Sunday, 12 November 2017

Musa paramjitiana: A new species of Banana from the Andaman Islands.

Bananas, Musa spp., are large fruiting Monocots which grow wild across tropical areas of Africa, Asia, Australia and the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They are shrub- or tree sized plants, but lack any woody tissue, and are sometimes referred to as giant herbs for this reason. The fruits of wild Bananas are packed full of seeds, making them an un-attractive proposition for hungry Humans; commercially grown varieties tend to be sterile hybrids that lack seeds.

In a paper published in the Nordic Journal of Botany on 5 December 2016, Lal Ji Singh of the Botanical Survey of India, describes a new species of Banana from the Andaman Islands.

The new species is named  Musa paramjitiana, in honour of Paramjit Singh of the Botanical Survey of India, for his work on the taxonomy of Flowering Plants. It is a robust Banana, reaching 7.0 to 10.5 m in height.and 100–130 cm in diameter at the base. Flowers are orange and born in October to December, the fruit are thick and reach 8.5-13.5 cm in length, with apricot or orange-pink pulp, and a distinctive sweet and sour taste.

Musa paramjitiana, (A)–(D) inflorescence, (E)–(F) leaf sheath. Singh (2017).

Musa paramjitiana was found growing only at two locations, on North and Middle Andaman Islands, with 6-18 plants growing at each site. It grows close to stream banks in mixed lowland forest, an environment which is rapidly disappearing in the Andaman Islands. For this reason Singh recommends that the species be regarded as Critically Endangered under the terms of the the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.

Musa paramjitiana, (K)–(L) infructescence with persistent bracts, (M) single fruit hand, (N)–(Q) fruits, (R)–(S) seeds, (T) seedlings. Singh (2017).

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/thismia-nigricoronata-new-species-of.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/gelidocalamus-xunwuensis-new-species-of.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/coelogyne-putaoensis-new-species-of.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/zingiber-alba-new-species-of-ginger.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/heliconia-berguidoi-new-species-of.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/habenaria-yookuaaensis-new-species-of.html
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