Musa jackeyi

Musa jackeyi
W. Hill, Report on the Brisbane Botanic Garden: 7 (1874).

Accepted name Musa jackeyi W. Hill, Report on the Brisbane Botanic Garden: 7 (1874).
Synonyms Musa hillii F. J. H. von Mueller, Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae, 9: 169, 190 (1875).
Authorities The accepted name and synonym is from Simmonds 1956 and APNI.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons gives Musa jackeyi W.Hill, Rep. Brisbane Bot. Gard.: 7 (1874) as an accepted name and Musa hillii F.Muell., Fragm. 9: 169 (1875) as a synonym.

Section Australimusa
Distribution Australia (north east Queensland; extremely rare and known only from Bellenden Ker and Cooktown).
Description Herbaceous ; stem black, simple, thirty to forty feet long, thickly clothed with sheathing petioles of the leaves ; leaves oblong, six to seven feet long, forming a tuft on the apex of the stem ; spadix erect, flowers compound, rising from the apex of the stem, each division enclosed in a spathe, with the male flowers at the base, female or hermaphrodite ones at the upper end. Fruit short, horizontal, three to five cornered, with numerous seeds buried in pulp ; flowers yellowish, limph of the old stem red could be used as marking ink.

Hab.--In rich alluvial soil, on the banks of the Johnstone River. A new banana with black stem, named after the faithful and affectionate attendant of the explorer Kennedy.

(Hill quoted in Simmonds 1956).

References APNI, GRIN, INIBAP, Ross 1987 : 18, Simmonds 1956 : 485-486, Simmonds 1960 : 204, Stover & Simmonds 1987.
Comments Possibly identical to Musa maclayi according to Stover & Simmonds 1987.

It would be a shame to lose a banana species named for an aboriginal Australian called Jackey. In 1877 Sulpiz Kurz wrote that "Australia does not yet cultivate the banana, and hence we are spared the doubtful pleasure of learning amusing names of aborigines or colonists from this quarter of the globe". Little did Kurz realise that when he cited Walter Hill as adding "two Australian bananas, viz., Musa Jackeyi and M. Charlioi." he was indeed learning the nicknames of two Australian aborigines.


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last updated 20/10/2008