Are Bananas a Citrus Fruit?

are bananas a citrus fruit

I’ve recently been learning a lot about bananas, and seen a query where someone claimed a Banana was a citrus fruit.  Really ?!

They aren’t shaped like an orange, lemon, or lime which I knew were citrus fruits, but they have some similarities.

So, I researched the topic and here’s what I found.

So, are bananas a citrus fruit?

Citrus is a sub-group of the Rutacae family of trees and shrubs.

Their scientific name is Rutacae Citrus, but people commonly call them citrus. Bananas are in a different family known as Musaceae.

So, bananas are not a citrus fruit.

You‘re probably wondering in what other ways citrus fruits differ from bananas and how they relate to one another. And also why bananas are cheaper than citrus fruit.

So, read on to discover the answers to these interesting questions and more.

Why are bananas not a citrus fruit (real reasons)?

Why are bananas not a citrus fruit

Bananas and citrus fruit have a lot of similarities. For example, they can both be sweet and delicious to eat on their own, or mixed together with other fruits and food.

However, they are different in the following ways:

They have a different scientific classification

They grow at different times of the year

They have different nutrient qualities

1. They have a different scientific classification

In the science of biology plants and animals are separated by their differences which is a field of study known as taxonomy.

As you may be aware, it separates all living things into a groups, such as kingdom, class, order, family, genus, and species.

There are in fact 12 different ways of classifying living thing which are:

  1. Kingdom
  2. Subkingdom
  3. Infrakingdom
  4. Superdivision
  5. Division
  6. Subdivision
  7. Class
  8. Superorder
  9. Order
  10. Family
  11. Genus
  12. Species

Each fruit has a common name which everyone uses because it’s easier to say, but they also have a 12 word name which explains it’s exact classification.

banana scientific classification

Here’s a table which shows where they differ scientifically:

Taxonomy Bananas Citrus fruit Same or different?
1. Kingdom  Plantae Plantae The same
2. Subkingdom Viridiplantae Viridiplantae The same
3. Infrakingdom Streptophyta Streptophyta The same
4. Superdivision Embryophyta Embryophyta The same
5. Division Tracheophyta Tracheophyta The same
6. Subdivision Spermatophytina Spermatophytina The same
7. Class Magnoliopsida Magnoliopsida The same
8. Superorder Lilianae Rosanae Different
9. Order Zingiberales Sapindales Different
10. Family Musaceae Rutaceae Different
11. Genus Musa L. Citrus L. – citrus Different
12. Species Musa X paradisiaca L. Citrus X sinensis L. Different

*data provided by https://www.itis.gov/

As you can see citrus fruits begin to differ from bananas at the Superorder level, the 8th taxonomic classification.

However, citrus fruits are recognized at the genus level, which is the 11th branch of it’s taxonomic hierarchy.

2. They grow at different times of the year

Bananas grow year round, and will produce a stem that has bunches of bananas on them, regardless of when the banana plant begins to grow.

For example, if a banana plant grows to a size where it will begin producing fruit, it will produce the fruit regardless of whether it is summer or winter.

Whereas citrus fruit by and large will produce fruit that grows and then ripens in winter time.

However, there are unique species of citrus fruit that will be ripe in the summer.

This is typically why you find bananas are cheaper compared to citrus fruit like oranges, and mandarins.

And also why they are almost always the same price year round.

However, the price of oranges is higher, and can fluctuate throughout the year.

This is because when citrus fruit aren’t in season in your country, companies will import them from other countries. And costs more to transport them.

3. They have different nutrient qualities

Bananas and citrus fruits have dramatically different amounts of nutrients.

