banana seeds picture

Do Bananas Have Seeds?

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

If you’re the type to wonder about such things, you may have noticed that the bananas you buy at the store seem to contain no seeds. If that’s the case, how does the banana tree reproduce? Well, it turns out the bananas do have seeds (of a sort) but they aren’t used for reproduction.

Banana Seeds

If you went out into the wild and opened a banana fruit, you would probably find seeds. Some, in fact, are large and take up much of the fruit, making the flesh hard to eat. Our commercial bananas (which are, for the most part, the Cavendish variety) have been specially bred over the years so that they are seedless triploids that do not form mature seeds. If you’ve noticed little black dots in the middle of the banana, you’ve discovered immature seeds that won’t develop, which happens with triploids.

Tasty Mutant

The banana is actually a type of plantain. Those of the sweet variety that we usually peel and eat raw are often called “dessert” bananas, owing to their sweetness and general snackability. What we call “plantains” simply have that popular name to distinguish them as the large varieties that are typically cooked before eating. Yummy, yellow dessert bananas are bred from mutant strains of banana plants that happened to produce fruit without useful seeds. Banana plants are cultivated by removing rhizomes from host plants and replanting the samples to grow on their own. With this method, one plant can become the “mother” of an entire plantation made up of genetically identical plants.

Talking About Bananas

The next time you need to impress someone, peel off these terms to show your banana brain.

Have you ever stopped to think and wonder whether bananas have seeds? Learn all about banana seeds and many other facts of this a-peel-ing fruit.

Banana seed, flowers and fruit

Just in case you have ever wondered where your ornamental banana seed came from. (Other than seed suppliers).

These particular pictures were not taken in the garden featured on this site. However it is certainly possible for your banana plants to produce flowers in cooler climates.

The picture below is of a red banana flower. (Perhaps a little too intrusive from the bee’s perspective).

When no one was looking, a few of the ornamental bananas were removed for closer inspection.

An even closer view of the green variety.

The seeds are quite large in proportion to the fruit compared with a conventional edible banana. They can be seen bulging within the fruit.

The pink bananas also exhibit a high seed to flesh ratio as can be seen in the photo on the right. Good dental cover is probably a sensible idea before attempting one of these for lunch.

No attempt was made to germinate these seeds as it would have been irresponsible to bring them home wouldn’t it.

Pictures of banana flowers, pink bananas and banana seed. A photgraphic essay if you like.