/beuh nan"euh/, n.1. a tropical plant of the genus Musa, certain species of which are cultivated for their nutritious fruit. Cf. banana family.2. the fruit, esp. that of M. paradisiaca, with yellow or reddish rind.[1590-1600; < Sp < Pg (perh. via Sp); akin to various words for banana or plantain in WAfr languages (e.g., Wolof, Malinke banana, Vai (Mande language of Liberia) bana), but ultimate source and direction of borrowing uncert.]
* * *Fruit of the genus Musa (family Musaceae), a gigantic herbaceous plant spread by rhizomes, and one of the most important food crops of the world.The banana is consumed extensively throughout the tropics, where it is grown, and is also valued in the temperate zone for its flavour, nutritional value, and constant availability. Hundreds of varieties are cultivated. Perhaps the most important species is the common banana, M. sapientum. The ripe fruit is high in carbohydrates (mainly sugar), potassium, and vitamins C and A, and it is low in protein and fat. Though usually eaten fresh, bananas may also be cooked. The U.S. imports more bananas than does any other country. See also plantain.
* * *port on the Atlantic coast in far southwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo), central Africa, at the mouth of the Congo River. One of the nation's older towns, it was known as a trading centre in the 19th century, mainly during the slaving era. In the 1970s and 1980s its port was developed to increase its facilities as a deepwater port, and a rail line was built to link Banana with Boma and Kinshasa, the national capital. Banana lies in a delta of mangrove forests, but northward along the coast lie some beaches, near which is Moanda, an offshore oil centre. Pop. (latest est.) 3,165.
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