Ravenala madagascariensis

Arbre du voyageur, Ravinala

Traveller’s palm, Palma del viajero

 

A famous palm

                                                                               

 

Arbre du voyageur, Traveler’s palm, arbol del viajero, waaierpalm, Baum der Reisenden, ravinala, …

 

Family

 

STRELIZIACEAE

 

Origin

 

Madagascar

 

Description

  

Although Traveler's palm is called a palm, it is not a true palm.

It grows up, to 50' tall, while the big banana-like leaves can grow up to 15' long.

The leaves are arranged in a fan-shaped manner,  it has a rather short, palm like, trunk.

The flower seems like bird of paradise, but bigger and white and purple.

In these bracts and leaf folds, rainwater is collected.

The fruits are brown while the seeds are blue.

 

Habitat

 

Cultivated  (0-800m) 

 

Propagation

Seeds

 

Culture and care

 

Good exposition is full sun to  partial shade. It  grows well on moist and rich sandy loam and clay soils.

The traveler's palm can be used as an accent plant.

Protect from frost or plant in frost free locations. Hibernate when temperature is about 50°F.

It can also be grown indoors or in the greenhouse. The rhizomes can be big and heavy. 

Seeds take at least 1 month to sprout.

 

Uses

 

- Ornemental use

 

Very nice indoor plant. Can be planted as a single plant.

 

Etymology

 

 

Ravenala comes from the malgach name of the palm and madagascariensis means « comes from Madagascar ».

 

Anecdotes

 

The base of the leaves contains a reserve of water that can quench thirsty travelers (Travelers tree). 

 

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