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Ensete ventricosum - (Welw.)Cheesman.

Common Name Ethiopian Banana, Abyssinian banana
Family Musaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Open mountain forests[166].
Range N. Africa - Ethiopia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Ensete ventricosum Ethiopian Banana, Abyssinian banana


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez
Ensete ventricosum Ethiopian Banana, Abyssinian banana
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Ensete ventricosum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 6 m (19ft) by 3 m (9ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Musa ensete. M. ventricosum.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root  Seed  Stem
Edible Uses:

The chopped and grated pulp of the corms and leaf sheaths is fermented and used as a flour in making kocho bread[134, 177, 183]. 100% kocho flour or a mixture of kocho and other cereal flours may be used[183]. It is said to taste like a good quality bread[2]. The endosperm of the seed is consumed as a food[183]. The base of the flower stalk is edible cooked[2, 177].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

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Other Uses

Fibre

A fibre is obtained from the plant[134].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Fiber  Management: Managed Multistem  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Basic Starch

Requires a very sheltered sunny position in a fertile moisture-retentive soil[200]. This species is not very hardy in Britain but it succeeds outdoors on the Scilly Islands[134] and is sometimes used in sub-tropical bedding[1]. Plants can survive light frosts but they require ample shelter from the wind[166]. It should be possible to grow plants in tubs, keeping them outdoors in the summer and bringing them into a greenhouse or conservatory in the winter[K]. The leaves can be up to 6 metres long[188].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Fiber  Clothing, rugs, sheets, blankets etc. Currently, almost none of our fiber are produced from perennial crops but could be!
  • Management: Managed Multistem  Regularly removing some multiple stems. A non-A non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Basic Starch  The Carbon Farming Solution. Eric Toensmeier.

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Sow the large seed in individual pots in a heated greenhouse at any time of the year. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water beforehand[200]. Germination should take place within 3 months. Grow on the plants for at least a couple of winters in the greenhouse before attempting to grow them outdoors. Division of suckers in spring. Try to get as much of the sucker's roots out as possible without disturbing the main plant too much. Pot the suckers up and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse until they are established.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Welw.)Cheesman.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

ellie   Wed Jan 18 2006

Josh   Mon Dec 24 2007

does anyone know how to successfully germinate 'Ensete Ventricosum' from seed?

Lorax   Thu Mar 12 2009

The easiest way to germinate Ensete seeds is to suck on them for about 5-10 minutes, then place them on top of sterile soil in a sealable container, then add water, seal the container, and put it in a warm place. Germination occurs in 2-3 weeks this way.

A downloadable ebook from 1997 with advice on growing and preparing based on research in Ethiopia.   Dec 26 2011 12:00AM

The Tree Against Hunger

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