Yunnan Banana
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Yunnan Banana
P Native Photo: Vinay Kumar Sahani
Common name: Yunnan Banana
Botanical name: Musa itinerans    Family: Musaceae (Banana family)

Yunnan banana is a plant with rhizomes markedly elongating. Pseudostems are dull yellow-green, purple when old, 5-7 m, often with withered leaves. Leaf-stalks are 50-60 cm, somewhat membranous; leaf blade above green, below pale green and not powdery, ovate-oblong, 2.4-3.1 m x 70--90 cm, base rounded, almost symmetric, tip flat. Flower-clusters are drooping, velvety. Bracts of male flowers are above yellow but basally nearly white, below dark reddish purple and often variegated with longitudinal, yellow stripes and with yellow margin. Flowers are 12-16 per bract, in 2 rows. Outer 2 lobes of compound tepal with hooklike appendages; free tepal about 1/3 as long as compound tepal. Flowers are followed by with 5-10 clusters of banana fruits. Bananas are 15-18 per cluster, ovoid-cylindric, 12-14 x 3-3.5 cm, white velvety, base gradually narrowed into a stalk about 3 cm, tip rostrate. Seeds are numerous, depressed, about 3 x 5--7 mm, irregularly angled, tuberculate. Yunnan Banana is native NE India to China (W. Yunnan), Taiwan, at altitudes of 1000-1300 m.

Identification credit: Vinay Kumar Sahani Photographed in Namdapha National Park, Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh.

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