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by : BTF

As I Wander...

Living in tropical Malaysia, we tend to take the hot humid weather, thundery rainstorms and the spectrum of wild evergreen plants as a given.

Recently, I noticed more exotic plants making its way into landscaped home gardens, recreational parks, frontages of shopping malls and
commercial buildings.

Along kerb sides of residential streets and busy motorways, palms, trees and flowering plants make pleasant and interesting fringes.

This is a record of the various species "as I see it" for I am in awe of palms. Hence, my premise for this blog is that the global garden,
i.e. every physical garden (tended or untended), becomes a part of my, simply said, cyber palm garden. ;-)

Please feel free to share your thoughts or comments.

Thank you for visiting!

ShaShinKi - Malaysia's Online Camera Shop!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Travellers Palm

Botanical Name : Ravenala madagascariensis

Also known as the Travellers Tree, this species originated from Madagascar.  Well, despite its majestic palm look, it's not part of the palm family but a member of the bird-of-paradise, Strelitziaceae family.

Apparently, rainwater collected within the sheath of its stems can be called upon in case of extreme thirst emergencies. The enormous paddle leaves, quite similar to the banana leaves, are borne on long petioles which fan out on a single plane. Its symmetrical crown is very distinctive and absolutely striking.

                                                                     handsome screens

                                                                           paddle on
                                             gently directed away from roof of building

young seedlings

In Malaysia and Singapore, where the outbreak of dengue (a mosquito borne illness) is frequent, the dormant water held by these palms are deemed potential breeding sites. Palm owners are required by local councils to constantly monitor and ensure draining away the excess rainwater. Due to the tedious requirement, it's no surprise that this palm is getting less popular in home gardens. 

Lastly, interesting folklore has it that if you stand in front of a Travellers Palm and make a wish in good spirit, it will come true.  Will probably give it a try, the next time I encounter one or several???

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