Musa corms

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 20:45:57 PDT

I know Musa is diverse and don't doubt that that diversity extends to
rootstocks. Perhaps it is a case similar to Amorphophallus, but reversed:
almost all amorphos grow from a more or less globular or discoid structure
that is typically used up completely each season and is "replaced" by a new
corm formed at (and by) the base of the current season's leaf and
cataphylls. However, there is at least one species, A. coaetaneus, that
could be described as forming a "chain of corms". Instead of being used up
entirely in a season, the corms persist in rhizomatous fashion for several
years. Thus, we may consider cormous plants-- certain irids, aroids and
others-- to be derived from likely rhizomatous ancestors.

It sounds as though this might be the case in Musa, too. I'm not aware of
any proper Musa species that do not offset, but there are numerous amorphos
that can and do make offsets-- together the mother and daughter corms could
be thought of as an extremely abbreviated rhizomatous system (of corms).


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