obviously realised that Blanco's use of Musa troglodytarum L. was an unsuitable starting point.  Teodoro dumped the other two varieties of M. troglodytarum established by Blanco and correctly rechristened Musa troglodytarum var. textoria as Musa textilis and var. doloiliformis as Ensete glaucum

Quisumbing reached a similar conclusion and listed i) M. errans for Saging Maching ii) M. errans var. botoan for Butuhan and iii) M. errans var. basilisae for an unknown reason.  However, Quisumbing wrongly credited Blanco and not Teodoro as the author of M. errans and again, did not explicitly establish M. errans var. errans.

Uphof mentions various uses for the plant in the Philippines. Young flowerheads are eaten as a cooked vegetable or raw. Ripe fruits are fermented to make vinegar. Young leaves are used as a poultice to treat chest ailments. Juice from the base of the plant is used as a urethral injection to treat gonorrhoea.

Ethnobotanical information on this species at USDA ethnobotanical database.

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last updated 17/10/2008