Perennial herbs but reaching to a height to 10-15 feet on account of their leaf sheaths which roll into a pseudo-stem (Musa).
Adventitious root system.
It is an underground rhizome.
Petiole and leaf blade very long, midrib prominent and formed as a result of continuation of the petiole. Unicostate parallel venation.
Spadix covered by coloured bracts. The flowers are situated (particularly in case of Musa) in 3 rows separated by 5 sapathes. Each row is biseriated. The flowers situated above are male while those situated in the innermost row are female; flowers in the middle row may be hermaphrodite.
Sessile, bracteate, unisexual, or hermaphrodite, zygomorphic, epigynous, complete or incomplete and trimenous.
Tepals 6 in two whorls of 3 each. Musa is characterized by having 3 tepals in outer whorls and 2 in the inner whorls to form a tube while the 6th posterior remains free, perianth is coloured and attractive, free or united imbricate aestivation.
6 stamens in two whorls of 3 each, generally only 5 stamens are present, the 6th posterior one of the inner whorls is staminode or completely absent, polyandrous. In Ravenala all the 6 stamens are fertile.
Tricarpellary, syncarpous, ovary, inferior, trilocular with axile placentation, one too many ovules each loculus.
Berry in Musa, capsule in Ravenala, and a schizocarpic in Heliconia.
Entomophilous or ornithophilous. The insects or birds visit the flower in search of honey.
It is one of the most important species of this family and its various species yield banana, the fruit value of which is so well known. M. paradisiaca (M. balbisiana) 8c M. chinensis or dwarf banana are cultivated in India for fruits. M. texilis is also cultivated for its hemp which is obtained from its leaf bases.
Ravenala madagascariesnis :
Popularly known as traveller tree, it has a woodly stem and it reaches to a height of 100 feet. It is ornamental and its leaf bases accumulate water which can be used in emergency by puncturing the bases.
Zingiber capitatum and Z. officinale is the wild and cultivated ginger plants are cultivated for their valued rhizome.
Musaceae or Scitamiceae.