Plantains (Musa paradisiaca) are harvested mature green and may or may not be ripened upon arrival at destination markets, since they are eaten at all stages of ripeness (green through black).
A mature, green fresh cluster has a brilliant clean appearance, stalks which are firm and can still support fingers in an erect position, and a shaft that will show a white or whitish-colored wound when cut.
Plantains are subdivided and classified by inflorescence, or bunch type, according to how its flowers or buds appear on the stem, which tie into the maturity of the fruit.
Two types dominate the market: French or Horn, each with a number of varieties:
French types, also sometimes called Hembra, include Dwarf (and semi-dwarf), Medium, and Great.
Horn varieties include French Horn and are referred to either False (also called Macho in Central America) or True types.
Varieties from growing region include Nendran from India and Dominico from Colombia (both French), and Dominico-Harton (Colombia) and Agbagda (Nigeria), both False Horn varieties.
Varieties: Horn-Macho and Dominico-Harton.
Origin: Colombia and Guatemala.