Ravenala madagascariensis

COMMON NAME

Traveller's tree or traveller's palm

TYPE

Tree

FAMILY

Strelitziaceae

NOTES

Traveller's palm, is a large tree-like plant which will reach 30-50' tall at maturity. This plant features an unbranched trunk (to 12" diameter) which is topped by a fan-shaped single plane of enormous, long-stalked, banana-like, deep green leaves.  It has been given the name "traveller's palm" because the sheaths of the stems hold rainwater, which supposedly could be used as an emergency drinking supply for needy travellers.[3] However, the water inside the plant is murky, black and smelly and should not be consumed without purification. Another plausible reason for its name is that the fan tends to grow on an east-west axis, providing a crude compass.

GEOGRAPHIC REGION

Madagascar

NATIVE HABITAT

Rainforest. Sheltered, warm and humid, and per-humid areas near the coast, from sea-level up to elevations of 1500 ft.

WEB SOURCES

wikipedia.org

missouribotanicalgarden.org

tropical.theferns.info



Ravenala madagascariensis