PLANTAIN, Adam's Fig, or COOKING BANANA, a tropical herb of the family Mu sacecr, considered as a distinct species (Musa paradisiaca) by some botanists and as a variety of the common banana by others. From India, where it is native, it has been taken by man to all tropical countries, and it forms a staple food both eaten raw and cooked in a variety of ways. It is, however, less palatable in the fresh state than the banana. Theplants are propagated by suckers or cuttings of the root stock. The former are cut from the parent plant with a spade and set where desired. The latter are transplanted from a propagating bed when they have one or two leaves. They suc ceed best in moist, rich soil. When about 18 months old they should bear a cluster of fruits, after which the stalk dies and new sprouts take its place and so continue for years.
a family (Muso plusgidee) of African picarian birds, classified near the parrots, with notched or saw-edged bills and usually of brilliant colors. The genus
Musophaga, in which the base of the bill spreads over the forehead like a broad plate, includes the most typical West African forms. These birds feed chiefly upon the fruit of the banana and plantain. The members of the genus Turacus (or Corythaix), called cos,D possess a bill of ordinary size and con formation, and an erectile crest, borne on the head. The general color is green, the quills of the wings and tail being colored red by a pe culiar pigment containing copper and named turacin. They feed on insects, in addition to fruits, and are said to be exceedingly familiar and tame in habits, even in a wild state. They attain a size averaging that of the common pigeon or crow. Consult Newton, 'Dictionary of Birds) (1893-96).