The production of triploid banana and plantain (Musa spp.) cultivars with improved characteristics remains a major challenge for plant breeders. Hippolyte et al. examine 561 accessions and determine the closest diploid progenitors of the triploid ‘Cavendish’ and ‘Gros Michel’ subgroups. They consider that the huge phenotypic diversity observed within the main edible subgroups ‘Cavendish’, ‘Plantain’ and ‘Mutika-Lujugira’ did not result from gamete recombination, but rather from epigenetic regulation. They thus represent unique models to investigate and compare the influence of more than 1000 years of epigenetic regulation through mitosis on the same genomes, without any interference from meiosis and recombination.