Musa rubida

Musa rubida R. E. Holltum, unpublished manuscript, Musa sp. native in Malaya, in library at RBG Kew, (typed 1974) : 15. (1944-46).

Accepted name none, presumably referable to a subspecies of Musa acuminata.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons does not list this taxon.

Distribution Common inland species from N. Johore to N. Perak [at least].
Description Trunk to 3 m tall, to about 15 cm thick, outer sheaths more or less suffused dull dark purplish. Leaves to about 250 cm long and 55 cm wide, glaucous but not white, powdery beneath, petiole and lower surface of midrib light green, petiole and base of midrib more or less mottled with dull light purple at least when old but never fully purple. Inflorescence horizontal near the base, apical part pendulous. Bracts deep crimson, more or less streaked (at least in the male stage) with yellow, each bract as long as the bud. Flowers in groups of 10 - 12. Female flowers not known. Male flowers : ovary pale, c. 10 mm long ; outer perianth member 3.8 cm long cream translucent with yellow lobes c. 5 mm long, tepal-lobes with subapical tip barely 1 mm long ; inner perianth member 19 - 20 mm long, 12 mm wide, back slightly humped, apex nearly truncate with tip 1 mm long, filament 20 mm long, anther 17 - 18 mm long ; style [and] stigma as long as anthers. Fruits with glabrous stalk, 10 - 15 mm long, fruit with beak 10 - 12 cm long, 2 cm diameter, distinctly but not strongly angled (convex faces between angles), beak 7 - 8 mm long and wide.

This is a common species from N. Johore to N. Perak, abundant where primary forest has been felled. Its leaves stand more erect than those of M. truncata, or M. malaccensis (I think) the habit being much more like that of M. violascens but the leaves are a little wider, and distinctly glaucous beneath.

It is probable that this has been confused with the lowland form of M. truncata (if such exists) or all lowland "truncata" may be this species.

coll. by Holltum at Ampang Reservoir, Kuala Lumpur, 29.10.46, fls & fruit in alcohol.

(from Holltum 1974).

References Holltum 1944-46 : 15 - 16.
Comments From Holltum's typed manuscript [with handwritten notes by an unknown hand].

There is a plant listed as Musa aff. rubida in the living collection at RBG Edinburgh.

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last updated 01/05/2008