Musa homblei

Musa homblei J. Bequaert ex E. A. J. De Wildeman, Ann. Mus. Colon. Marseille ser. 2, 10: 332 (1912) and Les Bananiers, 51 (1913).

Accepted name Ensete homblei (J. Bequaert ex E. A. J. De Wildeman) E. E. Cheesman, Kew Bulletin 2 (2): 103 (1947) and R. E. D. Baker & N. W. Simmonds, Kew Bulletin 8 (3): 405 (1953).
Authorities The authority for the accepted name is Cheesman 1947a and Baker & Simmonds 1953.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons lists Musa homblei Bequaert ex De Wild., Ann. Inst. Bot.-Géol. Colon. Marseille, II, 10: 332 (1912) as a synonym of Ensete homblei (Bequaert ex De Wild.) Cheesman, Kew Bull. 2: 103 (1947 publ. 1948) which is listed as an accepted name.

Distribution Katanga (D. R. Congo).
Description Plant 2½ - 3½ ft. high, not suckering, trunk more or less swollen at the base. Leaves at the middle of the trunk have, instead of a stalk, a sheath, about 8 in. long, which in its lower two-thirds is closely applied to the trunk halfway round it, the upper third bends out horizontally and passes into the blade of the leaf, which is about 5 in. long, oblong-lanceolate ; the leaves gradually change in character upwards, the limb becoming reduced and the sheath relatively longer but less and less applied to the trunk, passing into bracts. Inflorescence drooping or horizontal, 5 in. long. Bracts numerous, persistent, longer than the inflorescence. Flowers at base hermaphrodite, upper male, 1¼ - 3 in. long, generally five or six in one row, but towards the middle of the stalk with one or two on the outside. Perianth three-lobed ; free petal shorter, three-toothed, middle tooth long, mucronate. Fruit about 1½ in. long, 1 in. broad, becoming blackish, pulp scanty, yellow. Seeds ovoid, black, ¼ in. long, 1/3 in. broad. Katanga. Found only at the base of the white ant hills.

(Fawcett 1913).

References Baker & Simmonds 1953: 405, Cheesman 1947a: 103, De Wildeman 1912: 332, Fawcett 1913: 277-278.
Comments This was one of a number of African Musa transferred to Ensete by Cheesman in his 1947 paper reviving the genus Ensete. It is now recognised that there are no wild Musa native to Africa, only Ensete.

The comment "not suckering" is interesting since there are reports of plants with 1 - 4 young corms around the mother-corm either as the result of spontaneous suckering or colonial germination of seeds.  See discussion at Ensete homblei.

Type: Homblé no. 671 (in Herb. Brux.) (Baker & Simmonds 1953: 408).


There is one external image of Ensete homblei at the Aluka website

home     next          Compiled partly with information from Gerda Rossel.

last updated 30/04/2008