Ensete

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ensete
Ensete superbum.jpg
Ensete superbum at the United States Botanic Garden
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Musaceae
Genus: Ensete
Bruce
Species

See text.

Synonyms

Musella (Franch.) C.Y. Wu

Ensete is a genus of monocarpic flowering plants native to tropical regions of Africa and Asia. It is one of the two genera in the banana family, Musaceae, and includes the false banana or enset (E. ventricosum), an economically important food crop in Ethiopia.[1][2]

Taxonomy[edit]

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 shrunk since Cheesman revived the taxon. Cheesman acknowledged that field study might reveal synonymy and the most recent review of the genus by Simmonds (1960) listed just six. Recently the number has increased to seven as the Flora of China has, not entirely convincingly, reinstated Ensete wilsonii. There is one species in Thailand, somewhat resembling E. superbum, that has not been formally described, and possibly other Asian species.

It is possible to separate Ensete into its African and Asian species.

Africa
Ensete gilletii
Ensete homblei
Ensete perrieri - endemic to Madagascar but intriguingly like the Asian E. glaucum
Ensete ventricosum - enset or false banana, widely cultivated as a food plant in Ethiopia
Asia
Ensete glaucum - widespread in Asia from India to Papua New Guinea
Ensete lasiocarpum (Franch.) Cheesman - China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma)
Ensete superbum - Western Ghats of India
Ensete wilsonii - Yunnan, China, but doubtfully distinct from E. glaucum
Ensete sp. "Thailand" - possibly a new species or a disjunct population of E. superbum

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  2. ^ "Uses of Enset". The 'Tree Against Hunger': Enset-Based Agricultural Systems in Ethiopia. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1997. Retrieved 13 August 2007. 

External links[edit]