Do Bananas Have Seeds?

by Charlie
seeds in bananas

Did you know that the average human consumes over 25 pounds of bananas a year?

Bananas are a healthy and delicious treat that we must peel to eat. But, did you ever wonder why they are classified as a fruit? Bananas are classified as a fruit because they have seeds of the plant they grow from. You may have not ever associated seeds with a banana, but they do in fact have them!

The seeds in bananas are not very big and appear to almost be hidden. This wasn’t always the case. Humans greatly impacted the breeding of bananas and contribute to their “new” appearance and taste.

Do bananas have seeds? Yes, bananas do have seeds. However, today’s modern commercial bananas are genetically bred and actually not grown from seeds. The seeds can be seen but are not able to contribute to bananas being reproduced. Wild bananas would have more visible larger seeds and could assist with the growth of a new banana plant, if its produced by the mother plant.

Why Commercial Bananas Don’t Have Seeds

As mentioned above, bananas do have seeds but the genetic modification process conducted by humans have created a fruit that has made seeds almost an afterthought. Commercial bananas will almost never have the large seeds in them. Why?

After discovering mutations where plants were unable to grow seeds, farmers took the cuttings from those plants to realize that seeds weren’t needed to farm bananas.

There are also many benefits to “seedless” bananas as a result. Commercial bananas, the ones you purchase from your local grocery store, are more flavorful and sweet. Also, no seeds or small seeds allows for easier consumption and a better experience with humans. This discovery has lead to a longer shelf & post-shelf life.

While you can still be able to see some seeds when cutting down the middle of a commercial banana, their function is pretty much obsolete.

Do Wild Bananas Have Seeds?

It is not easy to locate wild bananas that are edible. They can usually be found in remote areas of the world, like jungles or valleys. If you do happen to locate a wild banana plant, you will marvel its beauty. Wild banana plants have thicker leaves that stretch upwards in uniform. The trunk of the plant also is built stronger and thicker compared to a commercial plant.

Yes, wild bananas are considered a fruit and have seeds. Compared to commercial bananas, wild bananas have larger seeds and can look quite different versus the normal bananas that we eat from the store.

Wild bananas have bigger seeds which may not be as appetizing compared to the every day bananas that we are all used to. In some cases, these bananas have more seeds than edible banana!

However, these wild banana plants are really important because they can reproduce from its mother plant. In other words, these seeds can be used to grow and reproduce.

Can You Eat Banana Seeds?

For the unlikely situation that you stumble upon a banana with seeds, you may be curious if the seeds are safe to digest. Yes, you can eat banana seeds. Bananas seeds, both ripe or unripe, are not poisonous. However, wild bananas are considered almost inedible when they produce a myriad of hard pea-sized seeds. While the wild bananas may still be safe to eat, it is almost impossible and not worth it.

Wild bananas with large seeds are usually smaller and mostly likely have more seeds than edible flesh. Bananas with seeds are commonly called inedible because they are just so hard to chew and swallow!

Can You Eat Wild Bananas?

The common misconception is that all wild bananas have seeds – that is just not true. Can you eat wild bananas? Yes, you can eat wild bananas. Depending on the variety and location of the wild bananas, some can be quite delicious to eat and have almost no seeds at all.

A popular variety of wild bananas can be found in Costa Rica, where they are considered “baby bananas”. These bananas ripen quick and taste absolutely delicious! Even as a child, I had no second thoughts when snacking on these wonderful treats from the wild.

However, sometimes the variety can be edible but you should not eat if the plant has been exposed to pesticides, birds or insects. It is not worth the risk to potentially consume unwelcome bacteria from an unknown plant. Testing a few of the bananas towards the top of the plant is recommend before considering to consume.

Final Thoughts

  • Bananas have seeds but modern, commercially farmed bananas have been genetically bred to prevent seed growth.
  • Commercial bananas are the common banana that we consume and is usually the only option available at a local grocery store.
  • Wild bananas do have seeds and if produced from the mother plant, the seeds can lead to reproduction.
  • Banana seeds can be eaten, especially considering the small seeds found in commercial bananas. Wild bananas have larger seeds and are not worth consuming.
  • Just because seeds are found in wild bananas does not mean all wild bananas have seeds. Depending on the variety and origin can go a long way in determining if that type of banana can be consumed by humans.

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