If you have, then you must have eaten a wild variety (surely with an unpleasant taste ;-)), because I, Musa spp., and all my family are cultivated without seeds.
The reason: a long time ago two species (Musa acuminata & Musa balbisiana) were combined to obtain a better and more delicious variety. As it happened with most of the fruit, farmers didn´t want us to be devastated by pathogens in the blink of an eye.
So I, Musa spp., am inseminated vegetatively rather than sexually. This means that I am propagated by pups or suckers, pieces of rhizomes from where I grow. But, what are rhizomes?. These are fleshy roots under the soil that turn into miniature banana plants.
New rhizomes form around the base, so multiple banana herbs can grow from the root area
As I develop, new rhizomes form around the base, so multiple banana herbs can grow from the root area. However not all of them will evolve. Farmers choose the right ones and the rest of my pups are manually removed. Only the selected rhizomes (according to the space placed among them, the aspect, …) grow into banana herbs.
There is usually a shoot (the sucker) that grows alongside my main plant or mother
Therefore, there is usually a shoot (the sucker) that grows alongside my main plant or mother. Once my sucker develops until forming a banana bunch and after being harvested (each plant produces fruit only once), it dies and it is replaced by the next shoot (the daughter), which appears next to my mother plant, keeping this process on a continuous basis. We will always find a daughter next to the mother plant, that at the same time is fed by the grandmother. This explains why bananas are available all year round.
Over the course of my life I form over 30 leaves. I need between 10 or 12 months after the emergence of my new herbage, to produce a huge terminal inflorescence. My inflorescence emerges from the center of my pseudostem (this is a false stem, as it´s formed by concentric layers of leaf sheaths). At the same time my inflorescence bears fruit and I no longer form more leaves.
Thus there is a great number of plants in each farm and since farmers need to know precisely the age of each plant to harvest it in the ideal time, an easy calculation method was developed: the bagging calendar, in our next post :-).