The banana family or Musaceae is fairly small with just over 90 species in the genera Ensete, Musa and Musella, the latter being somewhat controversial and frequently included in Ensete. All species are fairly large and fast growing herbs that form a tuberous rhizome and produce pseudostems formed by densely packed leafbases to have the function and look of a trunk. One of the most impressive species in the banana family is Musa ingens, which can reach up to an astonishing 30 m (98 ft) in height. Some wild bananas are edible, but their fruits are studded with small hard seeds. Seedless banana cultivars can obviously not be reproduced by seeds. Closely related to bananas and very similar vegetatively are Heliconia, Ravenala (the Travelers Palm) and Strelitzia (the Bird of Paradise). All bananas are of tropical or warm temperate origin in Africa and Asia and only a few are fairly cold tolerant.
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