Cavendish: The most famous banana variety

Cavendish Banana Variety

Cavendish: The most famous banana variety

According to the FAO, there are about 1,000 varieties of bananas with diverse shapes, colors, and flavors. The sweet seedless Cavendish is the most highly cultivated and consumed. The Cavendish is rich in potassium, vitamin B6, and folic acid and is an ideal nutrient for those who engage in physical activities. Thanks to its high fiber content, it can also help those who suffer from high cholesterol or digestive problems. 

The origin and history of the Cavendish banana

While it may be difficult to believe, most bananas that people buy today surely descended from a plant that grew more than 180 years ago in the greenhouses of Chatsworth House, an English manor located in the county of Derbyshire, England.

Origin of the name Cavendish

The Cavendish is named after William Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire. In 1830, the Duke’s gardener, Sir Joseph Paxton, received a specimen imported from Mauritius and decided to cultivate it in fertile soil at a temperature between 18 and 30 degrees Celsius on the grounds of Chatsworth House. The specimen he planted flowered in November 1835 and by May the next year he had more than 100 banana trees. Paxton botanically described the fruit he obtained as Musa cavendishii. Paxton won a medal at the Royal Horticultural Society show in 1835 for his cultivation and production work. 

Expansion of the Cavendish variety

In the 1850s, the Duke of Cavendish gave some plants to missionary John Williams, who took them to the island of Samoa. Other missionaries took specimens of the Cavendish to other Pacific islands, including the Canary Islands. However, some believe that Portuguese explorers introduced the variety, which they had obtained in West Africa, to the Canary Islands in the fifteenth century.

The most exported Banana

The Gros Michel banana was the most commercialized variety until 1950 when the pathogen that causes Panama disease, also known as Fusarium wilt, plagued Gros Michel production. The Cavendish, which showed resistance to the disease, began to be cultivated more widely and today is the most popular and most consumed variety in the world.


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Leathercade, Duncan, “De dónde vienen las bananas y cómo el mal de Panamá está acabando con ellas.” BBC News Accessed 28 May 2022.

“Todo sobre los bananos: lo que debería saber acerca de esta fruta tropical.” Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura. (26 October 2016).,mediante%20procesos%20normales%20de%20siembra. Accessed 28 May 2022.