Taxonomic notes on ornamental bananas in Thailand
More than 18 wild banana (Musaceae) species and hundreds of cultivars were found in Thailand, many are introduced as ornamentals. The banana family which is classified into three genera: Musa, Ensete and Musella, distributes in the old world tropics and Thailand is among their centers of origin. Many banana species possess attractive bract colors such as orange, pink, bright red, purple, and also, though less frequently found, yellow and green. Several other appealing features of the bananas are dwarf pseudostems, variegated leaves, multiple male inflorescence, uneven colored inflorescence bracts and numerous hands of fruits. Recently, three new banana species, Musa siamensis Häkkinen & Rich. H. Wallace, M. serpentina Swangpol & Somana and M. nanensis Swangpol & Traiperm were discovered in the country. These bananas have decorative potential; taxonomic revision could enhance the selection process of these taxa and bring them into the spot light as economic ornamental crops.
Swangpol, S.C., Viboonjun, U., Kongsawadworakul, P., Chuenwarin, P., Inta, W. and Traiperm, P. 2017. Taxonomic notes on ornamental bananas in Thailand. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1167:169-176
exotic bananas, interspecific variation, native bananas, plant taxonomy, morphological characterization