Telling the difference between traveler palm and white BOP

tropicallvr(11)July 16, 2008

I'm wanting to buy a Traveler palm, but I can hardly tell the difference between them and the giant white bird of paradise. Is there anyway to tell the difference at a 5 gallon size, the nursery people around here aren't that relyable to distinguish them, but they are both pretty common around this area I live(not in my profile).


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Traveler's palm tend to grow in one fan-like plane. This characteristic even distinguishes it from the Giant Bird at a young stage (5 gallon size). Usually, outside of quite tropical areas, it's the Giant Bird that tends to be sold as a
relatively easy houseplant. Are Traveler's actually hardy on the north coast of California?! Was under the distinct impression that they are more tender than Strelitzia (BOP)species. I'll go out later and see if I can give you a better comparison by looking at my own plants. My Traveler's is in a 5 gallon and the bird in a ten gallon or so.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 11:48AM
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Thanks njoasis- I still can't tell the difference when they are coming up as pups next, to the parent, but I'll go and check again around the neighborhood to see again.
I'm not on the north coast any longer, just haven't updated my profile.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:43PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

I don't know what difference there is at the five gallon size, but i wouldn't buy one from someone who doesn't know either! lol. I'm sure there are plenty of nurseries around who sell them. Get the phone book and give local nurseries a call, and ask them for the travelers palm throught its scientific name (ravenala madagascarensis). Even if they don't have one in stock, they may be able to get one for you.

njoasis, the west coast is very mild, even up to the Canadian border. For northern Cal, Oregon and Washington, the "mild" effect is only right along the coast though, and diminished as you go inland. People in Eureka are able to grow Draceanas Fragans, Phoenix Canariensis, Washingtonia Robusta, Norfolk Island Pine, Strelitzias, Syagrus Romanzoffiana, Ensete Ventricosa, all without protection. I will admit though, that because they are plagued with never-ending fog, and lack the heat even in summer, everything grows painfully slow, and if damaged, takes forever to recover.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:58PM
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I understand the West coast has mild winters by Eastern standards, but Travelers want TROPICAL conditions to excel and as mild as S.Francisco or Eureka or Vancouver may be, they ain't tropical!--Or has GW been operating on the left coast faster than the right.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 6:07PM
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What's with you guys? I said on both posts that I haven't updated my profile, and I don't live in California any longer, and it's gets turned into to "left coast" BS. Whatever, I'll figure it out.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 10:22PM
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Geez, and I thought the west coast was the mellow coast. Guess we know why you moved!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 6:38AM
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harrellpn(San Antonio,TX)


My suggestion is the travelers palm leaves are more like a banana tree, and the BOPv leaves look like large Spath (closet plant) Look them both up on google, Dave's garden usually has some great pictures. I have used that as a reference before. I wish I could have a trvelers palm here where I live darn it!!!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 4:12AM
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Tropicallvr why didn't you just say where ya live; tropical livers should have some aloha. and you kind of came off in your post as very angry. People are on here to share and help.

Anyway I just tried to take a couple pups off a big Travelers. Does anybody know how much of the part that joins to the parent needs to be taken with the pup? I'm hopin I got enough to make the pup grow.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 10:58PM
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I've never seen a Travelers in person-seen a jillion GBOP.From looking over a few internet photos of very young Travelers they seem to have smoother,flatter leaves and that more distinctive flat plane growth is there also.In strong light the bases can be golden.GBOP petioles never turn golden. BUT,I can also see that if grown in weaklight and underwatered it can be very,very, hard to tell from GBOP. I would think also the price would be a sharp difference and might be the real tip off.
Tell me,how ya going to grow that near Eureka???'s too cold and fog.. joking!!
I know your in old Meheaco where it will grow like a weed.And not the kind of weed grown on the north coast...

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 9:53PM
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