Against common assumption, banana is not really a tree. The plant doesn’t have any bark and is all fiber; hence bananas are defined as the largest herb on the planet. Bananas propagate by rhizomes, growing new shoots underground from the main stem. Most species are infertile, meaning you cannot simply plant a banana in the ground and get a whole plant. This is theresult of years of selective breeding done by humans.

Wild species of banana still do have black seeds. There are over 300 species of banana in the world, about 22 of which are grown in Thailand. These can be divided into two types: the sweet and the savory bananas, commonly known as plantains (which require cooking). In 2005 Thailand produced 2 million tons of bananas for the world markets, which accounted for only 2.8 percent of total global production. A banana plantation has a useful life of about 25 years.

Did you know...?

…that banana trees aren’t trees but herbs? And that bananas aren’t fruits but berries?