[Span.] The fruit of a tree of the same name, belonging to the same family as the plantain. Its leaves are about 6 feet long, and its fruit grows in great bunches and is a most important food in hot countries. Its fibre is used for shoe-strings and for ropes of all kinds. The banana was probably first grown in the East Indies, but is now much cultivated in the West Indies and in tropical America. Its produce is enormous, being estimated on an acre as 133 to 1 of wheat. A plant of the same genus, in the Phillipine Islands, yields the well-known and very useful fibre named Manila hemp.