Bananas could go extinct if rare species isn't saved (but there are only five trees left)

Ciara Sheppard
Contributor Yahoo Style UK
Bananas are under serious threat. [Photo: Getty]

Bananas are one of Britain’s favourite fruits.

We use them blended in our smoothies, sliced up in our cereal bowls, baked in banana bread and cooked sweetly in our favourite puddings like Banoffee pie.

Not to mention they’re a nutrition powerhouse with high levels of potassium and vitamin B6.

Basically: bananas are the bomb.

But it turns out we might need to stock up as our favourite yellow fruit might be in serious danger of going extinct.

According to the BBC, a wild banana that may hold the key to protecting the world’s edible banana crop has been added to the extinction list.

The banana grows in Madagascar where there are reportedly only five mature trees left existing in the wild.

Scientists believe that saving them is crucial to saving the existence of bananas worldwide.

A type of Madagascan banana named Ensete Perrieri could be the key to saving bananas. [Photo: Getty]


The vast majority of bananas sold in supermarkets are known as Cavendish bananas, named after the gardens of William Cavendish (6th Duke of Devonshire), where the first plant originated before being cloned.

However, Cavendish bananas are under threat from Panama disease, a disease of the roots of banana plants, which is affecting plants across Asia.

Richard Allen, senior conservation assessor at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said the Madagascan banana species (named Ensete perrieri) could have in-built tolerance to the disease.

“It doesn’t have Panama disease in it, so perhaps it has genetic traits against the disease,” Allen told the BBC.

“We don’t know until we actually do research on the banana itself, but we can’t do the research until it’s saved.”

Scientists hope that the vulnerable bananas inclusion on the latest official Red List of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) will highlight its threat.

Long live bananas.

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