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Musapedia

The banana knowledge compendium


As a crop whose origin goes back to the early days of agriculture, bananas1 have been nurtured, studied and experimented on by countless farmers, scientists and banana enthusiasts. Musapedia is an effort to tap into that vast collective knowledge and to make sense of it through concise and clearly written texts that can be edited by anyone with information to share. Only registered users can contribute to Musapedia. To register.

To ensure that the information is reliable, experts will periodically be asked to review contents related to their field of expertise. It is only through a sustained effort of sharing information and critically examining contributions that Musapedia will become an up-to-date and trustworthy source of knowledge about bananas.

Banana cultivar checklist

Image The banana cultivar checklist is a working list of documented cultivar names. The main goal of the checklist is to arrive at an internally coherent list of names indicating which ones are synonyms (different names that refer to the same clone) and homonyms (similar names that refer to different clones). It currently contains 5,432 entries that can be browsed or searched using filters. Read more

The banana plant

Image The banana plant is a tree-like perennial herb. It is an herb because its aerial parts die down to the ground after the growing season and it is a perennial because an offshoot growing at the base of the plant, the sucker, replaces the mother plant. What looks like a trunk is actually called a pseudostem. Read more

Did you know...

... that many parts of the banana plant have their own unique name?

... that Xanthomonas wilt is found only in Eastern Africa and eastern DR Congo?

... that bananas have a unique nomenclature system?

... that the bunch on the ProMusa logo is a Fei banana?

... that Hawaiians call the nectar in the male flowers of Iholena bananas pilali?

 

Tropical race 4

Image Tropical race 4 (TR4) is the name given to the fungal strains of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) that readily cause Fusarium wilt (popularly known as Panama disease) in Cavendish cultivars under tropical conditions. The term TR4 was coined to distinguish these strains from the ones that cause the disease in the presence of predisposing factors, such as low temperatures, and have become known as subtropical race 4 (STR4). Read more

Featured image

Cultivated enset plants tend to have erect or slightly drooping leaves that funnel rainwater down into the plant's pseudostem. Because the plant can be harvested throughout the year, it provides food when other crops fail. It has been dubbed the “tree against hunger”. (Photo by Sabine Troeger)

Enset, the false banana

Enset (Ensete ventricosum) is a member of the same botanical family as the banana, but unlike its cousin it is grown for its starchy rhizome, which is a staple food for nearly 15 million people in the southwestern part of Ethiopia. (Photo by Sabine Troeger, U of Bonn) Read more

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1. The term banana refers to both the sweet types that are eaten raw and the starchy ones that are cooked.