Do Bananas Have Seeds? Read All About Banana Seeds
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One of the most common questions people have about bananas is do bananas have seeds? Numerous websites and other resources give short and long answers to this question. Some say yes, some say no and others say that the seed is just a genetic modification.
Below we break down what we know about banana seeds and help you decide for yourself whether bananas have seeds.
This simple question is the answer to thousands of inquiries each year. The short answer is yes bananas do have seeds, but they are very rare. If you were hoping for the long answer, read on.
Do Bananas Have Seeds?
Yes bananas have seeds. Botanically they are berries and come from a fertilized ovary. Berries usually contain seeds, In bananas the seeds remain inside their fleshy fruits. Ever noticed the little black dots at the core of a banana? These are the banana seeds.
In commercially grown bananas these seeds remain immature and are not functional. So you can not grow a banana tree by planting a banana.
The banana varieties that are grown in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa usually have small black seeds inside them.
How Many Seeds Does A Banana Have?
Generally, bananas have 1-6 seeds inside. Cavendish bananas can have anywhere from 18 to 22 seeds in each fruit. There is one banana variety that has more than 1000 seeds in them.
What Do Banana Seeds Look Like:
Banana seeds are small, about 6 mm in diameter. The plant also produces a seed pod that holds the seeds.
Why Do Some Bananas Have Seeds But Not others?
The bananas we consume everyday are seedless because they are the result of selective breeding. They are especially chosen to be a part of the desert, and not to eat in the raw form.
Having said that, there are still a few modern varieties of bananas that do have seeds.
How Do You Know If A Banana Has Seeds?
The simplest way to find out if a banana has seeds is to split open the fruit and look inside.
Why Commercial Bananas Don’t Have Seeds:
Commercial bananas generally won’t have any seeds because they have selectively chosen to be seedless through selective breeding. Disregarding the seeds make the bananas more palatable and easier to consume. These bananas also have a longer shelf life.
In commercial banana production people use a process called parthenocarpy meaning developing fruits without the normal fertilization process.
Lack of seeds means these bananas won’t be able to reproduce through fruits and seeds. So you have to propagate the bananas through suckers.
How Are Commercial Bananas Grown?
You might be wondering if a banana plant does not have any seeds how they grow. If you don’t know already there are various methods for plant propagation. In bananas we use propagation through suckers or the offshoots of the plant.
You will find these banana suckers next to the adult tree. You need to separate these suckers from the adult tree and plant them. We have detailed information on banana propagation in this post here.
Do Wild Bananas Have Seeds:
Wild bananas have a lot of small, inedible seeds and smaller fruit. Wild bananas are much smaller in size than the normal bananas we eat now. Domestication over centuries has bred bananas to have bigger fruit with smaller seeds until we’ve reached the varieties grown today.
The seeds in wild bananas are larger than everyday bananas. The seeds can be as large as peas. The seeds of wild bananas are very important because these are essential for the plants to grow and reproduce.
Wild bananas can grow unusual shapes and sizes, and the banana peels also lack the shin that you usually see in common bananas.
Can You Eat Wild Bananas?
Although not all, you can eat many varieties of wild bananas. Some of them are actually quite delicious to eat. Although most wild bananas have seeds in them not all of them do.
A variety such as Lady finger bananas are actually quite popular because of their taste. They are sweeter and creamier than everyday bananas.
So yes you can eat wild bananas depending on their locations and varieties.
Can You Eat Banana Seeds?
Regular banana seeds are not toxic so you can eat banana seeds, they are safe to digest. Wild banana seeds on the other hand are not that edible, they are larger than normal banana seeds. So although they are not poisonous it’s not worth it to consume them.
Although the seeds are safe to digest, the problem with consuming bananas with seeds is that it becomes rather difficult to eat the pulp.
How To Collect Banana Seeds:
You can collect banana seeds from fully ripe bananas. Peel off the banana and you can easily separate the seeds from the fruit.
The seeds will have pulp attached with them. You can separate the seeds from the pulp by using the method we discussed in this post.
You can use the seeds to grow new banana plants.
I hope this post helped you clearing your doubts. you can read more about bananas here.
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