Musa lasiocarpa A. R. Franchet, in Morot, Journ. de Bot. 3: 329 (1889) and J. G. Baker, Ann. Bot. 7: 208 (1893).
Accepted name Musella lasiocarpa (A. R. Franchet) C. Y. Wu ex H. W. Li, Acta Phytotax. Sinica 16 (3): 56-57 (1978). Synonyms Ensete lasiocarpum (A. R. Franchet, in Morot, Journ. de Bot. 3: 329 (1889) and J. G. Baker, Ann. Bot. 7: 208 (1893)) E. E. Cheesman, Kew Bulletin 2 (2): 102 (1947). Authorities The accepted name is from Li 1978.
The synonym is from Cheesman 1947 and Icon. Corm. Sinicorum accepts Ensete lasiocarpum (A. R. Franchet) E. E. Cheesman as the accepted name. However, Simmonds 1960 accepts Musa lasiocarpa A. R. Franchet as the accepted name.
The World Checklist of Monocotyledons gives Musa lasiocarpa Franch., J. Bot. (Morot) 3: 329 (1889) and Ensete lasiocarpum (Franch.) Cheesman, Kew Bull. 2: 102 (1947 publ. 1948) as synonyms of Musella lasiocarpa (Franch.) C.Y.Wu ex H.W.Li, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 16(3): 56 (1978) which is listed as an accepted name.
Section Distribution China (Yunnan & Guizhou) up to 2,500 m, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar (Burma). Description Whole plant 1 - 2 ft. long. Stems sending out at the base a stout horizontal rhizome. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, about a foot long, very glaucous, narrowed at the base to a petiole which is rather shorter than the blade, the broad truncate bases of the old leaves persisting round the base of the stem. Panicle dense, erect, oblong, under a foot long ; bracts thin, yellowish, persistent, the upper ovate, the lower ovate-lanceolate. Flowers 4 - 8 in a cluster, above an inch long. Calyx 5-lobed. Petal shorter, ovate-oblong. Fruit oblong-trigonous, dry, pubescent, with 4 - 6 seeds in each cell, which fill up the whole cavity. Mountains of Yunnan, alt. 4000 ft., Delavay. Franchet founds on this curious species a section called Musella, characterised by its membranous bracts and by possessing a rhizome.
Whole plant 1- 2 ft. high. Trunk wanting. Rhizome covered with successive frills of the lower persistent leaf-sheaths. Leaves about 1 ft. long. Inflorescence under 1 ft. long, erect, dense. Fruit hairy, oblong three-angled. Seeds 4 - 6 in each cell. Rocks in mountains of Yunnan, China, 4000 ft. altitude. "Rock banana."
References Champion 1967: 41Cheesman 1947a: 102, Fawcett 1913 : 266, Franchet 1889, GRIN, Icon. Corm. Sinicorum, ING database, Lancaster 1989, Li 1978, Mabberley 1997, Mobot FoC, Mobot Tropicos, Simmonds 1960: 203, 204, 207, 210. Comments " [...Ensete] lasiocarpum [ ] is a dwarf, virtually stemless plant with a dense, erect inflorescence, a swollen and fleshy inflorescence axis, and a hairy fruit which is dry rather than fleshy at maturity and very few (4 - 6-)seeded. The illustration in the Kew Bulletin [Add. Ser. 6: 15 (1906)] certainly suggests an Ensete in general appearance but the plant is said to be rhizomatous and the perianth structure is like that of Musa. Recent investigations [ ] suggest that perianth characters are critically diagnostic of genus and I prefer to regard the plant as a Musa until it shall be recollected and its status determined. [ ] Ensete lasiocarpum presents a problem: though undoubtedly reminiscent of Ensete (as remarked above), it has the perianth of a Musa (Kew Bull., Add. Ser. 6, 15: 1906) ; this strongly suggests that its proper place is in the genus under which it was described, and it is so treated here [ ]".
last updated 01/05/2008