This wild banana plant is short on fruit but blessed with beautiful colors, which have made Musa rubinea
very popular as an ornamental flower.
The new species is found only in the Nujiang watershed along the China
/Myanmar (Burma) border, where local horticulturalists enjoyed its beauty for years before it became known to science as a unique species in 2008. The plant now counts among the 163 new species found in 2008 in Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong region, WWF said in a September 2009 report.
The plants can thrive in drought conditions as well as in damp environments, making Musa rubinea
ideally adapted to a landscape lashed by seasonal monsoons.
Photograph by Markku Hakkinen, courtesy WWF