Musa maclayi

Musa maclayi
F. J. H. von Mueller ex N. N. Miklouho-Maclay, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 10: 348 (1885).

Accepted name Musa maclayi F. J. H. von Mueller ex N. N. Miklouho-Maclay, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 10: 348 (1885).
Authorities Argent 1976.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons lists Musa maclayi F.Muell. ex Mikl.-Maclay, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 10: 355 (1885) as an accepted name.

Section Australimusa
Distribution Papua New Guinea and (possibly) the Solomon Islands.
Description Pseudostem up to 10 m tall and 100 cms in girth, predominantly brown below becoming bright non-waxy green above with a variable amount of brown streaking and mottling. Sap variable from watery cream to pink or bright purple. Rhizomes short, suckers arising more or less vertically from the ground and plants forming dense clumps with many pseudostems. Shoulder green non-waxy, edge appressed or reflexed often undulate, commonly blackish but always non-scarious. Petiole pale green non-waxy, margins erect or reflexed more or less green ; TS ratio 1.0. Leaf lamina bright green non-waxy above paler but also without wax below. Leaf base right-handed and cuneate [ ] to rounded (or weakly auriculate in var. erecta) ; PB ratio 7 - 10.

Peduncle glabrous green. Bunch held stiffly erect, variable from very dense to moderately lax. Hands of fruit weakly ascending or more usually spreading by compression. Female bracts long, glossy green outside, cream inside, usually quickly deciduous but persistent in subsp. ailuluai. Basal flowers functionally female. Pedicels short 1 - 1.5 cm. Young fruit pale green, glabrous with the ovules in two rows per loculus. Mature fruit variable pale to rich orange, indehiscent, variable in shape from almost spherical hardly longer than wide to almost three times as long as wide, the apex varying from blunt to bottle-nosed. Seeds very irregular, 6 - 7 mm in diameter, hilum usually weakly depressed, umbo obsolete to prominent.

Male peduncle ascending quite vertically or more rarely arching with age. Male bud imbricate, glossy green or white, variable in shape from twice to three times as long as broad. Male bracts glossy green outside sometimes very pale green or white inside, deciduous or fully persistent and reflexing in varying degrees in the different subspecies. Male flower with the compound tepal approximately half as long again as the free tepal, compound tepal cream, free tepal translucent white, concave, ovate, with rounded apex or short blunt point and without a subapical wrinkle. Chromosome number 2n = 20.

(from Argent 1976)

References Argent 1976, GRIN, IPGRI, Stover & Simmonds 1987.
Comments TS ratio is the vertical depth of the petiole canal divided by the vertical depth of the petiole tissue beneath.
PB ratio is the ratio of petiole length to leaf blade length.
As applied by Argent these ratios should strictly be calculated for the fourth-last, fully expanded vegetative leaf below the inflorescence.

Musa maclayi is an incompletely understood, complex species with at least two subspecies and three varieties. Musa jackeyi W. Hill from Queensland may be part of this complex (Argent 1976) and if true the name has priority over M. maclayi.

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last updated 01/05/2008