The base of the petiole widens to form a sheath; the tightly packed sheaths make up the pseudostem, which is all that supports the plant.
The edges of the sheath meet when it is first produced, making it tubular.
The leaves of banana plants are composed of a "stalk" (petiole) and a blade (lamina).
A stem develops which grows up inside the pseudostem, carrying the immature inflorescence until eventually it emerges at the top.) After fruiting, the pseudostem dies, but offshoots will normally have developed from the base, so that the plant as a whole is perennial.
In the plantation system of cultivation, only one of the offshoots will be allowed to develop in order to maintain spacing.
For the genus to which banana plants belong, see Musa (genus).
For starchier bananas used in cooking, see Cooking banana. In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called plantains, in contrast to dessert bananas.
primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fiber, banana wine, and banana beer and as ornamental plants.