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Travelers Palm

Travelers Palm Trees

With its exceptionally beautiful leaf display the travelers palm would make a great addition.

It will turn any yard into a little slice of paradise.

Although they aren't a member of the palm family...

I have included them because of their common names and close association to them.

Appearance and Plant Family

They are actually members of the bird-of-paradise plant family.

The traveler palm is more closely related to the banana tree family than the palm tree one.

The reason is because of the shape of the leaves and it is such fast grower.


The little one we have in our yard was just planted not long ago and in less than six months it has more than doubled in size

Baby Travelers Palm

Their leaves are almost exactly like that of the banana tree, and not like a palm at all.

They don’t have branches either just the large leaves that first appear like a new green stick, then once they are full size-they unroll themselves.

Unfortunately these trees don’t grow any kind of edible fruit but they have one of the coolest leaf patterns going.

Banana Tree Leaf

Tavelers Palm Leaf Pattern
Travelers Palm Leaf

Left Top:  Banana leaf

Left Bottom: Traveler Leaf Pattern

Above: Travelers leaf


The wonderful travelers palm trees require a lot of sunlight and only grow in tropical and sub-tropical climates.

They could not withstand freezing.

They thrive in well drained soil, with some fertilizer applied every 2 months or so.

They need a fair amount of water but their roots should not be left standing in water.

Great for landscapes but they get too big, too fast to have as a container or indoor palm.

Trunk of Travelers Palm Just Starting

The traveler palm grows much the same way as the sago palm, it starts out it is just a bunch of leaves coming straight out of the ground. 

You won’t see the trunk of the young tree until it is big enough around to support a good size “top”.

They look beautiful, but a bit funny too-as you could have a trunk about eight to twelve inches around that’s only 6 inches high.

Quick info:

Scientific name:Ravenala madagascariensis

  • 25-35 ft tall, up to 20 ft wide, multi trunks unless suckers are trimmed out
  • minimum temp 32°F,    zones 10-11
  • needs full sun and lots of space
  • grows in any well drained soil with some organic matter added
  • salt but not drought tolerant
Travelers Palm Tree - Medium
Travelers Palm with a Double Fan

You’ll have no trouble being able to tell a male from a female version of the travelers palm tree.

The males are a single tree with no flowers or pods growing out of the middle of the fan.

The flowers are shaped just like the bird-of-paradise flowers but are green in color.

The females have all that and sometimes end up growing a second or third complete fan from the same trunk.

Your Ultimate Palm Tree Handbook

The double fan picture shows the flowers too.

They will also get sucker plants just like the banana tree.

If you don't want multiple trees you will need to prune off the suckers as they emerge from the ground.

 Landscape Groupings of Travelers Palms

Group of Travelers Palms

The travelers palm is a favorite for landscapers and those who appreciate the symmetrical shape of these beautiful plants.

They make great arrangements in gardens, and they are an excellent tree for blocking the view of your backyard. At least until they get too tall.

When left alone and if they stay healthy they can grow just as tall as the coconut palm, and "fans" on them can be extremely large!

You might like these

  • All Types of Palm Trees

    Planning on growing a tropical garden inside or out? Here's a list of the many types of palm trees used in landscapes so you can plan accordingly!

  • Ruffled Fan Palm

    The Ruffled fan palm is hard one to miss. It’s a super choice for containers indoors or out and in landscapes. This one is sure to attract some attention.

  • Sabal Palmetto

    The Sabal Palmetto is a beautiful fan palm with glossy green leaves. It's drought, wind, cold and salt water spray tolerant.

NOTE :  About Buying Palms

If you are looking to buy palm trees of any kind then I would highly recommend purchasing through the Real Palm Tree Store.

They are a huge nursery based in Florida with connections to many quality growers.

Whether you are ordering from inside the United States, Canada or another part of the world-- ordering one tree for your landscape or many for a commercial project-- I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

Their customer service is second to none; all products are high quality and backed by a money back 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Make sure to visit real palm trees, ask questions and read the reviews before buying anywhere else.

Palm Tree Store

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There's some other articles you may find helpful:

Small and large varieties for landscapes and patios, as well as cold hardy kinds will give you a list of your choices depending on what type of tree you are looking for.

Indoor palms list the best ones to grow in you home or office year round.

Identification show you what parts of the tree to look at when determining a species.

Growing will define the plant hardiness zones, soil and lighting types, as well as other commonly used garden terminology.

Planting gives you best practices to get your tropical specimen off to the best start.

Fertilizing teaches how to read the label, what the numbers mean, calculating the correct amount and where to apply.

Care covers the basics required while pruning shows you what to prune and just how much.

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