This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
The species of Banana, Musa, are employed in the open air during Summer in sheltered localities for the sake of their broad effective foliage. They are stemless or caulescent herbs with large simple sheathing leaves often several feet long and spathaceous flowers which are not produced without the aid of artificial heat. M. Sinensis, M. coccinea and M. Ensete, etc. are the species in general cultivation. But these are so rarely seen that detailed descriptions would be of little service.