Herb: Ethiopian Banana

Latin name: Ensete ventricosum

Synonyms: Ensete edule, Musa ensete

Family: Musaceae (Banana Family)

Edible parts of Ethiopian Banana:

The chopped and grated pulp of the corms and leaf sheaths is fermented and used as a flour in making kocho bread. 100% kocho flour or a mixture of kocho and other cereal flours may be used. It is said to taste like a good quality bread. The endosperm of the seed is consumed as a food. The base of the flower stalk is edible cooked.

Description of the plant:


6 m
(20 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Open mountain forests.

Other uses of Ethiopian Banana:

A fibre is obtained from the plant.

Propagation of the herb:

Sow the large seed in individual pots in a heated greenhouse at any time of the year. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water beforehand. Germination should take place within 3 months. Grow on the plants for at least a couple of winters in the greenhouse before attempting to grow them outdoors. Division of suckers in spring. Try to get as much of the sucker's roots out as possible without disturbing the main plant too much. Pot the suckers up and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse until they are established.

Cultivation of Ethiopian Banana:

Open mountain forests.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Ensete ventricosum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.