Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Musa jackeyi W.Hill

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Palm, pandan or cycad
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Habit and leaves [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Fruit and male section of inflorescence. © CSIRO
Fruit. © W.T. Cooper
Fruit & whole infructescence. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Hill, W. (1874) Report on the Brisbane Botanic Garden : 7. Type: Queensland, Johnstone River, collector unknown; holo: BRI?.

Common name

Banana, Erect; Erect Banana; Banana, Wild; Wild Banana


Grows to a height of 10 m or more with a 'stem' diameter of 45 cm but also flowers and fruits when smaller.


Leaf blades quite large, about 200-450 x 60 cm, petioles about 50 cm long or more. Petiole and midrib strong and fibrous. 'Stem' formed by the overlapping petiole bases. Lateral veins run at an angle of almost 90 to the margin of the leaf blade where they +/- amalgamate. Reticulate veins form rectangles with the lateral veins. Midrib about 1.4-1.5 cm wide.


Inflorescence large (up to 1.5 m long), erect (or erect except for the nodding apex) following pollination of the female flowers. Terminal flowers male, enclosed in an ovoid, multilayered sheath of overlapping bracts. Female and/or hermaphrodite flowers confined to the lower part of the inflorescence. Perianth consists of two parts, the longer parts is an open tube of four or five fused lobes and the shorter part, which is about half as long, consists of one lobe only. In male flowers the larger tepal is about 38-50 x 8-11 mm. Pedicel about 1-2 mm long. Pollen white (?). In hermaphrodite flowers the larger tepal is about 37-45 x 10-11 mm. Pedicel short or absent.


Infructescence erect. Individual fruits +/- sessile, 4-6.5 x 2.4-4 cm, seeds numerous, black, about 5-8 mm diam. Testa thick and hard, intruding into the endosperm on one side. Endosperm granular. Embryo globose, small, white, resembling a miniature mushroom in shape.


First pair of true leaves apiculate at the apex. At the tenth leaf stage: seedling completely glabrous; seed still attached to the base of the seedling. Stem composed of sheathing petioles or leaf bases. Leaf blade narrowly elliptic and drawn out into a fine point at the apex. Midrib depressed on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Lateral veins and reticulate veins form a very regular symmetrical pattern of squares. Seed germination time 35 to 98 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, known only from a few collections in the Innisfail-Babinda and the Daintree River areas. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 50 m. Grows in disturbed areas in lowland rain forest. Whole plants may be eaten by feral pigs. (G. Bennett pers. comm.)

Musa hillii F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 9: 169(1875), Type: Queensland, Daintree R., E. Fitzalan; holo: MEL; iso: BRI.
RFK Code
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