Musa balbisiana

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Musa balbisiana
Musa balbisiana in Aceh.jpg
Musa balbisiana fruit
Inside a wild-type banana.jpg
The fruit of M. balbisiana, showing numerous seeds
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Musaceae
Genus: Musa
Section: Musa sect. Musa
M. balbisiana
Binomial name
Musa balbisiana
Colla 1820
Banana ancestors (Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana) original range.png
Original native ranges of the ancestors of modern edible bananas: M. acuminata is shown in green and M. balbisiana in orange.[2]
  • M. bakeri Hook.f.
  • M. brachycarpa Backer
  • M. dechangensis J.L.Liu & M.G.Liu
  • M. liukiuensis (Matsum.) Makino ex Kuroiwa
  • M. × paradisiaca var. granulosa G.Forst.
  • M. pruinosa (King ex Baker) Burkill
  • M. × sapientum var. pruinosa (King ex Baker) A.M.Cowan & Cowan

Musa balbisiana, also known simply as plantain, is a wild-type species of banana. It is one of the ancestors of modern cultivated bananas, along with Musa acuminata.


It grows lush leaves in clumps with a more upright habit than most cultivated bananas. Flowers grow in inflorescences coloured red to maroon. The fruit are between blue and green. They are considered inedible because of the seeds they contain.


It was first scientifically described in 1820 by the Italian botanist Luigi Aloysius Colla.[4]


It is native to eastern South Asia, the eastern regions of the Indian subcontinent, northern Southeast Asia, and southern China. Introduced populations exist in the wild, far outside its native range.[5]


It may be assumed that wild bananas were cooked and eaten, as agriculturalists would not have developed the cultivated banana otherwise.[6] Seeded Musa balbisiana fruit are called butuhan ('with seeds') in the Philippines,[7] and kluai tani (กล้วยตานี) in Thailand,[8] where its leaves are used for packaging and crafts.[9] Natural parthenocarpic clones occur through polyploidy and produce edible bananas, examples of which are wild saba bananas.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allen, R. (2019). "Musa balbisiana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T111907032A111907034. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T111907032A111907034.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ Edmond de Langhe & Pierre de Maret (2004). "Tracking the banana: its significance in early agriculture". In Jon G. Hather (ed.). The Prehistory of Food: Appetites for Change. Routledge. p. 372. ISBN 978-0-203-20338-5.
  3. ^ "Build checklist for Musa". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
  4. ^ "Musa paradisiaca".
  5. ^ Perrier, Xavier; Langhe, Edmond De; Donohue, Mark; Lentfer, Carol; Vrydaghs, Luc; Bakry, Frédéric; Carreel, Françoise; Hippolyte, Isabelle; Horry, Jean-Pierre; Jenny, Christophe; Lebot, Vincent (2011-07-12). "Multidisciplinary perspectives on banana (Musa spp.) domestication". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108 (28): 11311–11318. Bibcode:2011PNAS..10811311P. doi:10.1073/pnas.1102001108. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 3136277. PMID 21730145.
  6. ^ Musa balbisiana Archived October 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Progenitors of Edible Bananas". Guide to Growing Bananas. November 1, 2010. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  8. ^ Plant use in Southern Thailand (PDF). Chiang Mai University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-04-13.
  9. ^ Karnjanatawe, Karnjana (19 August 2019). "Going bananas". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  10. ^ Michel H. Porcher; Prof. Snow Barlow (July 19, 2002). "Sorting Musa names". The University of Melbourne. Retrieved January 11, 2011.

External links[edit]