More species names were added, but this approach proved to be inadequate for the number of cultivars in the primary center of diversity of the genus, Southeast Asia.
Many of these cultivars were given names that were later discovered to be synonyms.
The edges of the sheath meet when it is first produced, making it tubular.
Some 70 species of Musa were recognized by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families as of January 2013 The classification of cultivated bananas has long been a problematic issue for taxonomists.
Linnaeus originally placed bananas into two species based only on their uses as food: Musa sapientum for dessert bananas and Musa paradisiaca for plantains.
The fruit is variable in size, color, and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind, which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe.
The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant.