Banana is a general term embracing a number of species or hybrids in the genus Musa of the family Musaceae . Most edible fruited bananas, usually seedless, belong to the species M.acuminata Colla (M.cavendishii Lamb. Ex Paxt., W.chinesis Sweet, M.nana Auth. NOT Lour., M.zebrina Van Houtee ex Planch.), or to the hybrid W.X paradisuase L. (M.X sapieritum L., M. acumianta X.M. balbisiana Colla). M.balbisiana Colla of Southern Asia and the East Indies, bear a seedy fruits but the plant is valued far its disease-resistance and therefore plays an important role as a ‘parent', in the breeding of edible bananas.
Musa, a plant genus of extraordinary significance to human societies, produces the fourth most important food in the world today (after rice, wheat, and maize). Musa species grow in a wide range of environments and have varied human uses, ranging from the edible bananas and plantains of the tropics to cold-hardy fiber and ornamental plants. They have been a staple of the human diet since the dawn of recorded history. These large, perennial herbs, 2–9 m (6.6–30 ft) in height, evolved in Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and the Indian subcontinent, developing in modern times secondary loci of genetic diversity in Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific.