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(family Musaceae)

A genus of giant, rhizomatous (see rhizome) herbs which have an erect pseudostem, formed from overlapping leaf bases, and terminal inflorescences. The flowers are unisexual, the males terminal and subtended by coloured bracts. The fruit is an elongate berry with many stony seeds (absent in the edible bananas). Musas are bat-pollinated. Cultivated bananas are hybrids, and triploid or tetraploid (see polyploidy). There are 35 species, occurring in the palaeotropics.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.

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