Bananas, including the type commonly called plantains, are in the genus Musa. Musa species are native to the Indo-Malesian, Asian, and Australian tropics. Bananas were carried throughout the Pacific by the earliest indigenous voyagers.
Bananas have always been an essential part of Pacific island life. In addition to the fruit, every part of the plant is useful. They are still an important part of home and subsistence gardens in the region. In the Pacific islands, bananas are also grown commercially on a relatively small scale, mostly for local consumption.
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Last updated 10 December 2012
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