A plant of the genus Musa native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia, which is known and mainly cultivated for its fruit, which is in fact not a fruit, but a herb. While the plant might look like a tree, it is not classed as one, and the main stem is actually a pseudo stem, which can for some species reach a height of 2 to 8 meters. Each one of these pseudo stems produces a bunch of green bananas, which when they ripen often turn yellow or sometimes even red or purple, when the stem has produced its fruit, it dies and gets replaced by a new one.
Depending on the cultivar and ripeness of the banana, the flesh can have a taste varying from starchy to sweet, and a texture ranging from firm to mushy. Unripe bananas, which are green, are often used in stews and curry, and most of the production is of green bananas, since the ripe bananas are easily damaged while transported, even when traveling short distances.
The earliest known domestication of banana is believed to have taken place in the Western Highlands Province of Papa New Guinea, dating as far back as 5000 to 8000 BC, a wide range of wild bananas still exists in this area. The secondary area of banana cultivation is believed to be Africa, since a large diversity of species can be found here as well, cultivation of bananas in Africa is believed to date as far back as 1000 BC in Madagascar.
While wild bananas actually have a rather large amount of big seeds in the fruit. However, cultivated bananas are parthenocarpic, which basically means that they are sterile and need the help of humans to reproduce, this is done by removing and transplanting a part of the underground stem.