<botany> A genus of plants related to the banana.

Ravenala Madagascariensis, the principal species, is an unbranched tree with immense oarlike leaves growing alternately from two sides of the stem. The sheathing bases of the leafstalks collect and retain rain water, which flows freely when they are pierced with a knife, whence the plant is called traveller's tree.

Origin: Malagasy.

(01 Mar 1998)

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