William Cavendish: Inventor of the Cavendish Banana
William Cavendish (21 May 1790 – 18 January 1858) was a prominent aristocrat of England and widely popular as Inventor of the Cavendish Banana. He was born in France and became the 6th Duke of Devonshire to inherit at the age of 21. In terms of education, he studied at Harrow School and Trinity College, University of Cambridge.
He has many interests in the world of crops and agriculture by managing his vast plantations. In the field of botanical-related organizations, he served as President of the Horticultural Society of London which later changed to The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in 1838–1858 until his death. To date, it is one of the UK’s leading and largest social organizations popularizing crop and agricultural activities. In England, this organization is famous for exhibitions related to flower plants.
In about 1834, William Cavendish received a shipment of bananas from Mauritius. He was interested in developing it. He and his friend ,Joseph Paxton, began growing the an unnamed banana at Chatsworth House. William Cavendish and John Paxton went on to develop it and succeed. The plant was described taxonomically by Paxton as a type of Musa cavendishii. For his contributions and work, Paxton was awarded the Knighton Silver Medal at the Royal Horticultural Society event in 1835.
During its development, the Cavendish Banana was included in the Musa acuminata species with the AAA cultivar subgroup and as a tribute to William Cavendish’s services related to the development of this banana species, the name Cavendish was pinned on this banana cultivar. Because of its success in England, these bananas were later developed in Samoa and Canary Island, Spain with the help of John William. The popularity of this banana was increasing bacause of its resistant from Panama Disease which is caused by the infestation of the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense. This disease was considered dangerous because it was able to kill most of the Gros Michel bananas which at that time were very popular. Until now, Cavendish banana is still the world’s favorite. About 47% of the world’s banana production comes from the Cavendish cultivar. Many types of Cavendish is developed, especially Dwarf Cavendish, Grande Naine, Lacatan, Poyo, Valéry, and Williams.
Duncan Leatherdale. 2016.The imminent death of the Cavendish banana and why it affects us all. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-35131751
Wikipedia. 2020. William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Cavendish,_6th_Duke_of_Devonshire
Wikipedia.2020.Cavendish Banana. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavendish_banana
Pedro, A.,Cora D., Pascal L and, P Pilkauskas. 2003. The World Banana Economy (1985-2002). Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/y5102e/y5102e04.htm