The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Ravenala madagascariensis), a treelike plant of the family Musaceae. The trunk reaches a maximum height of 10 m; the leaves, split to the central vein into lobes, are large and placed fanlike. Water accumulates in the long sheath of the leaves and is sometimes used for drinking (hence the name). The flowers, gathered into spicate inflorescences, are pollinated by birds. The fruit is a berry shaped like a cucumber. The traveler’s-tree is indigenous to the islands of Madagascar and Réunion.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.