Bananas with seeds?
Bananas are one of the most widely eaten fruits in the world. In our regions we mainly know the ‘dessert’ banana, but in many areas the banana is an important source of starch. Researchers are constantly trying to improve existing varieties and make them resistant to diseases and climate change. The constant improvement of plants can however lead to a loss of characteristics. Wild species still have these.
Our cultivated species no longer have seeds. Wild bananas however still produce seeds, so we can easily preserve them in our seed bank and thus secure genetic diversity for the future. Since 2016, Meise Botanic Garden has managed a collection of wild banana seeds.
In the collection are seeds of some 20 different species and about 150 accessions, mainly from Papua New Guinea. Flanders has a lot of expertise in the field of banana research and the seed bank of Meise Botanic Garden is one of the pillars of this.