You thought you knew bananas, but we’re pretty sure there are some things about this magical fruit that will surprise you.
Beneath their sunny peels, bananas have held secrets from us. But, as we peel away its layers, we can find out more about this tasty fruit.
For curious minds, such as yours, a common query about bananas is, “do they have seeds?” Of course, upon first inspection, bananas do not seem to have seeds.
And the answer is yes…and no. Evolution has played a part in the genetic makeup of bananas, as the wild variety tends to differ somewhat from the bananas we find in grocery stores.
To find out more and delve deeper into some fascinating facts about bananas, continue reading.
Today, we will discuss whether bananas and whether they have seeds, what types of bananas there are, and much more.
Time to peel away at the mystery of whether bananas have seeds or not!
Bananas – Seeds Or Seedless?
Generally speaking, bananas do have seeds. However, it’s not as straightforward as it first appears.
In the wilderness, organically grown bananas will contain seeds. Some varieties have very large seeds tucked beneath their layers, which make up for a large percentage of the fruit.
These bananas are typically hard to chew due to the vast size of their seeds, however.
On the other hand, there are commercial bananas that most of us buy in supermarkets and grocery stores. These are genetically modified and, unlike organic, wild bananas, are not grown from seeds.
Nevertheless, the seeds remain visible but are essentially sterile. In other words, they do not have any impact on the banana’s reproduction.
A wild banana boasts larger, more visible seeds. These can help a new banana plant develop when produced by a mother banana plant.
Different Varieties Of Bananas
Most of us know a banana when we see one. They have a long, slender, curved shape with a thick yellow skin. Easily distinguishable from other fruits!
But, did you know that there are over 1,000 different varieties of bananas worldwide?
This popular fruit is grown in over 150 countries, and those 1,000 plus banana varieties are classified into 50 families.
You’ve probably already enjoyed a number of these different types of bananas, but it can be difficult to know exactly what variety you are buying.
Below, we have narrowed down the characteristics of some of the most popular types of bananas, so you can know exactly what banana you are looking for or buying in store.
One of the easiest ways to narrow down your banana options is to inspect their size. All in all, bananas come in small, medium, and large sizes.
Another method is to go by color. Most of us are used to eating yellow Cavendish bananas, but there are also red varieties available, which are just as tasty.
Some bananas are sweet, such as Lady Finger or Baby Bananas. But, if you prefer ones with a little tartness, you can opt for a riper type.
Some bananas, such as green, ripe ones, also have firmer textures, whilst others are creamier.
Fortunately, whatever banana you go for, it will be packed with nutrients, such as vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium.
Maybe you want to try something completely different, such as a black or blue banana? And, yes, before you ask, these bananas actually exist!
One rare variety is the Black Stemmed Banana.
This boasts features that make it truly extraordinary. During the summer months, its trunk, or pseudostem, transforms into a deep purple hue that borders on black.
The leaves of this remarkable banana are distinctly narrow, too, helping it stand out from many other banana varieties in the wild.
Altogether, there are red, blue, green, pink, purple, black, and yellow bananas, all of which are super healthy.
There are also plantains which appear differently to yellow Cavendish bananas that we’re all used to. These are skinnier and longer, with a dark green or black skin.
As for their flavor, they are not as sweet as other bananas, but still pretty tasty.
How To Tell If A Banana Has Seeds?
To check whether your banana has any seeds inside, all you have to do is look at its ends or cut it open.
As we discussed above, not all bananas come with seeds. Most Cavendish bananas, the ones we buy in stores, are considered commercial bananas and typically do not have seeds.
This is because they have been genetically modified to be sweeter and have more flesh. This makes them more appetizing and, of course, more sellable to consumers.
If you cut open a Cavendish banana, you may find some small seeds, but these will be sterile. Open a Lady Finger variety of banana, though, and you will come across little black seeds.
All bananas technically have seeds, but in commercial varieties, they are usually very tiny and undeveloped.
Here are a few ways to determine if a banana has seeds:
- Look at the appearance – Examine the banana’s peel. If you see any small black dots or specks on the inside of its peel, those are the remains of seeds. However, these seeds are typically non-viable and do not develop into mature seeds.
- Observe the banana’s texture – When peeling a banana, inspect its flesh closely. If you see small black dots or tiny brownish specks throughout the fruit, these are the immature seeds. Again, they are usually very small and not fully formed.
- Taste and texture – When you eat a banana, you may notice a slight difference in texture or taste if it contains any seeds. The presence of tiny seeds may create a subtle graininess or slight crunchiness, but it is not as pronounced as the texture of seeded fruits, such as grapes or pomegranates.
Seedless bananas are more common because they are easier to eat and have a consistent flavor and texture.
If you come across a banana with seeds, it might be a rare variety or a wild species that is less commonly found in grocery stores.
