Traveller's Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis)
Looking like a giant fan, this Ravenala madagascariensis, commonly known as the travellers palm, waves at every visitor, like me, at the Belize International Airport. When I saw it, I had to take its picture. According to a guy we met in Belize, who eventually became our tour guide to Xunantunich the plant holds rain water in the folds of the leaf base and the flower bracts. Since the leaves are huge, they can hold up to a quart of water per leaf. Back in those days when bottled water was not invented, the travellers palm was a natural source of water for thirsty travellers. That is the story behind its name. I am assuming, however, that they were source of emergency water when they are still small plants. It would be very inconvenient to chop down a huge tree just to get a drink.