Depending on the objectives of the planned study, image requirements may vary. However and precisely to ensure that any analysis is possible, all the banana natural biodiversity that can be recorded is interesting. For instance, niche modelling relies on large samples of accessions belonging to the same subspecies/subgroup, whatever the region of the world they are growing in, and provided it is natural. We will then preferably focus here on common triploid bananas, not rare specimens where we are likely to obtain less occurrences. However, if a sufficient number of observations is available, some more unusual specimens may also be recorded for that purpose. On the other hand, observing rare specimens will have great value to have an idea of the distribution of crop wild relatives and landraces. All types of banana are then welcome! The main problem here will be the correct botanical identification of the plant. Hence, taking detailed pictures (see below) is most important.

In any of the above cases, we are looking for banana plants growing in the closest to natural possible environment. Hence, not on your balcony, not in Iceland, not in a greenhouse, not in an intensive commercial plantation, not in your collection… But maybe in a backyard garden, escaped from cultivation in the wild, on the roadside, in a (very) small farmer plantation… Get it?

For instance, recording a Cavendish plant in a large plantation in Ecuador, Costa Rica or Ivory Coast, or under a greenhouse in the Canarias won’t tell us much because plants in this case are irrigated, fertilized, spread… and hence grown in rather artificial environmental conditions. Conversely, knowing that a plantain is grown on the side of a road somewhere in the lowlands of the Littoral region of Cameroon or in the heights of Bujumbura is accurate and useful information.

No bunch? Then no picture! And no observation… You don’t need to be a banana specialist to add new points to the database. However, we will need to be able to determine the classification of the banana plant from your picture. Without a bunch, it is very difficult, and we would have to discard your observation. At a minimum, it is important to see the entire plant and a close view of the bunch, the fruits and the male bud. If you are interested on providing more photos, Bioversity International (via MusaNet) has issued guidelines for taking a set of pictures that are useful for botanical determination (

Important information about licenses: The default license type used at iNaturalist is a protected copyright. To be able to use your observations in this project, we need the license to be changed to any Creative Commons that meet your personal requirements. You then need to change that.

  • Types of licenses may be changed at your profile level or just for one observation
  • There are separate licenses at iNaturalist for the observation and the pictures. Both need to be adapted.

Posted by chris971 chris971, July 29, 2016 14:41


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