Sunday, January 29, 2012

[Botany • 2008] Musa zaifui sp. nov. (Musaceae) from Yunnan, China

The center of diversity of the genus Musa (Musaceae) is in southeast Asia, a region not studied in detail and where new species and varieties are reported continously. Here, a new wild banana species Musa zaifui Häkkinen & H. Wang from Yunnan, China, is described and illustrated. These studies are based on observed morphological characteristics in the field and from cultivated plants in the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden. Musa sect. Rhodochlamys in west Yunnan and east Myanmar have a rich diversity caused by their hermaphroditic flowers in which self-pollination takes place before the bracts open. This habit has evolved in response to their isolation in different watersheds and the lack of proper pollinators. The seeds of these plants’ fruits are dispersed in the local area by small mammals. Hybrids are very seldomly encountered due to self-pollination. Musa zaifui is only observed in a wet ditch covered with secondary forest on the eastern bank of Da Yingjiang River, on the way from Yingjiang to Longchuan (about 50 km from Yingjiang), Dehong District, west Yunnan. A key to M. zaifui and related taxa is provided.

Musa zaifui sp. nov. (Musaceae) from Yunnan, China

Häkkinen, M. & H. Wang. 2008. Musa zaifui sp. nov. (Musaceae) from Yunnan, China. Nordic J. Bot. 26:42–46.