Musa perrieri

Musa perrieri P. Claverie, Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences de Paris 140: 1612 (1905).

Accepted name Ensete perrieri (P. Claverie) E. E. Cheesman, Kew Bulletin 2 (2): 103 (1947).
Authorities The authorities for the accepted name are Cheesman 1947a and Simmonds 1960.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons lists Musa perrieri Claverie, Ann. Inst. Bot.-Géol. Colon. Marseille, II, 7: 74 (1909) as a synonym of Ensete perrieri (Claverie) Cheesman, Kew Bull. 2: 103 (1947 publ. 1948) which is listed as an accepted name.

Distribution Madagascar.
Description Plant 6 - 7 m. (ca. 20 ft.) tall, pseudostem to 4 m. tall and 2½ ft. in diameter at the base. The colour of the sap pink in outer sheaths and violet-red in inner sheaths. Inflorescence big, dense and pendulous. First bracts have a short blade. Bracts oval and varying in colour (green, yellow, pink or violet). Flowers 18 - 20 per bract. Male flowers with 5 perfect and 1 abortive stamen. Free petal 3-lobed, median lobe acute, lateral lobes rounded. Fruits very numerous (up to 210/bunch), 4 - 5 in. long and about 1 in. thick, with a thin layer of yellowish pulp. Seeds numerous, black, 1/3 in. or 8.3 mm. in diameter, irregularly ovoid, warty, with a large hilum and a depressed micropyle.

(Fawcett 1913 and ?).

References Champion 1949, Champion 1967: 42, Cheesman 1947a: 103, Claverie 1905: 1611-1612, Claverie 1909, De Wildeman 1912, Fawcett 1913: 274, GRIN, Heckel 1910 : 234 - 235, Hubert 1907, Mobot Tropicos, Perrier de la Bathe 1946: 3, Simmonds 1960: 206, 212, Uphof 1968.
Comments This was one of a number of Musa transferred to Ensete by Cheesman in his 1947 paper reviving the genus Ensete. The Madagascan flora has African elements but is quite distinct with a large number of endemic species. But like the African flora there are no wild Musa native to Madagascar, but there does appear to one unique Ensete species.

Claverie comments, "Notre Musa, par son tronc renflé a la base, l'absence de réjéts, la forme des diverses pieces du perianthe, appartient a la section des Physocaulis; et il se place, par le nombre des fleurs de chaque série et l'aspect de ses inflorescences, au voisinage du Musa ensete de l'Afrique orientale. Mais il s'en distingué nettement par le nombre des etamines et la hauteur de sa tige. Il differe des Musa ventricosa et schweinfurthii par la forme de son tepale; et des Musa buchanani, superba, nepalensis par le nombre plus considerable de ses fleurs et la position pendante de ses inflorescences. Enfin il s'eloigne nettement du Musa proboscidea par le nombre plus faible de ses fleurs, par sa tige renflée a la base, par la forme de ses bractées floriferes fortement allongées et par ses inflorescences beaucoup plus ramassées. L'aspect general de cette espéce de Madagascar est d'ailleurs bien different de celui qu'indique Oliver dans les [Hooker's] Icones [Plantarum], pour le Musa proboscidea. Nous croyons donc pouvoir, sans hesiter, considerer comme une espéce nouvelle ce Musa de l'Ambongo, que nous nommons Musa perrieri".

It will be very interesting to know whether its affinities lie with the African or Asian species of Ensete, according to Claverie it seems to differ from both in floral characteristics. And if the seeds are really warty then it differs from all known Ensete. [Toby Spanner has distributed seed of E. perrieri and it is indeed warty but thus far unfortunately not viable].

Champion 1967 seems to bring into synonymy here Musa pierrei Hubert citing Fawcett; "M. perrieri Claverie [ ] dans Fawcett = M. pierrei Hubert = Ensete perrieri (Clav.) Cheesman". I do know how he gets this idea since Fawcett p. 274 describes M. perrieri under the subgenus Physocaulis and M. pierrei under the subgenus Eumusa on p. 268. Although the description of M. pierrei is poor the fact that it has an erect inflorescence would seem to be more than enough to separate it.

GRIN accepts Musa perrieri P. Claverie as the accepted name.

The WCM gives Claverie 1909 as the date of publication but the reference I have (from Gerda Rossel) is Claverie 1905.

Type: Perrier de la Bathie no. 1796 in Herb. Mus. Paris (also Herb. Mus. Col. Marseille ?) See also Decary 2337, 6883 and Perrier 16897 in Herb. Mus. Paris.

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last updated 01/05/2008