I was just in Cabo San Lucas and saw these palms? everywhere, what are they and can they be grown here in the bay area?




Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, I have to admit, I sort of had a “blonde moment” and just couldn’t put a name to your plant for a bit… but it finally came to me and I sort of blurted it out at dinner last night… plant nerd alert.

It looks like it is a Ravenala madagascariensis or “Travelers Palm”, which is not a palm but is in the Streliziaceae family (Bird of paradise family). It is not really hardy enough to grow here… but if you have a protected spot you might be able to pull it off up against the house or in a courtyard. It can also be grown as house plant, but you sort of need a big space. I have seen it’s relative Strelitzia nicolai “Giant Bird of Paradise” which looks similar growing in Berkeley and SF.

Take care,