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|Ensete superbum at the United States Botanic Garden|
Ensete is a genus of monocarpic 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 food crop in Ethiopia.
The genus Ensete was first described by Paul Fedorowitsch Horaninow (or Horaninov, 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.
- Ensete gilletii synonym Ensete livingstonianum - native range W. Tropical Africa to Malawi
- Ensete homblei - native range is SE. DR Congo to N. Zambia
- 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
- Ensete glaucum – widespread in Asia from India to Papua New Guinea
- 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
- List of Ethiopian dishes and foods
- List of Southern African indigenous trees
- Musa (genus)
- Musella lasiocarpa
- Wilkin, Paul; Demissew, Sebsebe; Willis, Kathy; Woldeyes, Feleke; Davis, Aaron P.; Molla, Ermias L.; Janssens, Steven; Kallow, Simon; Berhanu, Admas (2019). "Enset in Ethiopia: a poorly characterized but resilient starch staple". Annals of Botany. 123 (5): 747–766. doi:10.1093/aob/mcy214. PMC 6526316. PMID 30715125.
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
- "Uses of Enset". The 'Tree Against Hunger': Enset-Based Agricultural Systems in Ethiopia. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1997. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2007.
- Cheesman, E. E. 1947. Classification of the bananas. I. The genus Ensete Horan and the genus Musa L. Kew Bulletin (GBR), 2: 97-117
- Constantine, D. R. & Rossel, G. (1999): [permanent dead link]
- IPNI Listing
- Enset as a crop (UNEUE)
- Enset Culture (UNEUE)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science – The Tree Against Hunger: Enset-based Agricultural Systems in Ethiopia.
- Oxfam – Holes in the Safety Net
- "A study on Esset as a means of existence, social organization and ethnical identification for the Gurage people", Master's thesis, University of Tromsø (2009)
- Kew Plant List