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Phenakospermum guyannense (Rich.) Endl. ex Miq.

Family Name: Strelitziaceae
Synonyms: Urania guyannense, Ravenala guyanensis
Common Name: South American Traveller's Palm
Full Sun Semi Shade Lots of Water Moderate Water Ornamental Flowers Herbaceous Plant


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Tropical South America
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a palm-like plant with a pseudostem growing up about 7 to 8 m tall.
Foliage Its leaves are green and large, resembling those of bananas. Leaves are arranged in a fan-like shape.
Flowers Its massive inflorescence is erect, growing up to one-third the length of the plant. The boat-like bracts are green to yellow-green, alternately arranged along the rachis. Each bract hold up to 25 small creamy-colored flowers. The individual flower emerges from the bract before sunset and are receptive for only on night.
Fruits Its fruits are capsules, enclosing numerous seeds with orange arils.
Associated Fauna In its native habitat, bats from the genus Phyllostomus have been recorded to visit the flowers.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Vertebrates (Bat))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water, Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Division


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Green
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Seed Colour(s) Black
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)

Image Repository



Master ID 1036
Species ID 2329
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.