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Campus Trees

Ravenala madagascariensis


Family:  Musaceae

Common Names: Traveler’s tree

Flowering Period: December – May


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The fruits are brown while the seeds are blue.


  • The fruits and seeds are edible.
  • The leaves are used for roofing and as a packing material. The leaf petioles and midribs are used for making walls. The bark is used for making floors in houses.
  • In these bracts and leaf folds, rainwater is collected, which can be consumed by thirsty travelers, what gives it the name traveler’s palm.