Musa x vittata

Musa x vittata W. Ackermann and E. Rodigas ex L. B. Van Houtte, Fl. Serres Jard. Eur. , t. 1510 - 1513 (1862 - 1865).

Accepted name Musa (AAB group) 'Vittata'


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

Synonyms Musa sapientum var. vittata Hooker, Bot Mag. t. 5402
Authorities I have inferred the accepted name by analogy with Musa (AAB group) 'Koa'e' from Stover & Simmonds 1987.

The World Checklist of Monocotyledons lists Musa × vittata W.Ackm. ex Rodigas, J. Gén. Hort. 15: 25 (1862) as a synonym of Musa x sapientum var. vittata (W.Ackm. ex Rodigas) Hook.f., Bot. Mag. 89: t. 5402 (1863), Musa x paradisiaca var. vittata (W.Ackm. ex Rodigas) K.Schum. in H.G.A.Engler (ed.), Pflanzenr., IV, 45: 21 (1900) and Musa x paradisiaca L., Sp. Pl.: 1043 (1753) which is listed as an accepted name.

Description "Leaves and long fruits copiously striped with white. Spathes bright red inside."

(Baker 1893)

References Anon 1906 : 22, Baker 1893: 213, Champion 1967 : 43, Graf Exotica, Horaninow 1862, Lessard 1992, RHS 1956, Stover & Simmonds 1987.
Comments Published as Musa vittata the "x" is added to indicate its presumed hybridity.  In this context Musa x paradisiaca should not be read as implying that Musa x vittata is Musa (AAB group) 'French' plantain, Cheesman's identification of Musa x paradisiaca L. (Cheesman 1948) but it does belong to the same genome group.

Hooker, Bot Mag. t. 5402 is at  to 

Hooker gives the reference W. Ackerman, ms. in Van Houtte, Flor. des Serres, t. 1510 - 1513.  Hooker says that this plant was imported (into Europe) from the island of St. Thomas, or Sao Tomé, West Africa (see links above). On the other hand Lessard says 'Vittata' is the same as the Hawaian cultivar 'Koa'e' ('Aea'e') which is derived from or at least sometimes reverts to the cultivar 'Maia maoli' (or to 'Popoulu' according to Lessard).

This is one of a number of variegated Musa. Others include:

Musa basjoo 'Variegata'
Musa (AAA group) 'Dwarf Cavendish' several un-named clone
Musa (AAB group) 'Koa'e' = Musa (AAB group) 'Aea'e'
Musa (AAB group) 'Banane panachee'
Musa (AAB group) 'Anil Vazhai' or 'Variegated French Plantain'

Variegated bananas are unstable sectoral chimeras. This instability prevents them being micropropagated so they must be propagated conventionally.  Coupled with their desirability as ornamentals, they are thus not readily obtained compared to non-variegated types and are relatively expensive. Variegated plants arise occasionally as 'sports' during micropropagation but such plants commonly 'grow out' of the variegation.


There is one image of Musa sapientum var. vittata at

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last updated 02/05/2008