An annotated list of the species of Musella.

by David Constantine


Index page







last updated 09/10/2008


e genus Musella.

The genus Musella.


The type species of Musella, M. lasiocarpa was discovered by the Abbé Delavay in 1885 "dans les régions éleveés du Yun-nan, sur les rochers de Loko-chan et sur ceux Che-tong, près de Tapin-tze, à une altitude de 1,200 mètres environ". It was described first by Franchet in 1889 who named the plant Musa lasiocarpa. Cheesman transferred the plant to the genus Ensete in 1947 but it was returned to Musa by Simmonds in 1960. In 1978 C. Y. Wu created the new genus Musella to accommodate this distinct plant.
John Kress at the Smithsonian Institution has (as yet unpublished) molecular as well as morphological data to support Musella's status as a distinct, monotypic genus. We await the final word on Musella.

In 2002 Valmayor and Danh named a new species, Musella splendida from Vietnam. The reasons given for the separation of the species seem to me to be dubious and in the absence of good evidence I think that Musella splendida is nothing more than a Vietnamese specimen of Musella lasiocarpaIn the most recent edition of The Plant Book, Mabberely (2008) lists just one species, Musella lasiocarpa and gives the distribution as Yunnan & Vietnam.






Musella lasiocarpa (A. R. Franchet) C. Y. Wu ex H.-W. Li, Acta Phytotax. Sinica 16 (3): 56-57 (1978).
Musella splendida
R. V. Valmayor & L. D. Danh, Philipp. Agric. Sci. 85 (2): 204 - 209 (2002) & Philipp. Agric. Sci. 87(1): 118. (2004).

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last updated 09/10/2008