As one of the most popular fruits in the world, you can find bananas in many types of food. From desserts to drinks and even deep-fried dishes, these edible fruits are versatile in their form and use.
But most of the time, when we eat bananas, we always peel their skin off quickly without ever noticing what is inside their flesh. Hence, can we assume that bananas are like any other fruit? And more accurately, do bananas have seeds?
From a botanical perspective, bananas are categorized as berries. Hence, they fall under the category of berries that have seeds.
If you cut bananas and look inside their flesh, especially in the middle section, you will notice small black dots. These dots are the seeds. These seeds are located in the endocarp, which is the soft, fleshy part of the fruit.
Unlike other fruits, banana seeds are considered immature seeds, and they won’t develop into fully functional seeds.
However, this is not a bad thing because many bananas don’t grow from seeds.
Instead, many bananas grow from rhizomes or suckers produced by the mother plant. On the other hand, most varieties that grow in Africa and Southeast Asia have small black seeds inside of their flesh.
What Do Banana Seeds Look Like?
Most bananas seeds are either round or flat in shape.
The seeds of commercial bananas are very small and black in color. If you look closely inside the flesh, specifically in the center of these fruits, you will notice tiny specks or black dots.
The seeds measure around 1/32 inch in diameter and are covered in wrinkly shells. These seeds are also immature and not fully functional.
In wild bananas, the seeds are larger, around 1/4 inch in diameter. For some varieties of wild bananas, the seeds will take up most of the space inside the flesh.
Where Can You Find Banana Seeds?
To know where to locate banana seeds, we must first know which variety they belong to. There are two types of bananas that you can find out there, diploids and triploids.
Wild bananas are mostly categorized as diploid bananas, and they can be sliced or cut in half easily. You can also press diploid bananas, and they will break into two equal parts longitudinally.
Sometimes, due to their number and size, they can take up more space inside the fruit.
On the other hand, triploid bananas can be cut or separated into three equal parts. Commercial varieties such as Cavendish bananas bear little to no seeds inside their flesh. If they contain seeds, they are usually immature and can be located near the central lining of the triploids.
Do Organic Bananas Have Seeds?
Unlike wild varieties, organic Cavendish bananas don’t actually have seeds.
Commercial bananas from the Cavendish variety are considered hybrid and have been modified to be triploids, which means that they have three sets of genes instead of two or one.
Technically, the seeds exist, but they are too small and almost unnoticeable, making them immature and not fully functioning like living seeds.
Can You Eat Banana Seeds?
Most bananas seeds are too small for us to notice, and they can be eaten safely. There are no harmful toxins found inside the seeds.
The same thing is true with wild bananas. Although their seeds are slightly larger than commercial ones, they aren’t poisonous and can also be eaten.
If you ever visit Indonesia or other parts of Southeast Asia, you will notice that many bananas in these places are wild bananas, and the locals will remove the seeds before eating the flesh. The choice is up to you. You can remove the seeds or eat them along with the flesh.
The seeds in wild bananas will taste bland or slightly bitter, without any hint of sweetness. However, some varieties, such as ‘Baby Banana,’ which grows in Ecuador and Costa Rica, have delicious seeds that are totally edible.
How Many Seeds Does a Banana Have?
On average, bananas can bear around nine seeds per fruit. Commercial varieties such as Cavendish bananas can have between zero and six seeds per fruit.
However, these seeds are quite small and unnoticeable. They also don’t function like true seeds.
Other modern varieties can also have between three and 15 seeds per fruit. But this number is pretty low when compared to wild bananas that can bear around 20 to 30 seeds per fruit.
How Do Bananas Reproduce?
Commercial bananas aren’t like other plants that grow by seeds. Instead, they reproduce through suckers or pups.
There are two types of suckers that you can find in bananas. They are sword suckers and water suckers. Sword suckers have straight, thin leaves, and water suckers generally have small rhizomes and broad leaves.
Both of these suckers are an offshoot from the roots of the parent trees and grow next to them.
These suckers must be allowed to grow up to three or four feet tall before they can be separated from their parent trees.
This mode of reproduction is more effective than growing from seeds. However, it also reduces the genetic diversity of the banana population.
How to Grow Bananas
For wild bananas, you can try to grow their seeds, which will mature into banana plants. However, seeds of wild varieties are pretty hard to find. You can get them from the parent plants in the wild or purchase the seeds at any available nursery.
In a few months, these seeds will germinate into banana plants before producing fruits. Depending on each variety, the fruits might be of different sizes and shapes.
Organic bananas grow in a different environment than commercial and wild bananas do. For instance, the soil that you use to grow these plants must be certified for organic planting.
For at least three years, there should be no traces of pesticides, artificial fertilizers, herbicides, and other synthetic chemicals in the soil. Once it has passed this 3-year period, only then can the soil be used for planting. The banana plants also should be fully natural and free from any genetic modification.
Overall, it doesn’t matter whether your favorite bananas are seeded or not because they all share the same benefits and flavor profile. There is no denying the fact that some varieties might be juicier and larger in size.
However, most bananas are easy to grow, offer a lot of nutrients, and can easily be prepared as a go-to fruit. In fact, there are so many recipes that use bananas in their ingredients, and it’s totally up to you to experiment with them.