A Noteworthy Banana: Musa Serpentina

Musa serpentina is named after the sinuous shape of its rachis, the ‘shaft’ of the main, flower-bearing section. In Thailand its native name, Kluai Nakkharat, means ‘serpent king banana’.
This species was only described as late as 2011 and was discovered[1] in western Thailand along the border of Myanmar (Birma). In that specific area other variants, such as Musa acuminata and Musa laterita, are also growing abudantly. Because Musa serpentina possesses characters of both of these species, it has been suggested that it is a hybrid rather than a seperate species. It has been observed in open mixed deciduous forest along stream banks and roadsides, and at altitudes varying between 240 and 570 meters.

[1] Swangpol et al: Musa serpentina (Musaceae): a new banana species from western border of Thailand in Thai Forest Bulletin - 2011

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