True plantains

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Plantain subgroup
Plantains for sale
Genus Musa
Species Musa × paradisiaca
Hybrid parentage M. acuminata × M. balbisiana
Cultivar group AAB Group, Plantain subgroup
Origin Southeast Asia, South Asia

"True" plantains are a group of cultivars of the genus Musa (bananas and plantains) placed in the Plantain subgroup of the AAB genome group. The term "plantain" can refer to all the banana cultivars which are normally eaten after cooking, rather than raw (see cooking plantain), or it can refer to members of other subgroups of Musa cultivars, such as the Pacific plantains.[1] True plantains are divided into four groups based on their bunch type: French, French Horn, False Horn and Horn plantains.[2]

Each bunch type has a variety of cultivars associated to it - i.e.:[2]

  • French cultivars: 'Obino l'Ewai' (Nigeria), 'Nendran' (India), 'Dominico' (Colombia)
  • French Horn cultivars: 'Batard' (Cameroon), 'Mbang Okon' (Nigeria)
  • False Horn cultivars: 'Agbagda' and 'Orishele' (Nigeria), 'Dominico-Harton' (Colombia)
  • Horn cultivars: 'Ishitim' (Nigeria), 'Pisang Tandok' (Malaysia)

In the 1990s, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture published two guides to help scientists and farmers identify plantains in West Africa and support their cultivation.

  • The IITA Reference Guide for "Plantain cultivation under West African Conditions" (1990, page 14)[3] contains photos of different plantain types.[3]
  • IITA's Research Guide 66 "Morphology and Growth of Plantain and Banana" (1997, but no longer available online, page 10) contains figures of the plantain inflorescence types.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ploetz, R.C.; Kepler, A.K.; Daniells, J. & Nelson, S.C. (2007), "Banana and Plantain: An Overview with Emphasis on Pacific Island Cultivars", in Elevitch, C.R., Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry (PDF), Hōlualoa, Hawai'i: Permanent Agriculture Resources (PAR), retrieved 2013-01-10 
  2. ^ a b "Plantain subgroup". ProMusa. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  3. ^ a b Swennen, Rony (1990-01-01). Plantain Cultivation Under West Africa Conditions: A Reference Manual (PDF). IITA. ISBN 9789781310614. 
  4. ^ Swennen, Rony; Ortiz, Rodomiro (1997-01-01). Morphology and growth of plantain and banana. IITA. ISBN 9789781311277.