They are small to large palms, with solitary, robust grey stems, swollen at base and gradually tapering upward. The species vary greatly in size, with R. hildebrandtii and R. nana only reaching 4 m, while R. robustior and R. sambiranensis both reach 30 m. The leaves are up to 2-5 m long, pinnately compound, reduplicate, erect at first then arching, twisted near the apex; with numerous crowded narrow ribbed leaflets. The inflorescence is short, borne among the leaves; the fruit is a red drupe.
Ravenea rivularis (Majesty Palm) is widely cultivated in subtropical regions. It is an adaptable palm that looks somewhat similar to the ever popular Queen palm. It is a very large palm with a large, untidy crown. It has symmetrical leaves and develops an attractive swollen base of the trunk. Majesty palm prefer full sun and plenty of water to ensure rapid growth. It is tolerant of different soil types. Propagation is by seeds, which germinate in 2–3 months.
Despite being sold often as a houseplant, usually at a very low price, Majesty palms do not make good indoor plants.
- 1 cm