Banana

Which of these foods is oddly considered a berry?
Considering potatoes, bananas, carrots and spinach, the answer is: banana.
Photo credit: Daniela Kloth. 

Bananas are considered berries because they are simple fruits stemming from one flower with several seeds. The tiny seeds of bananas are not fertile and it is easy to forget they are there. Farmers cultivate bananas through a complex vegetative reproductive process rather than using their seeds.    

According to technical classifications, many vegetables and fruits actually fall into the category of berries. Bananas, eggplants, grapes and watermelon are all technically berries, while strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are actually not. This confusing classification grows out of the extensive history of fruit cultivation, as individuals termed various fruits as "berries" long before a standard or scientific definition existed. However, in today's terms, a berry is defined as a fleshy fruit which grows from a single flower, has three layers, and possesses multiple seeds.

A banana is a fruit which comes in many different colors. Since the term "banana" refers to the plant that it grows from as well as the fruit itself, bananas encompass a wide range of identities— from scarlet bananas, to pink bananas, to Fe'i bananas and more. In the tropical climate of India, Southeast Asia and China, the diversity of the banana species thrives, and colors as vibrant as bright pink have been spotted on the fruit.

Fun fact!

Bananas actually grow from plants, not trees. What may appear as the trunk of the banana tree is actually its stem, since it grows from plant fiber rather than wood. Banana plants are some of the largest, flowering herbaceous plants on Earth!

Learn more about the uses, history and biology of bananas here.


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