Thursday, November 27, 2008

Finding Pandans in the Montane Luisiana, Laguna

A preconceived notion of mine is that Pandanus is a lowland genus. I have seen beaches lined with a lot of specimens, from Zambales, Subic to Bataan, to Batangas and Palawan. So when we went up the Banahaw area to Lucban, I was surprised when Pinky Gendrano told us of an alternate route to Quezon lined with tall pandans. The said pandans were a source of cottage industries around the Laguna and Quezon area, weaving the leaves into banigs, sombreros, tampipis, bags, etc.

So after attending the Pahiyas activities last May we set off to the said Luisiana route to look for the pandans, and they were not that hard to find. Adding to the beauty of the view, the highway was lined with tall trees but not completely hiding the thick line of the tall pandans. The clumps of the plant are almost endless. I could not resist to get out of our vehicle to stand near a good group of the pandans. Similar pandan groves stretch from halfway from Lucban to Luisiana upto the next town of Cavinti. In Cavinti proper some of the houses hang dry the leaves to prepare for weaving into the different products.

In my trip to Coron I have learned of pandan dagat, which is either or Pandanus tectorius or Pandanus odoratissimus. Coron natives do the same with leaves, woven into mats or banigs. The Luisiana pandan is much bigger than the beach varieties I previously saw. I consulted my images of the pandan with PNPC's Leonard Co and he suspects this to be karagumoy or Pandanus simplex. Karagumoy is supposed to be widespread in Luzon up to Bicol. The fruits are eaten by the lone monitor lizard - bayawak species that eat plants in Polilio Island, off coast of Quezon Province.


marissa lizares said...

very nice blog..thank you

Alma Gamil said...

These trees are Pandanus utilissimus. Pandanus simplex is smaller. It is good that you are standing in front of those massive pandans. I am from Bulusan, Sorsogon a weaving community specializing in karagumoy weaving. Photos of karagumoy, fruiting and juveniles are in my flickr account: or maybe they are one species or a sub species of either one of them. The bulletin (1913) Philippine Craftsman however considered them as separate species.

Alma Gamil said...

The updated and revised Pandanaceae family list from the eminent botanist, Leonardo Co (Co's digitalFlora of the Philippines) provided the answer to my query whether Pandanus utilissimus is a subspecies of Pandanus simplex, known locally as karagumoy. In the list, these two pandans are considered as one species. May I ask, again, if these two pandans with specific traits of its own can be hybridized? The karagumoy has been cultivated here (Bulusan, Sorsogon) for a long time. Thank you.

metscaper said...

Sorry, I do not know. But I have seen specimens of karagumoi in sorsogon and they are indeed smaller than the ones in Luisiana. But the fruits look the same. It was Leonard who identified my pictures.