Ethiopian Banana (Ensete ventricosum)

Perennial
Musa ensete. M. ventricosum.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Ethiopian Banana
Ensete ventricosum
Musaceae

A fibre is obtained from the plant[134].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    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].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

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.
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].
N. Africa – Ethiopia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.