Also known as the Red Abyssinian Banana Banana (maurelii) or Ethiopian Banana are popular as tropical foliage plants. Ensete ventricosum ‘maurelii’ is the red leafed species and will grow to a 6m. Used widely as a landscaping foliage plant Ensete ventricosum do not like exposed windy positions and will die back in winter in colder climates at the first sign of frost. Ensete ventricosum can be grown from seed.
The foliage of E. ventricosum ‘maurelii’ has wonderful red tones on the underside, the stems are red and the colour will appear through the green on the upper side of the foliage. This is one of the most attractive of all of the ornamental banana species.
Ensete ventricosum is often referred to as the Ethiopian Banana. Grown mainly as a foliage plant Ensete is reasonably frost resistant perennial growing to 6m. All species prefer to be sheltered from the wind but in full sun with a moist soil. Can be grown in pots.
- E. ventricosum can be propagated or grown from seed however this will usually give the green species rather than the red Ensete ‘maurellii’. The red species need to be divided.
- E. ventricosum ‘maurelii’ is not readily available in Australia, the green species is more usual.
Ensete ventricosum Care
Although you can grow Ensete ventricosum in cool climates they will die back partially in winter and the foliage can become very ragged. In frost prone areas they will die right back and should really be protected from any possibility of heavy frosts.
In many urban areas you can successfully grow Ensete ventricosum well out of the sub tropical climate that it is its natural habitat. A warm sunny protected position and a humus rich soil are the main requirements. Extra water during dry summer periods will be required. Although these plants do fruit, the bananas are not edible from this species.
Over time, in good conditions a large clump will form, division is best carried out in early spring before new growth commences.
Ensete ventricosum are not widely available for sale – Try the following growers.
7 Wirreanda Road North, Ingleside. NSW 2101
phone 02 94501400 Fax 94502664