Musa x oleracea

x oleracea E. (D. E.) Vieillard, Ann. Sc. Nat. Sér. 4. 16 : 46 (1861).

Accepted name none - an undetermined cultivated banana


Musa x paradisiaca L., Species Plantarum : 1043 (1753).

Synonyms 1. Musa sapientum var. oleracea (Vieillard) J. G. Baker, Ann. Bot. 7: 212 (1893).
2. Musa paradisiaca subsp. sapientum var. oleracea (Vieillard) K. Schumann in H. G. A. Engler (ed.), Pflanzenr., IV, 45: 20 (1900).
3. Musa paradisiaca subsp. sapientum
Authorities The synonyms are from:

1. Baker 1893
2. Schumann 1900
RHS 1956.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons lists Musa x oleracea Vieill., Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., IV, 16: 46 (1861), Musa x sapientum var. oleracea (Vieill.) Baker, Ann. Bot. (Oxford) 7: 212 (1893) and Musa x paradisiaca var. oleracea (Vieill.) K.Schum. in H.G.A.Engler (ed.), Pflanzenr., IV, 45: 20 (1900) as synonyms of Musa x paradisiaca L., Sp. Pl.: 1043 (1753) which is listed as an accepted name.

Distribution New Caledonia.
Description Hookers illustration and description is at et. seq.
References Anon 1906 : 22, Baker 1893 : 212, Champion 1967 : 41, Hooker 1901 : t. 7802, Nelson et al 2006, Ploetz et al 2007, RHS 1956 (+ 1st edition Supplement), Sagot 1887b : 287, Schumann 1900 : 20, Uphof 1968, Vieillard 1861.
Comments Published as Musa oleracea the "x" is added to indicate its presumed hybridity.  In this context Musa x paradisiaca is effectively the same as "an undetermined cultivated banana".  This should not be read as implying that Musa x oleracea is Musa (AAB group) 'French' plantain, Cheesman's identification of Musa x paradisiaca L. (Cheesman 1948).

This is a peculiar banana that apparently does not flower in its "native" New Caledonia (it flowered at Kew but did not set fruit) but is instead cultivated for its starchy "corm" which is "boiled, toasted or baked" (Hooker 1901).  I have not seen Vieillard but Baker (1893) and Schumann (1900) also describe M. oleracea as flowerless.  Sagot 1887b states that the plant produces fruits rarely but many suckers. He mentions also that the corm is eaten and gives its name as 'banane poiété'. Led, I think, by the RHS Dictionary (1956) which states that its fruit needs cooking I mistakenly described this previously as "an undetermined cultivated cooking banana".

M. oleracea is not mentioned in Nelson et al 2006 or Ploetz et al 2007.

Schumann lists this as a variety of Musa paradisiaca subsp. sapientum not as a variety of Musa paradisiaca as indicated by the WCM.

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last updated 01/05/2008