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Ravenala madagascariensis
TRAVELLERS PALM

SKU: 9-010
Regular price 9.99
Unit price
per

Description

Ravenala is a genus of flowering plants with a single species, Ravenala madagascariensis, commonly known as traveller's tree or traveller's palm, from Madagascar. It is not a true palm (family Arecaceae) but a member of a monocotyledonous flowering plant family, Strelitziaceae. The genus is closely related to the southern African genus Strelitzia and the South American genus Phenakospermum. Some older classifications include these genera in the banana family (Musaceae).

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. 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 line, providing a crude compass.

The scientific name Ravenala comes from Malagasy ravinala meaning "forest leaves".

The enormous paddle-shaped leaves are borne on long petioles, in a distinctive fan shape aligned in a single plane (distichous). The large white flowers are structurally similar to those of its relatives, the bird-of-paradise flowers Strelitzia reginae and Strelitzia nicolai, but are generally considered less attractive, with a green bract. These flowers, upon being pollinated, produce brilliant blue seeds; possibly the only blue seeds found in nature. In tropical and subtropical regions, the plant is widely cultivated for its distinctive habit and foliage. As the plant grows older, it progressively loses the lowest or oldest leaves and reveals a sturdy grey trunk.

The plant requires a sunny spot (not full sun until it is larger). It responds well to fertiliser, especially if it is high in nitrogen during the growing season. This produces better growth and foliage. The plant grows to an average height of 7 m (23 ft) and requires moderate water.

Rare seeds, only available for a limited time. Plant immediately once received.

Seeds per pack: 10

Germination: Start these seeds right away to preserve viability, no matter the time of year. Soak the seeds for 6-12 hours before sowing. Before planting, pour boiling water over a seed-start mix to kill parasites. Allow to drain and cool for about an hour. Then plant the seeds just under the surface of the soil.  Temperature should reach above 80F (26C) to 110F (43C) during the day, and must dip below 80F at night for best germination results. A heating pad set on a timer to be on during the day, and off at night, is ideal. These plants take take several weeks or months to germinate, though they are reliable. Patience is required, though they are well worth the wait!

Ravenala madagascariensis
TRAVELLERS PALM

SKU: 9-010
Regular price 9.99
Unit price
per
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Description

Ravenala is a genus of flowering plants with a single species, Ravenala madagascariensis, commonly known as traveller's tree or traveller's palm, from Madagascar. It is not a true palm (family Arecaceae) but a member of a monocotyledonous flowering plant family, Strelitziaceae. The genus is closely related to the southern African genus Strelitzia and the South American genus Phenakospermum. Some older classifications include these genera in the banana family (Musaceae).

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. 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 line, providing a crude compass.

The scientific name Ravenala comes from Malagasy ravinala meaning "forest leaves".

The enormous paddle-shaped leaves are borne on long petioles, in a distinctive fan shape aligned in a single plane (distichous). The large white flowers are structurally similar to those of its relatives, the bird-of-paradise flowers Strelitzia reginae and Strelitzia nicolai, but are generally considered less attractive, with a green bract. These flowers, upon being pollinated, produce brilliant blue seeds; possibly the only blue seeds found in nature. In tropical and subtropical regions, the plant is widely cultivated for its distinctive habit and foliage. As the plant grows older, it progressively loses the lowest or oldest leaves and reveals a sturdy grey trunk.

The plant requires a sunny spot (not full sun until it is larger). It responds well to fertiliser, especially if it is high in nitrogen during the growing season. This produces better growth and foliage. The plant grows to an average height of 7 m (23 ft) and requires moderate water.

Rare seeds, only available for a limited time. Plant immediately once received.

Seeds per pack: 10

Germination: Start these seeds right away to preserve viability, no matter the time of year. Soak the seeds for 6-12 hours before sowing. Before planting, pour boiling water over a seed-start mix to kill parasites. Allow to drain and cool for about an hour. Then plant the seeds just under the surface of the soil.  Temperature should reach above 80F (26C) to 110F (43C) during the day, and must dip below 80F at night for best germination results. A heating pad set on a timer to be on during the day, and off at night, is ideal. These plants take take several weeks or months to germinate, though they are reliable. Patience is required, though they are well worth the wait!