Musa itinerans Cheesman (Musaceae) is dispersed across continental Southeast Asia from Northeast India to Vietnam and the adjacent islands, with only two previously described varieties. Its intraspecific taxa have not been comprehensively investigated. In this study, M. itinerans is morphologically circumscribed based on field studies in southern China. Four varieties are described as new: M. itinerans var. chinensis Häkkinen, M. itinerans var. guangdongensis Häkkinen, M. itinerans var. lechangensis Häkkinen, and M. itinerans var. xishuangbannaensis Häkkinen. We propose a new rank for M. itinerans subsp. annamica R. V. Valmayor, L. D. Danh & Häkkinen as M. itinerans var. annamica (R. V. Valmayor, L. D. Danh & Häkkinen) Häkkinen. A table for the distinguishing characteristics is provided for these varieties and for M. itinerans var. itinerans Cheesman. All of these studies are based on morphological characteristics observed in the field in China during 2005 and 2006, in various herbaria, and in the literature on Musaceae.
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Vol. 18 • No. 1