OCCURRENCE OF MULTIPLE MALE BUDS IN BANANA
Occurrence of multiple male buds in banana is a rare phenomenon. It is caused by branching of the peduncle or differentiation of the male flower into male bud. Five types of peduncle branching occur, viz.: (i) inside the pseudostem, (ii) at the time the peduncle emerges from the pseudostem, (iii) after the peduncle emerges from the pseudostem but before fruit development, (iv) during fruit development, and (v) after fruit development. Mostly, branching is accidental, except for that produced by Double Mahoi cultivar that always produces two or three bunches per pseudostem, which is inherited. Differentiation of male flower into male bud in banana is the worlds first reported case. It has been found in four accessions of probably the same clone of Musa acuminate subsp. siamea cultivated by the Hmong hill-tribe villagers living on the highlands in northern Thailand as an idol of worship to obtain prolific babies as well as to obtain more male buds as food for nursing mother. After a brief female phase with almost no fruit developed, numerous male flowers, instead of withering and dropping, differentiate into male buds with long rachilla. Close to a hundred small male buds may be produced on a single pseudo-stem, thus the name Kluai Roi Pli (banana having hundred male buds) has been given to this clone of banana. A single, normal-sized terminal male bud continues to produce male flowers, which may or may not differentiate into male buds. The values of multiple male buds are: (1) to satisfy curiosity, (2) as educational material, (3) as an idol for worship, (4) as ornamental plant, and (5) economic gain of increasing overall yield, number of fruits and male buds, and size and length of fruits.
Chomchalow, N., Swangpol, S., Na Nakorn, W. and Somana, J. (2014). OCCURRENCE OF MULTIPLE MALE BUDS IN BANANA. Acta Hortic. 1026, 17-28
accidental development, Musa acuminate subsp. siamea, branching of peduncle, differentiation of male flower, 'Kluai Roi Pli', Hmong hill-tribe