True plantains

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For other starchy bananas used in cooking, see Plantain, East African Highland bananas and Matoke.
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 cultivated varieties (cultivars) of the genus Musa (bananas and plantains) placed in the Plantain subgroup of the AAB genome group. The term "plantain" is also used in other senses. It can refer to all the banana cultivars which are normally eaten after cooking, rather than raw, for which see cooking plantain, or to members of some 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.:[3]

  • French Plantain 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 Plantain cultivars: 'Ishitim' (Nigeria), 'Pisang Tandok' (Malaysia)

The old IITA Research Guide for Banana and Plantain [4] contains images of the different inflorescences used to distinguish plantain types.[5]


  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 
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