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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 24 | Musaceae

1. Ensete Horaninow, Prodr. Monogr. Scitam. 8. 40. 1862.

象腿蕉属 xiang tui jiao shu

Herbs monocarpic. Stem 1, remaining short until flowering. Pseudostem composed of clasping leaf sheaths, tall, base swollen to strongly so and jarlike. Leaves large, base often narrowed into a petiole; leaf sheath lax; leaf blade oblong. Inflorescence rosulate when young, becoming elongate and pendulous with age. Bracts green, usually persistent. Flowers in 2 rows per bract; flowers in proximal bracts female (with reduced stamens) or bisexual; flowers in distal bracts male (with reduced gynoecium). Compound tepal linear, apex often 3-lobed, without 2 accessory teeth between lobes; free tepal usually wider than compound one, apex often 3-cuspidate or entire. Stamens 5. Berries leathery, dry or with very scanty pulp. Seeds few, globose or irregular, often more than (0.5--)1 cm in diam., usually smooth; hilum conspicuous, irregular, usually deeply sunken.

Ten species: mainly in Africa, extending to S and SE Asia; two species (one endemic) in China.

1 Pseudostem to 5 m (measured to crown of leaves at maturity); leaf blade 1.4--1.8 m, base cuneate; compound tepal ca. 2.5 cm; fruit obovoid-oblong; seeds smooth   1 Ensete glaucum
+ Pseudostem ca. 1.7 m (measured to crown of leaves at maturity); leaf blade ca. 3.3 m, base slightly cordate to truncate; compound tepal ca. 5 cm; fruit trigonous clavate; seeds slightly wrinkled   2 Ensete wilsonii

Lower Taxa


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