Banana (Musa sp.)
Family : Musaceae

Banana is one of the oldest and most popular fruit. Banana is otherwise called ‘Apple of Paradise’. The Indo-Malayan region is believed to be the place of origin. It is widely used as a fresh fruit. The central core of the pseudostem is used as a vegetable. The banana pseudostem is also used for manufacturing paper and boards.

India ranks first in terms of area and production, growing in about 4,90,700 ha with an annual production of 168,13,500 mt, sharing about 17% of global production. Among the various states in India, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra account for major share in area and production.

In Tamil Nadu banana is grown in almost all the districts with more area under the districts like Trichy, Tuticorin, Coimbatore and Kanyakumari. Banana is a tall herb producing pseudostem which is the aerial stem made up of a number of leaf sheaths completely encircling the axis of the stem. Inflorescence is a terminal complex spike, each spike being subtended with big bracts. The flowers in the basal side of the peduncle behave as pistillate one while in the terminal ones as staminate one and those in the intermediate as transitional stage but are functionally male. The axis beyond the female phase is generally bare, but in some cultivars, flowers and bracts are retained. Fruit is a berry and in edible bananas they develop by vegetative parthenocarpically.