Are bananas berries or fruits?
Bananas are commonly thought of as being fruits but not berries. Bananas are classified as berries.
If you’ve ever raised your eyebrows when one of your friends said that bananas are berries, then you’ll be surprised to know that they were right. You won’t be the first person to be confused by this.
Although bananas are commonly thought of as being fruits but not berries, there’s a lot of confusion about this.
In this article, we look at whether bananas are berries and understand how to differentiate between fruits and berries.
By definition, fruits are the parts of a flowering plant that grow from the ovary. These fruits usually contain the seed and protect them until they’re distributed effectively. The fruit family has multiple subgroups like berries, citrus, stone fruits, and pomes.
Berries are defined as fruits that grow from one flower and one ovary but which have several seeds. According to this definition, bananas are actually berries. Bananas have several seeds inside them that look like black spots once they’re peeled. They look so tiny that many people eat them without even noticing their presence.
The subgroups of the fruit family are determined based on the part of the flower ovary from which the skin, flesh, and seeds of the fruit grow. To give you another example, strawberries and raspberries are not berries according to a botanical definition. To make things even more interesting, avocados, pumpkins, and cucumbers are also considered berries.
Berries typically have three parts, called the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. Together, these three layers are called the pericarp. The pericarp is formed from the ovary of a flower.
The exocarp is the fruit skin that, in many cases – like grapes – is edible. In other cases, it’s not edible (like the peel of a banana).
The mesocarp is the central fleshy layer of the fruit that we generally eat, such as apples or plums. In other fruits, especially citrus fruits, the mesocarp is the thin white layer around the central fleshy part that we peel off.
The innermost layer is the endocarp, which typically surrounds the seeds of the fruit. People usually fail to notice the endocarp in many fruits because they’re very thin, like that found in bananas.
To be considered a berry, the fruit should grow from a single ovary, have a soft exocarp and a fleshy mesocarp, and the endocarp should contain one or more seeds. Bananas meet all these conditions, which is why (botanically speaking) they’re classified as berries.