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Genus :


Family :



Tree-like herbs, rhizomatous and stoloniferous, 2-9 m tall, tufted, pseudostems  of tightly involute leaf-sheaths, base slightly swollen. Leaves simple, spiral,  compactly crowned, blade oblong, petiole long, enlarged into sheath. Inflorescence subterminal, erect, or pendulous spike,  flowers subtended by spathaceous bracts, in 1-2 rows per bract, female flowers inside proximal bracts, male ones inside distal bracts. Cmpound tepal tubular, split, 2-toothed, free sepal inserted within compound tepal. Stamens 5, filaments short, anthers 2-loculed. Berries elongate, fleshy. Seeds irregularly globose to lenticular.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Pseudostems stout, over 5 m high; fruit pulpy, edible M. paradisiaca
1b. Pseudostems slender, under 5 m high; fruit firm, not edible 2
2a. Pseudostems up to 2.7 m high; leaf-blade c 1.8 m 35 cm; fruit c 8 cm long, 2 cm across; pulp white M. ornata
2b. Pseudostems 3-5 m high; leaf-blade 2.0-2.5 m 40-60 cm; fruit up to 13 cm long, c 3 cm across; pulp yellowish-white M. acuminata