As distinguished from Musa, this plant has a stronger leaf midrib and generally does not produce suckers. It is a fast-growing, evergreen perennial that typically grows to 8′-10′ tall. Huge paddle-shaped leaves (to 10-20’+ long and 2-4’ wide) are bright olive green on top and wine-red underneath with prominent midribs. Sheathing leafstalks form a trunk-like structure. White non-showy flowers appear somewhat hidden in summer on mature plants. Younger plants often will not flower and fruit for the first 3-5 years. Container plants cut close to the ground in fall each year may never flower. Banana-like fruits (to 3” long) are dry and inedible.
Pronunciation: en-SET-ee ven-tre-KO-sum
Species Meaning: Unevenly swollen
Ensete ventricosum is native to Ethiopia.
Plants are best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Plants tolerate and often appreciate some part shade or light filtered sun in the heat of the day. Plants need consistently moist soils that do not dry out. Fertilize plants regularly during growing season. Needs protection from wind. Leaves will get frost bitten at 36F and blacken by 33F, but will come back in spring.
In Our Garden
Plant ID: P21123
Found in Garden of the Giants,
In the tropical section of the giants.
We acquired this plant from Farmington Gardens - grown by Yoshitomi Brothers.