The lush foliage of this plant brings a hint of the tropics to the Glasshouse Bays.
Originating from central and east Africa Ensete ventricosum, or the Abyssinian banana, is one of seven species of Ensete. It has paddle-shaped leaves with thick midribs, which emerge from trunk-like false stems, formed from the bases of old leaf stalks, and which make this a herb rather than a tree. Pendent white flowers are produced from arching bracts hidden within the leaves, and these can produce fruits. The form here, ‘Maurelii’ has red-tinged leaves and deep red stems. It will survive our winters if planted in a sheltered position as here, but is often treated as a tender perennial, being lifted and overwintered in a glasshouse over winter.