Bananas, originally native to India and adjacent countries, are now
cultivated throughout the tropics; and since they can ripen in
transit, they are a familiar fruit in temperate countries also.
Nearly all the edible varieties, including red and green fruit,
entirely lack seeds.
The genus includes several other important species: Musa textilis
yields strong fiber known as Manila hemp; others are grown for their
enormous leaves or colored flowers.
The flowers, in thick purplish bracts, drop off as they mature.
Female flowers are borne at the base of the stem, male ones further
Though they often grow to tree size, they are really giant
herbaceous perennials; each trunk is composed of leaf bases and,
when the flowering shoot has risen and borne fruit, it dies.
Cultivation: Banana crops require fertile, moist soil and full sun.
Propagate from ripe seed or by division.