Ravenala madagascariensis 

Lately I’ve been sowing a large number of tropical seeds for the new glasshouse project. Many of them are interesting species, though the seed itself is rarely anything to write home about. Today I sowed Ravenala madagascariensis, now this is a cool plant with even cooler seeds. The seeds have a bright blue coating that becomes even more distinctive when they are soaked prior to sowing.

Though R. madagascariensis can look a lot like a palm it’s actually a herb, a member of the Strelitziaceae family. A single trunk is topped by a fan of leaves, extending on petioles up to 5m long. As the trunk grows the fan widens above it, large plants can reach up to 30m. It should look incredible in the glasshouse. It’s worth noting, in Jerusalem it would probably be hardy outside but the near constant wind would ruin the foliage.

The lower two images are sourced from: http://tropical.theferns.info/image.php?id=Ravenala+madagascariensis


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