Musa silvestris

Musa silvestris G. E. Rumphius Herbarium Amboinense 5: 130 & 139 (1750).
Musa silvestris Lamarie (?) Bull. Écon. Indochine. (1901).
Musa silvestris L. A. Colla Memoria della Reale Accademia delle Scienze di Torino 25 : xxx (1820). [Memoria sul genere Musa e monografia del Medesimo 58 (1820).]

Musa silvestris G. E. Rumphius, Herbarium Amboinense 5: 130 & 139 (1750).

Accepted name none - see comments
Authorities Cheesman 1949l.
Distribution Philippines.
References Champion 1967: 43, Cheesman 1949l : 271
Comments Rumphius is a pre-Linnean author who gave the first detailed description of bananas in volume 5 of Herbarium Amboinense (1747) pages 125 - 140 which is available online at Botanicus at to

The section on bananas is divided into 7 headings.

Heading 1.  A history and general description of bananas.

Heading 2.  Rumphius categorises the bananas of Ambon into three main types to which he gives Latinised names viz:

1. cultivated or domesticated bananas, Musa sativa or domestica or hortensis
2. a semi-wild (or semi-domesticated) seedy banana, Musa alphurica
3. two wild bananas, Musa silvestris, of which one is seedless.

Under the general heading Musa domestica (domesticated bananas) he lists 16 types most of which he identifies only by a local name but three of which are given Latin names:

no. 1 Musa corniculata or Pissang Tando, Pissang Carbou, Pissang Ocky Ocky
no. 2 Pissang Gabba Gabba
no. 3 Pissang Crobo or Cro (further subdivided)
no. 4 Pissang Djernang
no. 5 Pissang Culit Tabal, Pissang Baratsjo
no. 6 Musa mensaria or Pissang Medji
no. 7 Musa regia or Pissang Radja
no. 8 Pissang Mera, Pissang Cutsjupau
no. 9 Pissang Salpicado
no. 10 Pissang Swangi
no. 11 Pissang Batu, Pissang Bidji
no. 12 Pissang Abu, Pissang Soldado, Pissang Alphuru
no. 13 Pissang Bombor
no. 14 Pissang Canaya Puti
no. 15 Pissang Canaya Kitsjil
no. 16 Pissang Bulang

It seems to me that Rumphius did not mean Musa domestica to define a single species but a category of bananas.

Heading 3.  The horticulture of bananas.

Heading 4.  A treatment of Musa uranoscopos, a domesticated type treated separately apparently on account of its upright inflorescence and rarity.

Heading 5.  The semi-wild (or semi-domesticated), seedy Musa alphurica or ceramica or Pissang alphuru.

Heading 6.  A wild banana Musa simiarum or Pissang Jacki (the Monkey banana) of which there are two types, small and large.

Heading 7.  The wild bananas proper, Musa silvestris or Pissang Utan.

Rumphius listed two varieties of Musa silvestris, mindanauensis and amboinensis. Cheesman comments that var. mindanauensis, taken up by Miquel as Musa mindanensis, was probably a form of Musa balbisiana and that var. amboinensis may well have been Musa textilis but that he "cannot pretend to be able to interpret Rumphius".

Champion 1967 queries spelling as M. sylvestris as given by Kurz p. 162.

See discussion at Musa textilis.

Musa silvestris Lamarie or Lemarie? Bull. Écon. Indochine. (1901).

Accepted name probably a form of Musa textilis L Née sensu J. G. Baker.
Distribution Philippines.
References Champion 1967: 43, Mabberley 1997, Uphof 1968.
Comments The author Lamarie is not included in Brummitt & Powell 1992. Perhaps it is Lemarie? as in Champion who spells it M. sylvestris. Champion also say this is possibly section Physocaulis after Kervegant and if so it is not M. textilis.

According to Uphof, the local name for this plant "Layason" is distinct from name used for Musa textilis ("Abacá") but the plant also yields a locally used fibre.

See discussion at Musa textilis.

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last updated 01/05/2008