seeds of Ensente ventricosum, False Banana, Ethiopian Banana

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Ensente ventricosum Samen
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Ensente ventricosum is an herbaceous plant species that belongs to the family Musaceae. Ensete ventricosum goes by several common names some of whom include False banana, Ethiopian banana, Abyssinian banana and Ensete. The plant’s scientific name has several synonyms including Esete arnoldinaum, Ensete bagshawei and Ensete buchananii. Ensete ventricosum has its origins in the eastern end what is called the Great African Plateau which stretches across several countries. The countries that provide a home for the species within this plateau include Kenya, Malawi,Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Southern countries like South Africa and Mozambique are also part of the eastern edge. Ensete ventricosum is an evergreen herb that can grow to a height of 6 metres. The plant has a pseudostem in place of a stem. This stem is wholly composed of tightly bound leaf bases and leaf blades that overlap over one another. The blades are 5 metres long and a metre wide. Flowers only make an appearance when the plant has reached maturity and is about to die. The flowers sprout from the centre of the plant and are found in big pendant thyrses. Fruit are flavourless and harbour large black seeds. Ensete ventricosum dies immediately after flowering. The roots of the plant are an important source of food for many individuals across the globe. Ensete ventricosum is considered a staple food in some parts of Ethiopia where the roots of a single plant can deliver upwards of 40 Kg of food. Ensete ventricosum is mostly interplanted with other crop varieties so as to supplement it come harvest time. The plant can also serve as an effective ornamental plant if cultivated for that purpose. Another use involves the leaves that are rich sources of fibre. Ensete ventricosum is very sensitive to frost, and great steps will have to be taken to protect it from the same. Cultivation is done through the form of suckers. A fully grown plant is capable of delivering up to 400 viable suckers.
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