The Unfortunate Sex Life of the Banana

All right! Damn Interesting blog is back! And here’s a doozey: The humble banana. Didn’t know it was a sterile hybrid, sort of a mule fruit. I thought God designed it for us (haha).

The banana plant is a hybrid, originating from the mismatched pairing of two South Asian wild plant species: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Between these two products of nature, the former produces unpalatable fruit flesh, and the latter is far too seedy for enjoyable consumption. Nonetheless, these closely related plants occasionally cross-pollinate and spawn seedlings which grow into sterile, half-breed banana plants. Some ten thousand years ago, early human experimenters noted that some of these hybridized Musa bore unexpectedly tasty, seedless fruit with an unheard-of yellowness and inexplicably amusing shape. They also proved an excellent source of carbohydrates and other important nutrients.

Damn Interesting â.¢ The Unfortunate Sex Life of the Banana

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