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Musa itinerans (Yunnan banana)

The Yunnan banana, native to China’s Yunnan province, is the 24,200th plant species saved at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank.
Yunnan bananas on a branch

Musa itinerans in its natural habitat

Species information

Scientific name: 

Musa itinerans Cheesman

Common name: 

Yunnan banana, wild forest banana

Conservation status: 

Musa itinerans varieties annamica and lechangensis are classed as VU (Vulnerable) by the IUCN.


Underwood of evergreen forests in mountainous areas up to 2,700 m above sea level and in moist ravines.

Known hazards: 



Genus: Musa

About this species

Musa itinerans is a wild banana from Southeast Asia with pink fruits, which are an important staple food for wild Asian elephants. It was the 24,200th plant species saved at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank. This number was a significant landmark because it meant that 10% of the world’s wild plant species had been banked. The 10% target was set in 2000 when Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Partnership was formed. The next challenge is to collect and bank a quarter of the world’s plants by 2020.


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