Red banana Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Red banana (Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii') en-SET-ay ven-trih-KOE-sum Synonyms: Musa arnoldiana Genus: Ensete This banana-like perennial has large paddle-shaped leaves, which range in color from deep claret brown to red-purple to pale green, produced from the center of the plant, with thick midribs bright red beneath. White flowers are borne in inflorescences 3 to 4 feet long. Fruits are banana-like but dry and unpalatable. Noteworthy Characteristics: Large reddish leaves. Reaches 20 feet or more. Care: Native to the tropical and subtropical forests of Africa, bananas are large herbaceous plants that die back in winter in frosty areas. Grow outdoors in rich soil in a sheltered area. Lift plants before first frost, cut back long roots, and reduce top-growth to the newest 2 or 3 leaves. Propagation: Sow seed in spring after soaking in tepid water for 24 hours. Germination is erratic. Problems: Spider mites and aphids may be problems, especially under glass. Overview Height Over 30 ft. Spread 10 ft. to 15 ft. Growth Habit Clumps Light Full Sun to Part Shade Moisture Medium Moisture Maintenance Moderate Characteristics Showy Foliage Bloom Time Early Summer, Late Summer, Summer Flower Color White Foliage Color Colorful/Burgundy Foliage Uses Specimen Plant/Focal Point Seasonal Interest Summer Interest Type Perennials Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii'View the discussion thread.