The banana knowledge compendium

As a crop whose origin goes back to the early days of agriculture, the banana1 has 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 edit or create Musapedia pages. 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.

We welcome contributions in French and Spanish. To know whether a given Musapedia page exists in another language, click on the globe in the upper right corner of the page. Only registered users can translate pages. Click on the globe, select translate and follow the instructions. If you encounter problems, contact the Musapedia manager at musapedia@promusa.org.

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

Morphology of 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 in fact a a pseudostem made from tightly packed leaf sheaths. Read more

Did you know...

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

that Xanthomonas wilt (BXW) can be controlled with cultural practices?

that bananas have a unique nomenclature system?

that the unusual Fei bananas are rich in precursors of vitamin A?

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

The 'Umq Bir' in the University of Kassel’s Greenhouse of Tropical Crops has an unusual male bud whose shape changes from plump to lanceolate as it matures. (From left, photos by A. zum Felde and A. Buerkert)

'Umq Bir', from the In pictures on the oasis bananas of Oman.

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.

Contributors to this page: Anne Vézina .
Page last modified on Friday, 11 December 2015 12:38:29 CET by Anne Vézina.