Common name for genus Musa and their fruit.
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of genus Musa and their fruit. They are native to South and Southeast Asia, and were first domesticated on Papua New Guinea.
Most modern edible bananas are produced from crosses of two wild species: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Starchier fruit of the Musa are known as plantains or "cooking bananas". The names "plantain" and "banana" are often used interchangeably, although banana is usually considered sweeter, and plantain starchier.
Wild bananas typically have large, hard seeds inside the fruit. Cultivated bananas and plantains are parthenocarpic (no fertilization) and only have seed remnants. As such they cannot be propagated by seed and must be cloned (eg. with cuttings).
Bananas are considered topical plants and require a frost-free winter to produce fruit. They are grown as ornamental trees in warmer temperate zones which only experience mild frosts.
Use this tag for all questions about growing bananas and plantains.