Musa balbisiana is a species of wild banana native to eastern South Asia, northern Southeast Asia, and southern China. It is one of the ancestors of modern cultivated bananas, along with Musa acuminata. It grows lush leaves in clumps with a more upright habit than most cultivated bananas. Flowers grow in inflorescences coloured red to maroon. The fruit are between blue and green. They are considered inedible because of the seeds they contain. It may be assumed that wild bananas used to be cooked and eaten or agriculturalists would not have developed the cultivated banana. Seeded Musa balbisiana fruit are called butuhan ('with seeds') in the Philippines. Natural parthenocarpic clones occur through polyploidy and produce edible bananas, examples of which are wild saba bananas.
Wild banana plants are known in Thai as kluai tani (กล้วยตานี). In Thai folklore, banana plants may be inhabited by a spirit, Nang Tani (Thai: นางตานี), a type of ghost related to trees and similar plants, which manifests itself as a young woman. Often, people tie a length of colored satin cloth around the pseudostem of the banana plant.
The stalk of Musa balbisiana is used in Thai ceremonial carvings. Such carvings are used as hair ornaments for children to ward off illness and evil, and in funeral rites where they decorate the funeral pyre.