Plant Name        Ensete superbum            

                Common name: Rock Banana, Wild plantain

                Marathi:              Chaveni, rankel

                Hindi:                   Jungli kela          

                English:                Rock Banana

                Jawhar:                Kavadar               


Interesting facts and history

Ensete superbum is a native and endemic to Western Ghats, although, they are also found in peninsular India, Assam and Rajasthan. It has been reported to be rare and endangered species due to habitat destruction. Considering its high medicinal importance and the present status, it has been recommended for conservation under the Medicinal Plant Conservation Area.

Rock banana is highly valued as an ornamental plant. The broad leaves and deep red- brownish colour flowers enhances the aesthetic value, thus preferred by landscape architectures for planting in the gardens. Domestication and cultivation as a horticulture plant due to its various uses has also been explored.


Identification guide      


It is characterised by 2 feet high, pseudo-stem, waxy and does not produce suckers.


Leaves are similar to that of banana leaves; bright green from both sides, reaching up to 6 feet in length with a red, deeply grooved and short petiole


The inflorescence persists with dark brown-red bracts surrounding each group of flower. The flowers attain the height of about 2 feet in length. It has a curved terminal with a conical shaped fruit containing brown seeds in abundance.


Habit / Habitat


It is commonly known as cliff banana. The plant is often found attached to cliffs or rocks in wild. It is a hardy plant and prefers rocky barren lands.



1) It is native to tropical regions of Asia and Africa. It is commonly found in Western Ghats, Anaimalai Hills  and other parts of the peninsular India.

2) Name of village: Dabosa water fall, Jawhar

3) The plant is visible only during the monsoons.


Edible parts

Used by tribal community in Jawhar       Flower, pseudo- stem, seeds


Method of consumption

Jawhar tribal      Stem and flower are boiled and cooked as a vegetable

 Seeds are used to cure dog bites


Nutritional and medicinal information

Nutritional significance

Nutritional assessment of the flowers of Ran keli shows that it is rich in micro-minerals such as iron, copper and zinc. As these minerals are important in required amount in the human body for haemoglobin formation, to elude the cardiac abnormalities and for the functioning of taste and eyesight, to multiply cells and bone metabolism respectively. Thus, according to study carried out by al, E. superbum (Roxb.) Cheesuran showed highest amount micro-minerals and could be explored as an alternative food for malnutrition population in developing countries.


Propagation and Storage

 Season of collection:

Flowering and Fruiting: June to September

How to grow it?

 Natural multiplication is only by means of seeds


 Method of storage

1) Prop gules: Seeds 

2) Edible parts: edible parts are not stored and eaten immediately after harvest


Other uses         

 The core of the inflorescence and pseudo stem is eaten as a salad while flower is cooked as a vegetable. Seeds have medicinal property and used to treat kidney stones and diabetes.



Kingdom:             Plantae

Division:              Spermatophyta

Sub-division:      Angiospermae

Class:                    Monocotyledonae

Series:                  Epigynae

Family:                Scitamineae

Sub-family:         Musaceae

Genus:                Ensete

Species:               superbum





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