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Ensete ventricosum

Authority(Welw.) E.E. Cheesman
Common namesenset, Abyssinian banana
Ecocrop code5700

BRIEF DESCRIPTION A large monocarpic unbranched herb. The pseudostem is often markedly swollen at the base. The fruit is dry and inedible. USES The thickened pseudostems and swollen underground stems are eaten cooked or fermented, usually after it has been made into bread. Fiber from the stems is made into cordage and sacking. GROWING PERIOD Perennial. The plants are harvested after 3-4 years before the formation of the inflorescence which would use up the starch. COMMON NAMES Enset. FURTHER INF Scientific synonym: E. edule. Enset is native of Africa. It occurs naturally in montane forest and riverine forest, often in clearings, gullies and near streams. In Ethiopia it occurs naturally between (500ˆ)1000ˆ1600(ˆ2400) m altitude. In cultivation it occurs at altitudes from 1600ˆ3100 m, but scattered plants can also be found at lower altitudes. However, it grows best at elevations between 1800 m and 2450 m. Climatic conditions at higher elevations, especially low temperature and frost, hamper the growth of the crop and its maturation may take twice as long, or even longer, than in lower regions. Established enset plants can tolerate periods of drought and frost. In Ethiopia, food security is better in enset-based farming systems than in cereal-based ones. Monthly mean temperatures of 16ˆ20°C are optimal, but growth is acceptable from 5ˆ25°C. For optimum growth enset requires an average annual rainfall of 1100ˆ1500 mm. Although it needs a well-distributed rainfall at the early stages of growth and a fairly. Enset grows well in most fertile and well- drained soils. Best growth is obtained in moderately acidic to alkaline (pH 5.6ˆ7.3) with 2ˆ3% organic matter.
Sims D (pers. comm.)
Roecklein J 1987 pp 487 [USE]
Rehm S 1991 pp 63 [USE]
Duke J 1975 pp 15 [PH, RAIN, TEMP]
Purseglove J 1972 pp 344 [USE]
Tsegaye A 2002