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

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

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?

Fusarium wilt

Fusarium wilt, commonly known as Panama disease, is a lethal fungal disease caused by the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense. The fungus enters the plant through the roots and colonizes the xylem vessels thereby blocking the flow of water and nutrients. Disease progression results in the collapse of leaves at the petiole, the splitting of the pseudostem base and eventually plant death. The fungus can persist in soil for many years and cannot be managed with chemical pesticides. The only option for continued long-term banana production in infested soils is replacing susceptible cultivars by resistant ones. Read more

Featured image
The land on which EARTH University was built included a commercial banana farm, which the university decided to keep. Over the years, faculty, staff and students have experimented with various approaches to produce a more sustainable export banana by reducing chemical use and improving soil fertility.  Find out more in an In picture on EARTH University's bananas.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions or suggestions.

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