A Distinctive Fan Shape Tree


Among the banana trees family, besides the banana trees itself, there is a type of the trees that catches my attention. In my homeland, this tree is called as the Fan Banana tree, because it looks like a fan.

The real name is very beautiful, -as impressive as its shape-, Ravenala madagascariensis. From the name, we know that this tree originates from Madagascar, an island that is located at the east side of Africa continent. The info from Wikipedia surprises me. The largest tree of this type is known as Bemavo. Like a giant tree, its height can reach 30 meters, with a tree trunk’s thickness that can reach 60 cm. Surely, the most amazing is the leaves, which can reach 20-30 leaves to form a fan shape that can reach up to 11 meters from the one side to another! Amazing, isn’t it?

Similar to other tropical countries, it’s common to see Ravenala madagascariensis in Cambodia. At least, people can see it around the tourist destinations.

National Museum.

In my first visit to Cambodia a decade ago, I saw it in front of the main door of National Museum of Cambodia, which is located at Preah Ang Eng St. (13), Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I could not ignore the tree. The wonderful shape of it and the colour made a contrast to the terracota colour of the Museum building.

The fan-shape tree in the courtyard of National Museum

I wonder whether a tourist can overlook this tree when he or she visits the Museum, since it’s too eye-catching.

Royal Palace

The other Ravenala trees that I saw in Cambodia were in the courtyard of Royal Palace. At least, there were two Ravenala trees there. One was located between Throne Hall and Hor Samran Phirun (originally was built as Royal waiting area where the King waits to mount an elephant for Royal Processions and also to house musical instruments, but now it’s housing a display of gifts from foreign heads of state). The other Ravenala was located at the other side of Throne Hall, it’s between Throne Hall and Hor Samrith Vimean (also known as the Bronze Palace, a repository for Royal Regalia and attributes, now becoming the place to display some Royal Regalia and the costumes on the ground floor)

Have you ever noticed this beautiful Ravenala madagascariensis when visiting Royal Palace?

The other place where I saw Ravenala madagascariensis was in the Phnom Penh International Airport. I did not know why I took a picture on it. Perhaps, my eyes could not ignore the beautiful distinctive fan-shape of it. We could see it just before entering the main gate of the Airport.

And I think of it. We can see it in the courtyard of National Museum, Royal Palace and Phnom Penh International Airport. It’s all the places most tourists come for a visit. Is it coincidence? 😀

Do you know other places in Cambodia that you have seen the beautiful Ravenala madagascariensis trees?


This post was written in response to the weekly challenge from Celina’s Blog, Srei’s Notes, Cerita Riyanti, and also A Rhyme In My Heart, -similar to the old Weekly Photo Challenge from WordPress-, which is the 36th week of 2020 has the theme of Tree, so we are encouraged ourselves to write articles weekly. If you are interested to take part in this challenge, we welcome you… and of course we will be very happy!

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