Are bananas C3, C4, or CAM plants? I have been researching for some time and cannot find the answer.


First of all, we have to think about the ecosystem in which banana exist. Obviously, the banana is in a rain forest. Rain forests are a very interesting ecosystem with lots of species. The climate is really hot and the atmosphere has high humidity.

Banana is definitely not CAM plant, because this kind of photosynthesis has usually cactuses and succulents. CAM plants usually have closed stromas during the day and open at night to protect from possible loss of water, carbon dioxide. This type of photosynthesis doesn't suite into the rain forest.

C4 plants are well known for Kranz anatomy of a leaf. They have special sheets to do secondary fixation of carbon dioxide. So according to this web I personally believe that banana is not C4 plant. enter image description here

So according to this article the banana has C3 photosynthesis.

  • $\begingroup$ Anyway according to wiki there is a lots of cultivars and specious of bananas so i really dont know if its true for all of them. $\endgroup$
    – L.Diago
    Sep 8 '18 at 22:31
  • $\begingroup$ The PDF you linked to is broken. You may want to link to the original article page instead of the PDF itself. $\endgroup$
    – forest
    Sep 9 '18 at 2:00

You can find a list of families known to have C4 plants here. [based on Sage 2016]1.

Although many other monocot species do exhibit C4 photosynthesis (and C4 photosynthsis does seem to have evolved independently multiple times)2, the banana family, Musaceae, consists of C3 plants3.

This includes the most commonly consumed variety of banana in developed countries, the Cavendish banana.


  1. Sage, R. F. (2016). Journal of Experimental Botany 67(14):4039–4056

  2. Ehleringer et al (1997). Oecologia 112:285299.

  3. Biocylopedia


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