Musa × paradisiaca L.

Last updated: 8 July 2015

Scientific Name

Musa × paradisiaca L.


Karkandela x malabarica Raf., Musa x acutibracteata M. Hotta, Musa × alphurica Miq. [Illegitimate], Musa x aphurica Rumph. Ex Sagot, Musa × arakanensis F.W.Ripley ex Blechynden [Invalid], Musa × arakanensis F.W.Ripley ex Blechynden [Invalid], Musa x bacoba Rottb., Musa balbisiana var. vittata (W. Ackm. ex Rodigas) M.R. Almeida, Musa x berteroi Colla, Musa x bidigitalis De Wild, Musa × carolinae Sterler [Invalid], Musa x champa Baker, Musa x chapara Perr., Musa x chiliocarpa Backer ex. K. Heyne, Musa × consociata Nakai [Invalid], Musa x corbieri A. Chev., Musa x corniculata Lour., Musa x dacca Horan., Musa x decrescens De Briey ex De Wild, Musa × discolor Planch, Musa × dulcissima Nakai [Invalid], Musa x emasculata var. kiala De Wild, Musa x emasculata var. kimbende De Wild, Musa x emasculata var. lomba De Briey ex De Wild, Musa x emasculata var. zengani De Briey ex De Wild., Musa x masculata Jacq., Musa x nigra Perr., Musa x odorata Lour., Musa x paradisiaca var. acicularis G. Forst., Musa x paradisiaca var. bende De Briey ex De Wild., Musa x paradisiaca var. champa (Baker) K. Schum, Musa × purpureotomentosa De Wild, Musa × sapidisiaca K.C.Jacob [Illegitimate]. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Pisang [2], banana (English) [3]
English Plantain, cooking banana [2], apple banana, eating banana, banana, edible banana, French plantain, starch banana, sweet banana [3]
China Hsiang chao, kan chiao, pa chiao, da jiao [3]
India Bale, havubalai, kandu, kodali, tatipattirimaran, tayaikkoli, riekkapattirakam, vallam, vimkol [3]
Indonesia Pusuh biu (Bali); kembang pisang [3], pisang [2]
Thailand Kluai [2], chek, kluai, kluai hakmuk, kluai hom, lepmue, kluai som, sakui, ya khai [3]
Philippines Saging [2], banangar, latunda, letondal, lantundal, latundan, saguin a latondan, susuk, turdan [3]
Cambodia Ché:k [2]
Vietnam Chu[oos]i [2]
Laos Kwàyz khauz [2]
Myanmar Nget-pyaw [2]
Pakistan Kela [3]
Japan Ryôri-banana [3]
Tibet Chu sin [3]
Papua New Guinea Bihia, inidia, lewizikali, pu’ei, tete na vudu, udi, umm [3]
East Africa Gonja, ikondo, isubi, kayinja, makondo, matooke, mbidde, meome ya ikondo, moome a ikondo, musa, ndizi [3]
France Bananier plantain [2]
Spain Platano [2]

Geographical Distributions

Musa L. is originated in the humid tropics. The greatest diversity in Musa germplasm is found in Southeast Asia, the recognised centre of origin of Musa paradisiaca. Malaysia is thought to be the primary centre for dessert bananas, whereas M. paradisiaca originated along the peripheral areas of the region, spreading eastward to the South Pacific and westward from India to Africa and hence to the warm regions of Latin America. M. paradisiaca is found wherever dessert bananas are grown. In Western and Central Africa and in some island countries in the Pacific, M. paradisiaca is more common than dessert bananas. In certain areas in Southeast Asia such as the Philippines, eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, where the long dry season poses a problem for the production of dessert MusaMusa cultivars predominate and serve as part of the staple diet, particularly among the poorer segments of society. [2]

Botanical Description

M. paradisiaca falls under the family of Musaceae. It is a tree-like perennial herb that can reach up to 2-9 m tall and with a short underground stem (corm) with buds, from which short rhizomes grow to produce a clump of aerial shoots (suckers) close to the parent plant. [2]

The shoots are cylindrical pseudostems of overlapping leaf sheaths, tightly rolled round each other and form a rigid bundle of 20-50 cm in diametre. [2]

The new leaves originated from the corm that growing up continuously through the centre of the pseudostem with their laminas tightly rolled. The emerging leaf unfolds a large oblong blade, measuring 150-400 cm x 70-100 cm, with a pronounced supporting midrib and well-marked, pinnately arranged and with parallel veins. [2]

One terminal inflorescence arises from each corm with axis (peduncle) extending through the centre of the pseudostem and bending down when exserted, being a compound spike with flowers arranged in several groups, compact and conical when young. Each group consists of two closely appressed rows of flowers, enclosed in a large ovate and pointed reddish bract. The bract becomes reflexed when flowers develop and being shed when fruits start to develop. [2]

The female flowers are at proximal while the male flowers are at distal end of the inflorescence and sometimes the neuter flowers in the middle. Commonly, it has about 12-20 flowers per node and usually 5-15 nodes with the female flowers. The bracts are open in sequence (about 1 per day) from base to top while the peduncle elongates. The mature infructescence measures about 50-150 cm long, bearing hands of fruits, followed by a long bare axis formed (as in most cultivars) male flowers and subtending bracts abscise, terminates in a growing point ('male bud') which continues to produce bracts and male flowers. The female flower (about 10 cm long) is with inferior ovary of 3 united carpels, roughly triangular in section, surmounted by a short perianth of 5 fused segments and 1 free segment, and together forms a tube around the style and sterile androecium. The stigma is with 3-lobed and 5 staminodes. The male flower measures about 6 cm long, with 5 stamens, rarely bearing pollen and small pistillode. [2]

The fruit is a berry-like, seedless, measuring 6-35 cm x 2.5-5 cm, green, yellow or reddish and curved in plantains but straight in cooking bananas. Each cluster of the fruits is at a node is a 'hand' (2-15 per bunch) and each individual fruit is a 'finger' (12-20 per 'hand'). [2]

The roots are adventitious, spreading 4-5 m laterally, descending to 75 cm long, but mainly in the top of 15 cm and form a densely mat. [2]


M. paradisiaca performs best under warm (27-30°C) and very wet (200-220 mm per month) conditions. The Musa cultivars can stand warmer and drier climates. The best soils are deep, friable loams with a good drainage and aeration. High soil fertility and organic matter content are desirable. The crop tolerates pH values of 4.5-7.5. It is sensitive to typhoons which cause blow-downs. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing



Figure 1: The line drawing of Musa L. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1 Musa × paradisiaca L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Jul 8]. Available from:
  2. Musa L. In: Flach M, Rumawas F, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 9: Plants yielding non-seed carbohydrates. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 1996.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 222-223.