What species of banana do we buy at the grocery store?

1 Answer
Feb 8, 2017

There is more than one species of banana (Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana are two examples), but see below.


There are dozens of species of banana (Musa acuminata, M. balbisiana, M. velutina, M. basjoo, and M. lolok just to name a few). The bananas most people buy at stores or markets are the result of hybridization and selection by humans. Cultivated bananas around today are descended from M. acuminata and M. balbisiana.

M. acuminata :
M. balbisiana :
You may have noticed that your bananas have no seeds. They are thus asexual and incapable of reproducing. The bananas we consume today are sterile clones and are the product of manipulation by humans.

To learn more, see this article on the history of the banana or this article from National Geographic.