Bananas versus citrus fruits nutrition

Here’s a table showing their different nutrient amounts between an orange and a banana:

Properties Orange per 3.5 oz (100 grams) Banana per 3.5 oz (100 grams) Unit of measurement Percentage difference
Water 86.75 74.91 g 15.81%
Energy 47 89 kcal -47.19%
Protein 0.94 1.09 g -13.76%
Total lipid (fat) 0.12 0.33 g -63.64%
Carbohydrate, by difference 11.75 22.84 g -48.56%
Fiber, total dietary 2.4 2.6 g -7.69%
Sugars 9.35 12.23 g -23.55%
Calcium, Ca 40 5 mg 700.00%
Iron, Fe 0.1 0.26 mg -61.54%
Magnesium, Mg 10 27 mg -62.96%
Phosphorus, P 14 22 mg -36.36%
Potassium, K 181 358 mg -49.44%
Sodium, Na 0 1 mg -100.00%
Zinc, Zn 0.07 0.15 mg -53.33%
Copper, Cu 0.045 0.078 mg -42.31%
Selenium, Se 0.5 1 µg -50.00%
Vitamin C 53.2 8.7 mg 511.49%
Thiamin 0.087 0.031 mg 180.65%
Riboflavin 0.04 0.073 mg -45.21%
Niacin 0.282 0.665 mg -57.59%
Vitamin B-6 0.06 0.367 mg -83.65%
Folate, total 30 20 µg 50.00%
Folic acid 0 0 µg n/a
Folate, food 30 20 µg 50.00%
Folate, DFE 30 20 µg 50.00%
Choline, total 8.4 9.8 mg -14.29%
Vitamin B-12 0 0 µg n/a
Vitamin B-12, added 0 0 µg n/a
Vitamin A, RAE 11 3 µg 266.67%
Retinol 0 0 µg n/a
Carotene, beta 71 26 µg 173.08%
Carotene, alpha 11 25 µg -56.00%
Cryptoxanthin, beta 116 0 µg n/a
Lycopene 0 0 µg n/a
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.18 0.1 mg 80.00%
Vitamin E, added 0 0 mg n/a
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) 0 0 µg n/a
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0 0.5 µg -100.00%
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.015 0.112 g -86.61%

As you can see oranges have a significantly higher amount of Vitamin C, Calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E.

Because both fruit contain different amount of nutrients, it highlights the importance of eating a balanced diet.

The way food is absorbed by the body depends on the specific chemical reactions that occur in the body.

So, you can absorb less or more of one particular nutrient. And the numbers you see in the table don’t necessarily mean you’ll absorb all of that into your body.

So, you should eat different combinations of foods together, and also eat lots of different foods, to ensure you get lots of different nutrients, which keeps your body in good health.

Related questions:

Is a banana a berry or a fruit?

Is a banana a berry or a fruit

According, to Livescience.com and Stanfordmagazine.com bananas technically are a type of berry.

Berries are classified in the same family as bananas because the flowers, skin, and fruit grows in a distinct way to other fruit. Bananas are also in the same family as tomatoes, pomegranates, and kiwis.

Are bananas genetically modified?

Bananas have not been genetically modified.

Bananas have been around for many hundreds of years, long before GMO technology was invented.

The banana that you most commonly find in stores is known as a Cavendish banana.

Are bananas genetically modified

It is very popular and cheap to produce the way it is.

I haven’t found any evidence in my research that suggests that bananas will be genetically modified in the future.

I also think they’re really good the way they are so companies don’t really want or need to be change them.

The American Council on Science and Health has said that Dole and Chiquita – two very large banana producers have made a commitment to never genetically modify their bananas.

However, if you are concerned about GMO bananas I suggest buying organic bananas.

Farmers who grow organic food, are very conscious of producing food that is unmodified by chemicals and GMO, so you can enquire with the grower directly.

You can also enquire with the individual company that supplies bananas to your local store.

I recently wrote an article about whether organic bananas are chemically ripened, which you can read by clicking [here, link: are organic bananas chemically ripened?]. 

In Conclusion

Bananas are not a citrus fruit because they are different in their scientific classification, they grow at different times of the year, and they have different nutrient qualities.

Chris Watson

I'm the founder of EatForLonger.Com. I'm an enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuff and lifestyle based insights. Simple food based concepts for optimising your Healthspan, nutrition and all-round well-being. I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes and add some life to your years. Read more About Me here

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