Musa paracoccinea

Musa paracoccinea A. Z. Liu & D. Z. Li. In: Liu, Ai-Zhong, Li, De-Zhu and Li, Xi-wen. Botanical Bulletin of Academia Sinica 43: 77. (2002).

Accepted name Musa paracoccinea A. Z. Liu & D. Z. Li. In: Liu, Ai-Zhong, Li, De-Zhu and Li, Xi-wen. Botanical Bulletin of Academia Sinica 43: 77 - 79. (2002).
Authorities A. Z. Liu & D. Z. Li 2002.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons lists Musa paracoccinea A.Z.Liu & D.Z.Li, Bot. Bull. Acad. Sin. 43: 77 (2002) as an accepted name.

Section Callimusa but see Comments
Distribution Southeastern Yunnan and northern Vietnam

Plant suckering freely ; pseudostems 4 - 6 m high, 15 - 20 cm in diameter at base, devoid of wax ; blades 1.5 - 2.2 m long, 20 - 30 cm wide, deep green above, paler beneath, narrowed gradually toward the base, similar to the rounded apex, glabrous ; petioles 30 - 50 cm, with narrow erect margins.

Inflorescence erect ; rachis glabrous ; bracts bright red on both surfaces, caducous. Basal flowers pistillate, 4 - 8 per bract in a single row ; ovary 6.5 - 7 cm long, cylindric, glabrous ; compound tepal 4 - 4.5 cm long, orange-yellow with green lobes, lateral lobes 4 mm long with a dorsal appendage 3 mm long, the 3 central lobes shorter and without appendage ; free tepal as long as the compound, dorsally thickened, opaque and orange in colour, staminodes short (about 1 cm) ; style as long as the perianth with a bright orange, clavate stigma. Staminate flowers terminal on inflorescence, 4 - 6 per bract, compound fused tepals 5 - 5.5 cm long, orange, with a white base, lobes similar to that of pistillate ; free tepal nearly as long as the compound, oblong, obtuse ; the sterile style a little longer than the 5 staminodes.

Fruit up to 12 cm long, 3 - 4 cm in diameter, cylindric at maturity, glaucous, straight, narrowed gradually towards the pedicel (2 - 3 cm long) and similarly to a truncate apex, usually with the persisting perianth and style. [Fruits pendant on rachis at maturity.]

Seed black, bell-shaped [mushroom-shaped or nail-headed] with crisped margin, 6 - 8 mm high and 8 - 10 mm across.

This species occurs in evergreen forest or grows along streams in southeastern Yunnan and northern Vietnam.

Chromosome number: 2n = 20.

(Liu et al 2002) & [drc].

References Cheesman 1947 : 108, Liu et al 2002, Simmonds 1960, Simmonds 1962 : 12.
Comments Based on the chromosome number and the erect inflorescence, Liu et al, citing Cheesman 1947 and Simmonds 1960, place this plant in section Callimusa. The name Liu chose for the plant (paracoccinea means "similar to coccinea") reflects their view that it is "closely related to Musa coccinea". This is not very convincing.

There are significant differences between M. coccinea and M. paracoccinea. As Liu et al point out, compared with M. coccinea, M. paracoccinea is much larger in stature and has deciduous [caducous] bracts. Further, the seed shape of M. paracoccinea, which Liu et al acknowledge to be "unique in the genus" is quite different to that of M. coccinea and to the other Callimusa. Seed shape is diagnostic of section Callimusa according to Cheesman 1947 and Simmonds 1962. One should not get too hung up about the sectional status of M. paracoccinea since it is as well to remember that the Musa sections have no formal taxonomic rank. Nevertheless, the description of new species such as M. paracoccinea and M. exotica that do not fit neatly into established sections do seem to indicate that the genus Musa is ripe for revision.

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last updated 01/05/2008