Chlorophyll breakdown is a visual phenomenon of leaf senescence and fruit ripening. It leads to the formation of colorless chlorophyll catabolites, a group of (chlorophyll-derived bilin-type) linear tetrapyrroles. Here, analysis and structure elucidation of the chlorophyll breakdown products in leaves of banana (Musa acuminata) is reported. In senescent leaves of this monocot all chlorophyll catabolites identified were hypermodified fluorescent chlorophyll catabolites (hmFCCs). Surprisingly, nonfluorescent chlorophyll catabolites (NCCs) were not found, the often abundant and apparently typical final chlorophyll breakdown products in senescent leaves. As a rule, FCCs exist only fleetingly, and they isomerize rapidly to NCCs in the senescent plant cell. Amazingly, in the leaves of banana plants, persistent hmFCCs were identified that accounted for about 80 % of the chlorophyll broken down, and yellow leaves of M. acuminata display a strong blue luminescence. The structures of eight hmFCCs from banana leaves were analyzed by spectroscopic means. The massive accumulation of the hmFCCs in banana leaves, and their functional group characteristics, indicate a chlorophyll breakdown path, the downstream transformations of which are entirely reprogrammed towards the generation of persistent and blue fluorescent FCCs. As expressed earlier in related studies, the present findings call for attention, as to still elusive biological roles of these linear tetrapyrroles.