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An Exotic
World of Plants

The Plants
of the Palm House

Ensete ventricosum ’Maurelii’

English name: Ethiopian banana

Latin name: Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’

Family: Musacaea - Musaceae

Origin: Under cultivation at the Palm House

In its natural environment, this species grows in woodlands, clearings, and often near streams and ravines, between 1,000 and 2,400 metres above sea level. The height of this perennial is from 4 to 8 metres. The leaves are elongated and arranged helically (like a spiral). They reach a length of 5 metres, growing from bulbs. In the ‘Maurelii’ cultivar, the leaves are feathery-purple. The turned-down leaf sheath gives the appearance of a trunk. A floral shoot grows Inside the sheath. The flowers gather in panicle inflorescences, surrounded by a large bract, oblong and pink, and consisting of overlapping leaves, imitating the petals. The inflorescence occurs only once – ending the plant’s life. The fruits are like regular bananas, but are inedible, with a bland flavour, and fibrous. In the centre there is a large, hard seed.

Ensete ventricosum ’Maurelii’