Musa corms

Tim Chapman
Sun, 03 Jun 2012 22:11:24 PDT

Again it all boils down to limiting definitions and diversity.  Given the definitions available and the history of use most Musa have corms, some have rhizomes.  Now clearly a Musa corm does not fit into the definition you refer to in regards to depletion of and reforming a new corm etc.  My main point is that in Musa taxonomy a distinction is made between the two.  

@ Waddick, the foremost authority on and taxonomist of Musa refers to corms in his literature.  The use of the term is valid. 

Now again we are referring to definitions that aren't ..uh, well defined.    Amorphophallus and Musa corms don't function the same way obviously.  So yes it is valid to call them both corms but no they aren't the same thing.  

The same issue exists within Zingiberaceae. All are supposed to have rhizomes yet some do not really fit the definition at all, and almost fit into your definition of corm.  However they are called rhizomes.  

In regards to your statement, yes all Musa sucker, some more than others. The rhizomatous spp will sucker at the base of the pseudostem and along new rhizomes that form.  The majority of spp just form new shoots at the base of pseudostem, ie around the top of the corm. 

Ensete are a different story as they do not multiply at all (unless hacked up and forced to).  The corm of an Ensete is not a horizontally growing stem by any means nor is it meant to be a method of reproduction...unless you accept the transfer of Musella back into Ensete.. and if the Musa/Ensete intermediate ever gets published .. Then it gets blurry again. 

Anyways loose definitions always cause problems when you try to use them for tighter descriptions.  As with your examples the lines get blurred.  So I think the invention of rhizocorm and modified rhizocorm sounds like a good idea.  

Tim Chapman

On Jun 3, 2012, at 10:45 PM, Hannon <> wrote:

> Tim,
> 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).
> Dylan
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