All the plants turned out to be drought-tolerant Musa acuminata x Musa balbisiana hybrids typical of the Middle East, except for one specimen that survived in a limestone rock niche.
The scientists draw attention to the shape of the male bud, which is plump and rounded with extremely imbricated bracts early on and becomes slender and lanceolate as the fruits mature, a feature they say has never been described before.
|[Image: Andreas. Buerkert]|
Bananas, though they have no wild relatives in Oman, show an astonishing variation. Some clones likely reflecting old trade relationships to Southeast Asia where they may now have become extinct, being new to science. Obviously many different races have been introduced and maintained over the centuries.
The authors speculate that the mystery variety, which they named Umq Bi’r, might have reached Oman many centuries ago via Zanzibar, Madagascar or the Comoros.
 Buerkert et al: Ecology and morphological traits of an ancient Musa acuminata cultivar from a mountain oasis of Oman in Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution - 2009
 Oases of Oman: Livelyhood Systems at the Crossroads: Eds. Buerbert & Schlecht - 2010