Ensete Horan.

Abyssinian Banana

From the African Amharic name anset.

Tree-like perennial herbs flowering once and then dying (monocarpic), non-suckering but with a swollen base. Leaf sheaths generally spreading and not surrounding the whole stem. Leaves large, paddle-shaped. Flower clusters pendulous. Flowers numerous per bract, the upper lip deeply lobed and the free segment 3-pointed, bracts persistent. Fruits containing seeds mostly more than 1 cm wide.

Only 1 species is commonly cultivated and superficially very similar to the banana. The fruit is, however, dry and inedible.


Non-suckering banana-like plants with paddle-shaped leaves; leaf stalk not evident between the blade and the sheath.

6 species from tropical Africa and Asia.

Cheesman (1947), Baker & Simmonds (1953), Moore (1957).

Source: Spencer, R. (2005). Musaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Zingiberales
family       Musaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman