The Cavendish banana is the most widely-grown banana cultivar. Plantations devoted to this banana can be found in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, and the bulk of bananas on the shelves of Western supermarkets are Cavendish bananas. Chances are reasonably high that you've seen a Cavendish banana recently, because these bananas are ubiquitous, cheaply available year-round in fresh form.
These bananas could be easily transported once they were ripe, generating double profits for the railway by allowing the company to charge for passengers and freight, and to transport a costly exotic food on the same train. The price of bananas started to drop, and bananas quickly became a very familiar tropical fruit.
Cavendish bananas and bananas in general are especially susceptible to disease because the plants are clones of each other. Bananas are reproduced by cultivating their corms, as they do not produce seeds, and as a result, all Cavendish bananas around the world are genetically identical. This means that when a disease evolves to attack the Cavendish banana cultivar, it can potentially impact every Cavendish plant in the world, wiping the cultivar out in a very short period of time.
Biologists have suggested that the vulnerability of the banana is a strong argument for trying to retain genetic diversity for this tropical plant. By breeding additional cultivars with the use of wild stock and encouraging people to buy a range of bananas, biologists hope to keep bananas in supermarkets in the years to come, even if the Cavendish banana ultimately succumbs to disease.
Cavendish Bananas are greenish-yellow in appearance and change to brownish-yellow as they ripen.