Description: A variable herb 2-10 m (6-30 ft) tall, with a single trunk up to 30 cm (1 ft) in diameter. Leaves are 1-4 m (3-12 ft) long and the edible fruit is variable in color shape and size.
Distribution: The banana (Musa sp.) is native to Southeast Asia and Melanesia and has only recently become an important crop in the Marshall Islands. A number of banana varieties have been recorded for the islands.
Uses: Both cooking bananas (plantains) and common eating bananas are grown on in the Marshall Islands. A preparation of bananas cooked in coconut is called bwilitudōk in keeprañ. In addition to the consumption of the edible fruits, the leaves of pinana are used to treat bruises and stomach aches, and to cover the stone oven (um). The stalk also has medicinal uses. There are several varieties of keeprañ. One is mōkadkad; juice from a shoot of this variety of banana is used after a fall or for a cut. Other varieties of bananas in the Marshall Islands are abōl (tastes somewhat like apple, thus its name), jilubwuki ("300", thus named because there are so many bananas on a stalk), jook (named for its whitish, chalky appearance), ļōktaan, mekenji (named after the person who introduced the variety), jeina (from China), aelōñ-kein, and jorukwōd.