Abyssinian Banana

Ensete ventricosum

A spectacular architectural plant, the Abyssinian banana a close relative of the traditional fruiting banana, but rather than grown for its fruit, its grown for its edible pseudostem and underground rhizomes. From Ethiopia, this cold tolerant favourite from the Heronswood food border features giant leaves, each marked with a bright red midrib.

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Abyssinian Banana

We have been growing this gigantic false banana from Ethiopia for decades. It’s the fastest growing plant we know and it sequesters carbon more quickly than any other non-woody plant. When we started growing rainforest trees in Heronswood’s shady valley, which was depleted of nutrients and water, we buried its herbaceous leaves and the following growth of trees was astounding. Its carbon level is around 40–50% and it can generate 80 tonnes of carbon storage (per acre) in a year. It’s just the plant for organic gardeners. Fast growth rate.

How to grow

Fertilise strawberry plants in spring by mulching with compost or well-rotted manure. Plant in a mound to improve drainage and water regularly, especially during the growing and fruiting months and during hot, dry weather.. soil moist and cool. Water regularly during the growing season.

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