The Musaceae

An annotated list of the species of Ensete, Musa and Musella.

Summary Section 1

This section summarises the information presented in the main pages. 

The first section is a list of the extant species of the Musaceae.  

The second section is a list of published species names cross referenced with the accepted name for the taxon, if there is one.  Good species are in bold in blue.   Good subspecies are in blue.

If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me at drc@globalnet.co.uk

David Constantine

















Species of the Musaceae

The largest genus, Musa, has historically been divided into six sections viz., Australimusa, Callimusa, Ingentimusa, Eumusa (
Musa) 1, Eumusa (Musa) 2 and Rhodochlamys. These sections do not have formal taxonomic significance but they are useful in discussing relationships between bananas.  The five sections have recently been reduced to three.  Previously the 2n = 20 chromosome species were separated into the sections Australimusa and Callimusa and the 2n = 22 chromosome species were separated into the sections Eumusa (Musa) and Rhodochlamys.  Studies by Carol Wong and colleagues in Singapore
(Wong et al 2002) have revealed that genetic differences between each section in the same chromosome group are smaller than those within each section.  This means that the traditional separation of the sections can no longer be substantiated.  The studies of Wong et al do, however, maintain the separation between the 20 and 22 chromosome species.  The 2n = 14 Musa ingens remains in its own section.  The morphological differences that once supported the separation of the sections are no longer considered important in determining sectional status.  My attempt to sort the species into traditional sections is here It remains to be seen whether Carol Wong's results are substantiated.

This simplification of the sections within the genus Musa and particularly the stress on chromosome number considerably simplifies the placement of certain newly described species.  Not that everything is completely tidy.  There remain a few questions to be answered. 

NOTE  This table will need to be modified to take into account the proposed 'acuminata' and 'ornata' groups within Sect. Musa, and the 'coccinea' and 'textilis' groups within sect. Callimusa as defined by Wong et al Gardens' Bulletin (Singapore), 55 (1) : 97-111. (2003).

Genus Chromosome number
(x = 1n)
(genus Musa only)
Distribution Species Main uses




Africa to Papua New Guinea. E. agharkarii  [see note]
E. gilletii
E. glaucum
E. homblei
livingstonianum  [see note]
E. perrieri
E. superbum
E. ventricosum
E. wilsonii 
[see note]
Banta, Thailand 
[see note]

Food staple, fibre, thatch, construction, beads, medicinal & ornamental.



Ingentimusa Papua New Guinea M. ingens not known


Callimusa (incl. Australimusa) Indo-China, Queensland, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines. M. alinsanaya
M. azizii
M. barioensis
M. bauensis
M. beccarii 
[see note]
M. boman
M. borneŽnsis
M. bukensis
M. campestris
  [see note]
M. coccinea 
[see note]
M. exotica
  [see note]
M. fitzalanii
M. flavida
M. gracilis
M. hirta 
[see note]
M. insularimontana 
[see note]
M. jackeyi
M. johnsii
M. lawitiensis  
[see note]
M. lokok  [see note]
M. lolodensis
M. maclayi
M. monticola
M. muluensis
M. paracoccinea
M. peekelii
M. pigmaea 
[see note]
M. sakaiana  [see note]
M. salaccensis
M. splendida 
[see note]
M. textilis
M. tuberculata
M. violascens
M. voonii
Fibre, fruit (fe'i bananas), ornamental.


Eumusa (Musa)
(incl. Rhodochlamys)
India, Indo-China to Samoa. M. acuminata
M. assamica 
[see note]
M. aurantiaca
M. balbisiana
M. banksii 
[see note]
M. basjoo
M. cheesmanii
M. flaviflora
 [see note]
M. formosana  [see note]
M. griersonii
M. halabanensis
M. itinerans
M. laterita
M. lutea
M. mannii
M. nagensium
M. ochracea
M. ornata 
[see note]
M. rosea

M. rubra
M. sanguinea
M. schizocarpa
M. siamea
[see note]
M. sikkimensis
M. thomsonii 
[see note]
M. tonkinensis
M. velutina 
[see note]
M. viridis
M. yunnanensis
Fruit, fibre, vegetable, wrapping, ornamental.
  unplaced   M. celebica  [see note]
M. discolor
  [see note]
M. dulcissima
  [see note]
M. jaheri
  [see note]
M. kattuvazhana  [see note]
M. lanceolata  [see note]
M. nana  [see note]
M. x paradisiaca  [see note]
M. pruinosa  [see note]
M. rectispica
  [see note]
M. sumatrana  [see note]
M. tomentosa  [see note]
M. trichocarpa 
[see note]
M. toglodytarum 
[see note]




China (Yunnan & Guixhou) Vietnam, Laos. M. lasiocarpa
M. splendida
[see note]

Animal fodder, vegetable, medicinal & ornamental

Originally based on a Table 1.1 in Stover & Simmonds 1987 but modified substantially after Wong et al 2002.


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last updated 17/10/2008