Ensete lasiocarpa (golden lotus banana)
Ensete lasiocarpa inflorescence spreading its showy yellow bracts to expose the flowers in their axils (Photo: Wolfgang Stuppy)
golden lotus banana, Chinese dwarf banana, Chinese yellow banana
Not yet assessed by the IUCN.
Mixed conifer-oak forest at 1,500 to 2,500 m above sea level.
Sacred plant, food, textiles.
About this species
With its inflorescence resembling a lotus flower in bud and lasting up to 250 days, the golden lotus banana has become a sacred plant of Buddhist monks in the tropical region of Yunnan.
Previously known as Musa lasiocarpa, it has recently been transferred to the genus Ensete based on an analysis of DNA sequence evidence published in the journal Taxon by Ai-Zhong Liu, W. John Kress & De-Zhu Li in February 2010. This conclusion has now been questioned in a 2010 publication by Li et al. who suggest that Musella lasiocarpa may indeed be the correct name. Further studies are needed to provide clarity on the relationships within the banana family (Musaceae).