What does the Maurelii mean?

sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)August 25, 2006

So I finally got my third cutivar of banana this year. It's one of those "I went to Home Depot for something and came home with a new banana" type of things. Now we all know how good these places are with proper labeling. It says ensete ventricosum "maurelii". It is definitely the ensete, bulbous bottom, mostly upright and doesn't lay out, red midrib. But I thought I read somewhere thet the maurelli was supposed to have a red underside of the leaf like a zebrina. I am either wrong or mine is not a maurelii. Would someone in the know set me straight as I do not like to spread misinformation. Also, it seems to be sensitive to burning the leaves but I have seen people say theirs do well in full sun in florida. Any ideas? Thanks guys!

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bihai(zone 9)

I am not an expert on plant nomenclature, but generally, when there is a part in a plant's name converted to the "xxxxx-ii" form, that is a form of the actual surname of the person who either discovered, first cultivated, extensively studied and id's the species, or developed the plant. Their name becomes a part of the plant "for posterity". Like Heliconia rostrata "Ruiz y Pavon". Its my understanding Ruiz and Pavon were botanists who studied and catalogued a lot of Amazonian and rainforest plants. Or names attached to plants like "evansii", "wilsonii", "williamsii"....these are the names of people converted to "plant naming code" if you will to designate their involvement with that particular species.

Names that refer to COLOR are add-ons like "rubra" for red, "alba" for white, "albo-variegata" for white variegated, "albo-marginata" for white leaf edges etc etc etc.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 8:03AM
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dilbert(z5 IL)

"But I thought I read somewhere thet the maurelli was supposed to have a red underside of the leaf like a zebrina. I am either wrong or mine is not a maurelii."

You are probably correct that it is not Maurelii but there is no need to "read" about it because there are plenty of pictures available on the web, even this forum, e.g., see:


I might add that, compared to Zebrina, Maurelii's color does not vary much with size or age.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 11:45AM
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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

Thanks for the replies. I was aware of the naming convention, I guess I should have been more specific in how is maurelii different than just plane ensete ventricosum. Also dilbert I remeber your post and is probaly the one I am referencing when I say "I have read". But this does bring us to the consensus that Maurelii is suposed to be red on the bottom, correct. I like the ensete nonetheless but was really hoping that it would have the red as it is a beautiful color in nature. So it might get a little more color next year but otherwise if it doesn't then it's not Maurelii? Am I following things right?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 12:26PM
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Maurelli in too much sun has red undersides, and not the top of leaf. In shade and cooler climates it tends to be completly purple with hints of green. You may have regular ventricosum which is a nice plant also.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 6:28PM
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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

Well I guess I just need to learn patience because as soon as I finished my last post it started to color up. I remeber someone on here joking that the nursery told him "it will get it's color" and everyone seemed to agree that it was not true. Sure enough the last two leaves it has put out are getting more red on the underside and the one coming out looks very deep red, almost purple. Maybe it's because I put it under my larger bananas and it gets mostly filtered sun. Whichever I am very glad it is getting it's color. From the pictures I have seen the maurelii looks spectacular when growing strong.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 10:11AM
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