Nevertheless, head to an organic store, and you should be able to find varieties of bananas containing seeds.
Can You Grow Bananas From Seeds?
Yes, it is indeed possible to grow bananas from seeds. While most commercially available bananas are seedless, there are several wild banana cultivars that do contain seeds.
Two notable species are Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata, which serve as parents to certain cultivated banana types.
Some adventurous travelers who have tasted these fruits fresh, as well as gardeners who have cultivated them in their own backyards, often express a preference for the flavor of wild bananas over the ones commonly found in grocery stores.
If you’re interested in experiencing the unique taste of wild banana varieties, you can consider trying to germinate seeds from Musa acuminata or Musa balbisiana yourself.
Step-By-Step Guide – How To Grow Bananas From Seed
Let’s take a look at some steps, so you can try growing bananas from seeds:
Step One – Soak The Seeds
You need to start by softening and warming your banana seeds up. Place the banana seeds in a bowl of warm water.
Once the water cools down, change the water to warm again. Allow the seeds to soak for up to 48 hours. Doing so will help the embryo develop and sprout.
Step Two – Prepare The Seeds
After 48 hours, place the banana seeds indoors in a seed tray. Place the seeds in potting soil mixed with organic compost, and over half airy/sandy loam.
The compost will provide the nutrients the seeds require to sprout and mature.
Step Three – Sow The Seeds
Next, you will need to start sowing the seeds. Sow the seeds at a depth of ¼ inches in the soil. This needs to be done indoors if the soil temperature outdoors is below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step Four – Water The Seeds
To ensure the soil is moist, water the trays of seeds. But, do not over water, as this could make the soil overly soggy and drown the seeds.
You need to maintain damp conditions as the seeds settle in and start to germinate. If the soil is too wet, the seed may begin to rot.
Step Five – Check The Temperature
To sustain a soil temperature indoors of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you should use a heat mat on a timer.
The time your banana needs in cool and warm temperatures may vary depending on the type of banana.
Some may require approximately 20 hours of cooler temperatures and just five hours or so of warmth.
Do some research into your type of seeds beforehand to ensure you have the correct ratio.
Step Six – Be Patient
Banana seed germination takes time. There’s nothing you can do to rush this process.
Some varieties germinate quicker in around three weeks, whereas others can take up to two or three months.
Again, do your research first, so you know the germination time period of your particular banana seeds.
How Do Bananas Produce?
After a banana seed has been sown, the banana inflorescence, its flowering stalk, will start to emerge from the center of the pseudostem.
In general, this tends to take place around 10 to 15 months after sowing the seeds.
At this point, the flowering stalk will usually have approximately 25 to 32 leaves surrounding it. The shooting, or flowering, process is first characterized by the emergence of flowers.
These appear in the form of 10 to 20 spirals on the stalk’s axis. Their color tends to be purplish or greenish with fleshy bracts.
Eventually, the flowers will shed and the first functionally female flowers will develop.
Certain edible banana cultivars, such as Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, have ovaries that rapidly develop into fruit clusters without the need for pollination.
Following the fruiting stage, the final flowers, which serve a male function, appear. When growing bananas from seeds, be prepared for a longer waiting period of at least 14 months or even more.
Are Bananas Seeds Edible?
The seeds of cultivated bananas are generally considered too hard and small to be eaten. They are usually discarded or used for propagation purposes.
As soon as you bite down on a banana seed, you will want to spit it out due to its hard texture. Overall, eating banana seeds is not recommended.
Are Bananas With Seeds Tastier Than Seedless Bananas?
Some individuals, including travelers and gardeners, claim that wild bananas with seeds have a more flavorful taste compared to commercial seedless varieties found in grocery stores.
However, taste preferences can vary. The best way to find out is to try for yourself.
If you love exceptionally sweet fruits, you may enjoy the Candy Apple Banana.
Grown in the rainy tropical forests of Hawaii, these aptly named bananas are typically seedless and are often found in grocery stores.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Bananas?
There are numerous benefits to eating bananas, as with most fruits. Below are the main advantages of enjoying a tasty banana
- Bananas can aid in treating heartburn.
- Bananas are excellent sources of vitamin B6 (one of the best amongst all fruit). They are also a supreme source of vitamin C.
- Bananas have a high potassium content, which can be beneficial for blood pressure and heart health.
- Bananas contain manganese, which can help keep your skin healthy.
- Bananas are known to boost energy levels. Whilst other fruits also provide energy, bananas do not contain cholesterol and fats like many fruits.
- Bananas can aid in digestion and ease gastrointestinal problems.
There are many varieties of bananas in the world, but not all contain seeds. Commercial bananas tend to be seedless, but wild, organic types contain seeds, some of which are very large.
Check your bananas today to see whether they contain seeds or not. If they do, they may be a rare species.