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Ravenala madagascariensis (Travelers palm ) is perhaps the most distinctive, beautiful and widely-recognized of all tropical palms. Its common name derives from rainwater stored in the leaf sheath base or its typical orientation east-west. Interestingly, it is not a palm despite its appearance. Moreover, the tree grows to a height of 30 feet and a spread of 18 feet. The green banana-like leaves are up to 9 feet long, borne on the same plane in a fan-shaped formation. Additionally, the flowers are large, borne in groups up to 1 foot long. Also, they have showy white petals and green bracts, resembling those of the bird of paradise, to which it is related.
Furthermore, the fruits are brown capsules containing blue fruit. Ravenala madagascariensis (Travelers palm ) is most commonly propagated with basal offshoots. Seed may not be viable because the lemur pollinators are not present. It grows well on a variety of soil types, providing they are well-drained; it responds to fertilizer and needs moderate watering and it has no pests of major concern. In landscaping, travelers palm is a spectacular shade plant for the deck or patio, and as an accent or specimen tree in the ground, container or planter.
Other names: Traveler’s Palm, Palma del Viajero, Ravinala, Arbre du Voyageur