Musa paradisiaca

Musa paradisiaca


Musa paradisiaca is one of the Latin binomial names that was applied to edible bananas, but whose usage has been discouraged since the developement, in 1955, of an alternative nomenclature system to classify banana cultivars.

The name Musa paradisiaca was coined by Carl Linneaus, the father of modern taxonomy. Linneaus was familiar with only one type of banana: the first banana to flower in Europe, a specimen cultivated in George Clifford's glasshouse near Haarlem in the Netherlands. In 1736 he named it Musa Cliffortiana, which is technically a 'pre-Linnean' Linnean name. In Species Plantarum, which was published in 1753, he renamed it Musa paradisiaca, in reference to the forbidden fruit of paradise[1]. What Linneaus did not know is that Musa paradisiaca is not a species but a complex, and sterile, hybrid.

As the first banana to be described, Musa paradisiaca has long been considered the 'type species' for the genus Musa. The name has also been applied to many different cultivars. The commonest usage has been to designate Plantains[2].


Contributors to this page: Anne Vézina .
Page last modified on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 09:16:38 CET by Anne Vézina.