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Family Musaceae
Musa acuminata
subsp. errans (Blanco) R.V.Valmayor

Scientific names Common names
Musa acuminata subsp. errans (Blanco) R.V.Valmayor Balaiang (Ilk.)
Musa errans (Blanco) N. G. Teodoro Butuan (Tag.)
Musa errans var. botoan N. G. Teodoro Butuhan (Tag.)
Musa troglodytarum var. errans Blanco Butzhan (Bik.)
  Saging butuan (Tag.)
  Saging chongo (Tag.)
  Saging na ligaw (Tag.}
  Saging matsing (Tag.)
  Vullungan (Ibn., It.)
  Butuhan banana (Engl.)
  Botoan banana (Engl.)
  Monkey banana (Engl.)
Musa acuminata subsp. errans (Blanco) R.V.Valmayor is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
DANISH: Buthan-banan.
DUTCH: Butuhan-banaan.
FRENCH: Banane Butuhan à graines, Banane à boutons floraux comestibles.
GERMAN: Butuhan-Banane.
ITALIAN: Banana Butuan.
JAPANESE: Botoan, Botoan banana, Monkii banana.
PORTUGUESE: Banana Butuhan
SPANISH: Platano Butuhan.

General info
Quisumbing . . . listed i) M. errans for Saging Maching ii) M. errans var. botoan for Butuhan and iii) M. errans var. basilisae for an unknown reason. However, Quisumbing wrongly credited Blanco and not Teodoro as the author of M. errans and again, did not explicitly establish M. errans var. errans. (Nicanor Teodoro's paper, A preliminary study of Philippine bananas, is at http://www.botanicus.org/page/709792.) (3)

Butuan is a wild banana plant, growing to a height of 3 to 3.8 meters, sending out suckers from the base. False trunk is erect and cylindric, 20 to 30 centimeters in diameter. Leaves are elliptic in shape, the mature blades about 1.5 to 2 meters long and 40 to 50 centimeters wide. Petioles grow to a length of 50 to 65 centimeters. Female fertile flowers appear toward the base, while the sterile staminate flowers appear toward the apex. Fruits are oblong, somewhat angled, about 15 centimeters long, 4 to 5 centimeters in diameter. Pulp is white, insipid or sour in taste. Seeds are hard and black.

- An endemic form of wild banana, growing spontaneously in many parts of the Philippines.
- Considered endangered in some regions of the Philippines.

- The puso (young inflorescence) is an excellent source of phosphorus, calcium and iron.
- Dichlormethane extract of corm of Musa errans yielded 31-norcyclolaudenone (1), squalene, and a mixture of stigmasterol and sitosterol.  (see study below) (1)

- Sap is vulnerary.
- Leaves considered antimicrobial.

Parts used
Leaves, corms, sap.

Edibility / Nutrition
- The puso (young inflorescence) is extensively used as food; a common market produce.
- The puso may be boiled and makes an excellent vegetable, or served with dressing, an excellent salad.
- Vinegar produced from the ripe fruits.
- Young unfolded leaves used as topical for chest pains.
- Internally, juice of corms given to tubercular patients.
- Sap used for wound healing.
- Sap exuding from the base of the cut trunk is used for urethral injections in gonorrhea.

- Unripe fruits eaten as treatment for diarrhea.

Phytochemicals / Antimicrobial / Leaves:
The air-dried leaves of the dichlormethane extract of Musa errans yielded 31-norcycloaudenone, squalene, and a mixture of stigmasterol and sitosterol. Antimicrobial testing showed low activity against C albicans, E coli, P aeruginosa, T mentagrophytes. (1) (2)
Ecological Study / Mosquito in Leaf Axils: Aedes poicilius and Ae. flavipennis were the 2 most abundant mosquito species found breeding in the leaf axils of wild banana, Musa errans botoan, at 3 different study sites on Clark Air Base, Philippines. (5)
Acute Toxicity Test: Since no animal subject died during the treatment period, the MLD (LD50) of the plant material is greater than 2000 mg/kg. (6)
Hemostatic Activity / Peel: Study of Musa erans peel decoction demonstrated dose-dependent hemostatic activity, not only affecting the platelets but also affecting intrinsic and extrinsic pathway clotting factors, with significant decrease in bleeding time, clotting time, prothrombin time, and activated PTT. Tannins may have played a part in the hemostatic activity through an effect on platelet aggregation. (6)


Updated May 2019 / January 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Isolation, Structure Elucidation and Antimicrobial Assay of Secondary Metabolites from Six Philippine Medicinal Plants / Dr. Consolacion Y. Ragasa / De La Salle University.
/ Philippine Journal of Science
A Triterpene from Musa errans / Consolacion Y. Ragasa*, Aillen T. Martinez, Jennifer Elizabeth Y. Chua, and John A. Rideout / Philippine Journal of Science, 136 (2): 167-171, December 2007
Musa errans / GlobalNet
Musa acuminata subsp. errans (Blanco) R.V.Valmayor / Synonyms / The Plant List
Ecological studies of mosquitoes in banana leaf axils on Central Luzon, Philippines.
/ Lang, J. T. and A. C. Ramos. / Mosquito News, Vol 41, Issue 4, 1981: pp 665-673
In Vivo Hemostatic Activity Screening of the Decoction of the Peel of Musa errans (Blco.) Teod. Var. Botoan Teod. on Sprague-Dawley Rats / Florano, Solmuell M. Sigua, Patricia Marie D. Tabi, Maria Jo Fatima J. Trinidad, Aleanor Josyl C. Vergara, Ina Marie Angela M. / DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACY, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Santo Tomas España, Manila

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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