The Musaceae

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

What's new

update in progress 2008

Häkkinen, M. & Väre H. (2008). Typification and check-list of Musa L. names (Musaceae) with nomenclatural notes. Adansonia, sér. 3, 30 (1) : 63 - 112.  http://www.mnhn.fr/museum/front/medias/publication/14895_a08n1a7.pdf

This paper presents a more or less definitive checklist list of Musa names rendering this website largely irrelevant.  It does however exclude Forster's work, see below.


The work of Georg Forster has recently come to my attention. Until now, Forster's work has been ignored by students of the Musaceae. Together with his father, Johann, Georg Forster travelled with James Cook on his second expedition to the Pacific (1772 - 75). Forster's De Plantis Esculentis Insulam Oceani Australis Commentatio Botanica of 1786 contains a list of 16 binomial names of Rumphian bananas. These binomials rather disguise the fact that Forster treated them all as varieties of Linnaeus' Musa paradisiaca and not as species.

Initially I foolishly misread Forster's paper thinking that in his use of binomials he really did treat all Rumphius' plants as species.  I thank Prof. J. McNeill for putting me right on this.







last updated 22/10/2008