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Bananas and plantains (Musa spp.) are important crops within the global fruit industry. They are cultivated in over 120 countries, over an area of 10 million hectares, with an annual production of 88 million metric tonnes

The banana plant, often erroneously referred to as a "tree", is a large herb, with succulent, very juicy stem (properly "pseudostem") which is a cylinder of leaf-petiole sheaths, reaching a height of 6-7.5 m and arising from a fleshy rhizome or corm. Suckers spring up around the main plant forming a clump or "stool'', the eldest sucker replacing the main plant when it fruits and dies, and this process of succession continues indefinitely. The fruit (technically a "berry") turns from deep-green to yellow or red, or, in some forms, green-and white-striped.

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