Ensete is a genus of flowering plants native to tropical regions of Africa and Asia. It is one of the three genera in the banana family, Musaceae, and includes the false banana or enset (E. ventricosum), an economically important foodcrop in Ethiopia.
|Ensete ventricosum at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney|
The genus Ensete was first described by Paul Fedorowitsch Horaninow (1796-1865) in his Prodromus Monographiae Scitaminarum of 1862 in which he created a single species, Ensete edule. However, the genus did not receive general recognition until 1947 when it was revived by E. E. Cheesman in the first of a series of papers in the Kew Bulletin on the classification of the bananas, with a total of 25 species.
Taxonomically, the genus Ensete has been reduced since Cheesman restore the taxon. Cheesman acknowledged that field study might reveal synonymy and the most recent review of the genus by Simmonds (1960) listed just six. The Plant List accepts eight species as valid.
It is possible to separate Ensete into its African and Asian species.
- Ensete homblei (Bequart ex De Wild.) Cheesman - SE Democratic Republic of Congo to N Zambia
- Ensete livingstonianum (J.Kirk) Cheesman - Western tropical Africa to Malawi
- Ensete perrieri (Claverie) Cheesman - endemic to Madagascar
- Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman - enset or false banana, widely cultivated as a food plant in Ethiopia
- Ensete glaucum (Roxb.) Cheesman - widespread in Asia from India to Papua New Guinea
- Ensete lasiocarpum (Franch.) Cheesman - China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma)
- Ensete superbum (Roxb.) Cheesman - Western Ghats of India
- Ensete wilsonii (Tutcher) Cheesman - Yunnan, China, but doubtfully distinct from E. glaucum
- Those plants thad die after producing fruits and seeds are called ''monocarpic'' plants.
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kews. "Ensete". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- "Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman". Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- Gerda Rossel and David Constantine (2007). "Ensete home". Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- Wu, Delin; Kress, W. John. "Ensete". Flora of China. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- "Ensete". The Plant List (2010). Retrieved 22 May 2013.
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|Wikispecies has information on: Musa.|