N. & E. Madagascar as per WCSP;
Bangladesh; Madagascar; Mauritius; Mexico Central; Mexico Gulf; Mexico
Northeast; Mexico Southeast; Mexico Southwest
as per Catalogue of Life;
Traveler’s Palm, Traveler’s tree; 



Commeninales and Zingiberales week : Zingiberales-Strelitziaceae-Ra­venala madagascariensis: Here the lone species of Strelitziaceae– traveller’s tree from Aarey road, Mumbai. Are the fan like heads the flowers?

– Some one on the group had written abou 6 months back, that when the inflorence of this plant opens some blue cotten is seen at the base. I tried to see it evertime when i saw the infloresence of travelers palm, i could not see it. Now in .. photos also I am unable to see it. Is it species variation?

– Here are mine from Delhi, growing in our College Botanical Garden




Ravenala madagascariensis from Hooghly: Attaching images of Ravenala madagascariensis found in a private property.
Species : Ravenala madagascariensis
Habit & Habitat : herbaceous perennials, garden
Date : 11-03-12, 8.56 a.m.
Place : Hooghly, WB
Yes, the Travellers palm

We had first seen it when we visited Madras in 1966 as students of M.Sc. Prev.. Here is the scanned BW photograph of that.

Thanks …, what a beautiful photograph…the plant is equally elegant, thanks … for the initial post….

Wonderful photography Sir,.. reminiscence of sweet nostalgic words : kodak, film, negatives, box camera, excursions, classmates…. Though i was only two years then, yet i know all those photography equipment, we had a studio cum darkroom for our personal use. It was fantastic, in no way comparable to modern days point & shoot photography.

one thing i forgot to mention – we call it PAANTHA-PAADAP (PAANTHA = traveller; PAADAP = plant, tree) in Bengali.

Attaching images of another Ravenala madagascariensis found in ASHRAM compound.
Species : Ravenala madagascariensis Sonnerat
Habit & Habitat : herb, garden
Date : 14-05-2012, 10.35 a.m.
Place : Garalgacha Harisabha (Hooghly)




seeds of Ravenala madascariensis: here are pics of the seeds of Ravenala madascariensis, Travelers Palm taken in a private garden.
When the seeds are ripe you find lots of pieces of what looks like blue plastic littering the ground beneath the tree – they look quite unreal.

Amazing! I have never seen it flowering & fruiting. Thank you … for sharing this lovely sight. I was under the impression that this species does not flower & fruit in India since it is pollinated by ruffed lemurs.
The Kew website has an interesting article on the reason behind the blue colour, a rare colour for seeds :

Thanks … for sending the link to the article. It’s very interesting.
This plant is growing in western Maharashtra, quite close to Mumbai. The mature plants in the garden produce seed once a year.

Thanks for the beautiful pictures and info. My traveller’s palm too has flowered for the first time this year (almost 3-4 years since planting). I was thinking of chopping the sticky, gluey flower bracts. But your seeds have given me a reason to wait. Not sure if it will get pollinated though. Still very curious as to what could the lemurs be looking for among these palms that they are used for pollination. Also this species propagates vegetatively as well. Mine already has a new growth crowding the main tree and putting out its leaves which are about a meter long already.

my understanding from the article is that the seeds are dispersed by the lemurs. Not sure who the pollinators are.

Even I was not sure and hence had googled the minute I saw … link. It seems the lemurs are indeed the pollinators for this. Please see the below 2 links.

Ruffed lemurs are a known pollinator of this plant, and given the size and structure of the inflorescences, as well as the lemur’s selectivity, method of feeding, and long muzzle, this relationship is thought to have coevolved.[3]

That’s amazing!

Thanks for amazing upload..never seen the seeds..perhaps they do not mature in our region for lack of pollinators or anything else….





Palm Trees of Bangalore – RA – Ravenala madagascariensis – Travel Palm Tree (not true palm): Endemic to the island of Madagascar, Traveler’s Palm is one of the most interesting tree-like plants.  

Traveler’s palm is not a true palm. In part it looks like banana plant and in part a palm tree. Its long leaf stalks and deep green leaves resemble those of the banana and extend out symmetrically from the trunk like a giant Chinese fan.  
The leaves are up to 10 ft long and 12-20 inches wide. Young traveler’s palms have no visible trunk which, is underground. In adult plants, the trunk emerges above the ground, raising the symmetrical leaf-fan to heights ranging from 30-60 ft.  
The green palmlike trunk grows up to 1 ft in diameter and displays distinctive trunk leaf scar rings.  
The small white flowers, in a foot long inflorescence, are held in bracts. In these bracts and leaf folds, rainwater is collected.  
It is this rainwater collecting property of this tree, which can be consumed by thirsty travelers, what gives it the name traveler’s palm.  
The fruits are brown while the seeds are blue. 
Refrence: Flowers of India

The flowers, fruits and all photos have really come out well.
In prior discussions … ?? Had written about the blue cotton at the base of the flowers? Fruits? Could you see it. From that day I have kept a watch on the travellers palm in our college garden$ I can see the top view of flowers. But no blue cotton.

I will look for it. I didn’t pay attention to the seeds, as I have seen the fruit on only one tree.


Ravenala madagascariensis Sonn. : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Location: Kolkata, India
Date: 8 September 2017
Elevation : 25 ft.  

… at a resort  Virajpet, Coorg

Dates: November 10 – 11, 2019 … Altitude: about 910 m (3000 ft) asl

Ravenala madagascariensis  Sonn.

all botanical gardens like to grow this and they do. see this a lot in 24 paraganas in WB too

Thank you very much, …
I am waiting to see its flowers in proper glory, and also keen to see its seeds – they have some charming deep blue colour.



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