Banana plants are unusual in many ways, from their interesting root system to their unusual flower and fruit. In the United States the word "banana" refers only to the yellow fruit; however, other parts of the world use the term to describe all the fruit in the plantain family, which contains about 470 varieties.
Fruit only forms on the female flowers of the bananas plant. It takes about 100 days to form a ripe banana. The number of bananas per hand will depend upon the specific plant variety.
The male flowers are located at the top of the hand-shaped area of the banana plant. Male flowers occupy the upper rows and females occupy the lower rows. Sometimes neutered flowers occupy the spaces between the male and female flowers.
Low temperatures near flowering time may prohibit the bud from emerging from the stem. If fruit has formed when cool temperatures hit, it may delay the maturity by a few months, or halt the fruit's growth altogether.