Ensete ventricosum

Ornamental banana ( Ensete ventricosum )

The ornamental banana ( Ensete ventricosum ), or Abyssinian Ensete banana is a plant belonging to the genus Ensete within the family banana family ( Musaceae ). The name Ensete ventricosum was published in Kew Bull 1947, p 101 1948. Synonyms are Ensete edule ex Bruce Horan. , Musa arnoldiana De Wild. , Musa ventricosa Welw. and Musa ensete JFGmel .. The specific epithet derives from the Latin word for ventricosus bulbous, and increases with respect to the bulbous trunks.


Ensete ventricosum is in tropical Africa, especially in Ethiopia, home.


Ensete ventricosum grows as an evergreen, perennial herbaceous plant that reaches the stature heights of up to 6 meters and rhizomes formed. The false stem grows conical. The large central green, about 3 feet long leaves are provided with a red midrib. The upright inflorescence consists of dark -colored bracts; the small, leathery fruit are inedible.


Ornamental banana or Ensete was cultivated for several thousand years in Ethiopia as a useful plant. European travelers of the 17th century reported on the culture of Ensete in Ethiopia, such as the Portuguese Jesuit Manuel de Almeida and the priest Jeronimo Lobo, and in the 18th century, the Scottish traveler James Bruce. In the 19th century seems Ensete in the north of Ethiopia as food to be believed, come from socio - political grounds into oblivion.


Now the ornamental banana is cultivated in Ethiopia again as a food plant. It is in this country of particular economic importance for small farmers. All plant parts are recyclable. From the tubers flour is prepared for processing into bread or other baked goods. Immediately after the appearance of the flower is the optimal time of harvest, prepare Kocho ( fermented banana flour). If harvested too early, the starch content is too low, and if you harvest too late to hear the vegetative growth and the strength is used for the flower and fruit development. The inner, younger pseudostems be served cooked as a vegetable. Fresh leaves are used as food for animals such as cattle and sheep, dried old leaves are used as roofing and leaf sheaths are used for fiber production for the manufacture of bags, ropes and mats.

Ensete in the literature

Jules Verne described Ensete in his work The village in the air in chapter XIV: Li- Maï stopped in front of a clean hut standing whose roof with the broad leaves of Ensete, widespread in the great forest banana, was covered with the same leaves which the Foreloper had used for the sunroof of the raft.


  • Ensete ventricosum 'Atropurpureum '
  • Ensete ventricosum 'Green Stripe'
  • Red ornamental banana ( Ensete ventricosum ' Maurelii ', syn. Maurelii Musa )
  • Ensete ventricosum ' Montbeliardii '
  • Ensete ventricosum ' Tandarra Red' ( syn. Musa ' Tandarra Red' )
  • Ensete ventricosum 'Red Stripe' ( syn. Musa ' Red Stripe ')
  • Ensete ventricosum ' Rubra ' ( syn. Musa ensete ' Rubra ')

The scarlet banana ( Musa uranoscopos or Musa coccinea) from South China is closely related to species of the genus Ensete.


  • Andreas Bärtels: tropical plants. Ulmer Verlag, 2002 ISBN 3-8001-3937-5, p.117
  • Admasu Tsegaye, PC Struik: Enset ( Ensete ventricosum ( Welw. ) Cheesman ) kocho yield under different crop establishment methods as Compared to yields of other carbohydrate -rich food crops. Njas - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 49, 81-94, 2001