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Ensete perrieri

Madagascar Banana

A most exciting new introduction, this unique species of Ensete from Madagascar, described in 1905 by French botanist Claverie, not only is the Islands only native banana, but also has remained in obscurity and listed as poorly known ever since its discovery. This is its very first introduction into cultivation. In overall appearance not unlike the Asian E. glaucum, it has a robust, beautifully bluish-waxy pseudostem that is distinctly swollen at the base. The straight, ascending leaves with yellowish midribs are held on very short stalks and form a shuttlecock-like crown. The distinctly warty seeds look intermediate between the the regular, smooth black seeds of most Ensete and the warty, conical seeds of some Musa. Ensete perrieri will make a magnificent ornamental for tropical as well as many temperate regions. To look its best it should be afforded some protection from wind likw most bananas.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Seeds from this species ...

... are difficult to germinate and need more than 1 year to sprout.
I purchased many of these seeds and I kept planting them and watering them in and watching and waiting. After 5 months of nothing happening, I would over turn the pot and re-use the soil for other plants. There was one pot that I never emptied out and it fell over and so when I would come around and water all the plants... that one would never get water. Then the following year I saw a little banana tree growing out of it sideways and i immediately propped it back up and watered it and now it is growing fast. It grew to about 1 1/2 feet tall within 2 1/2 months. I am very happy with it and now it really loves water. So the trick must be to plant the seed, water it in once and then leave it with no water for a whole year, in a filtered sun but hot temp place.
Submitted on 25/07/2010 by one of our visitors

... are very difficult to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I first tried 100 Ensete perrieri thinking that they would be easy like the other large seeded Ensetes (ventricosum, glaucum, superbum(Indian)). After no luck, I found out over the web that they like a drier germination environment, basically they like totally drying out, then rehydrating. A seed bed outside in direct sun that gets hot then dries might be the ticket, akin to some palm genus' (Parajubea's, ect). Definatly different than any other bananas I have germinated. I'm not sure about the tempature fluctuations. More information about their environment would lead to more clues, but it's not an easy one to germinate indoors. Probably a great banana for dry areas of the SW US!
Submitted on 26/10/2007 by K whit kylewhitney2003@yahoo.com

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
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Plants from this species ...

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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