Musaceae and rhizomes

James Waddick
Mon, 04 Jun 2012 10:03:03 PDT
>Please, could there be some clarification here?
>Peter (UK)
>        All members of the family Musaceae and the related
>Zingiberales have rhizomes. Although somewhat modified in bananas, it
>is very obvious in Cannas, Gingers, Heliconias and other relatives.

Dear Peter and all,
	Anatomical categories (rhizome, corm, etc) are just like 
taxonomic categories (Muscaeae, Brunsvigia, Iris) in some ways. They 
are artificial 'pigeon holes'. If an organism fits the definition it 
goes in the box. Some of these boxes are VERY narrow (montypic genera 
like Worsleya or unique anatomical structure such as Dodder /Cucuta 
that lacks both leaves and chlorophyll ) and others are very wide 
such as Iridaceae and Orchidaceae. Same for structures. Some are 
highly modified and some take close sleuthing to fit in the pigeon 

	By common sense agreement we often say things such as all 
member of the genus x have 3 petals, except for those that have 5 or 
6. Same for some anatomical structures. All Musaceae have rhizomes 
because most are readily obvious and fit the pigeon hole for 
"rhizome". Some are odd variations on the theme.

	I am sure you can think of some structure or taxonomic 
category that you have to stretch to fit all members, but that is 
just the nature of variation among organisms.

	So basically one has look beyond one extreme condition and 
look at the whole plant or the whole family. Widen the focus from the 
odd variation to the bigger scheme of things.

	I feel very confidant having look at banana rhizomes of all 
sorts and read a lot of the literature, that all Musaceae and 
Zingiberales have rhizomes. Some are very odd, but so is their 
foliage, flowers, leaves etc.

		Best		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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