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RAVENEA

Image of Ravenea

James Burghardt

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

RAVENEA

Plant Common Name

Palm

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Ravenea is a small genus of palms, all native to Madagascar and the Comoro islands. There are approximately 17-species each with a very different look and habitat preference.

The solitary trunks of Ravenea range from short to tall and thin to stout, and are usually lightly colored, tan or gray, and sometimes swollen at the base. They are topped with dense whorls of feather-like or pinnate leaves, often twisting at the tip and gracefully arching.

Ravenea are dioecious, which means male and female flowers exist on different plants. Both male and female flower stalks are short and held in the leaves. The fruit is a drupe, or stone fruit, and usually red.

All Ravenea are tropical and heat-loving. Trees may grow in dry or aquatic habitats, depending on the species. Light level preferences are also species dependent.

Many are rainforest palms. One of these, Ravenea rivularis (Majesty palm), is a popular landscape and interior plant. It also grows to a tall, feather-duster type specimen plant in moist or well-irrigated landscape. Some are suited for the understory. Ravenea hildebrandtii loves shady spots as does the short, sturdy Ravenea louvelii.

Most other Ravenea species are not commonly in cultivation the United States but are under evaluation in botanical and collector’s gardens. Many are endangered, threatened or of concern in their native habitats.

Characteristics

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Native To

    Madagascar

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Street Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes