Musa acuminata Colla
There are over 1,000 varieties of bananas but only about 500 are edible and only about 20 cultivars are grown commercially. The most commonly cultivated banana cultivar is called Cavendish. Chiquita is a cultivar of cavendish.
Cavendish banana entered mass commercial production in 1903 but did not gain prominence until Panama disease attacked the dominant banana cultivar, ‘Gros Michel’ (“Big Mike”) in the 1950s.
Cavendish bananas were named after William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire. They are a subgroup of the species Musa acuminata. This subgroup includes several common cultivars like ‘Dwarf Cavendish’, ‘Extra Dwarf Cavendish’, ‘Grande Naine’ (marketed as Chiquita) and ‘Giant Cavendish’, just to mention a few.
‘Grand Nain’ banana (also spelled ‘Grande Naine’) and mostly marketed as ‘Chiquita’ is one of the most commonly, commercially cultivated cavendish cultivar. (see photo above).
A Cavendish banana is the fruit of a banana cultivar belonging to the Cavendish subgroup of the AAA cultivar group. (A stands for acuminata). It belongs to species Musa acuminata.