a friend

Traveler’s Palm

Popular name: Traveler’s palm
Scientific name: Ravenala madagascariensis

Árvore-do-viajante Inhotim
It is told that the water this plant accumulates in between its petioles was used to quench the thirst of travelers, giving the inspiration to its popular name. Photo: João Marcos Rosa/Nitro.
Árvore-do-viajante Inhotim
As the plant grows, it progressively loses its lower and older leaves. Photo: João Marcos Rosa/Nitro.

Its major hand fan-shaped leaves arouse the attention of visitors at Inhotim. It is the traveler’s palm, a plant that is the symbol of Madagascar. Very used for landscape design purposes in several parts of the world, in its homeland African island it is much more than an ornamental plant.

In rural communities there, the whole body of the plant is used, nothing is discarded. It is most importantly used as house construction material. It is also enjoyed as food for families and farm animals, medicine, tools, and household implements.

Árvore-do-viajante Inhotim
Although the leaves are quite similar to those of a banana tree, both species come from different families. Photo: João Marcos Rosa/Nitro.


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