List O' Bananas


Banana Recipes

Photo Gallery


Banana Links

Banana Books


Banana Growing Tips

101 Uses for Bananas

Banana Science

Banana Jokes

Banana Suppliers

Tour the Plantation

Contact Us


Brief Banana History

Bananas have been cultivated for over 2000 years. In the Koran there is a plant refered to as "the tree of paradise" which is believed to be a banana plant. Alexander the Great told of seeing the sages of India eating a fruit which closely resembled the banana. All indications lead us to believe bananas originated in Asia. Some of the most primitive species of banana are still found growing wild in this region. Bananas were propogated around the world by early explorers. As the Western hemisphere was explored by the Spanish in the 16th century they brought over banana plants and introduced them to South and Central America and the Carribean. Today there are over 500 documented names for different banana varieties, yet they are not all classified as individual species. Due to the banana plants' tendancy to "sport" or mutate very easily, taxonomists gave up long ago trying to classify them all. Only the plants which are capable of reproducing by seed (diploid) have been classified into species. The seedless type (triploid) have been left to be refered to by their local names, called varieties.

The seedless bananas, which are the varieties ciltivated for food, reproduce by production of "suckers" or ratoons. These are shoots off of the main root or "corm" of the plant.

(to be continued...)

© 1995 Banansaurus Rix