Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flowering Natives on an Accidental Detour

Ronald Achacoso solicited 2 specimens of Phoenix loureiroi from artist Popo San Pascual who is based in Tagaytay. The same company of Ronald, Anthony, Ernie and hitchhiker me headed down south on a Saturday morning to pick it up. SLEX Traffic was not bad at all that day, so much so that we missed our Sta Rosa exit and ended up at the Canlubang end. We decided to make the mistake a fruitful one and made a detour to the plant shops of Los Banos before following our intended course towards Tagaytay.

In Los Banos we found 2 flowering plants that could be found in the forests of Luzon. One is tagpo or Ardisia squamulosa. I have seen this plant before growing wild in the foothills of Zambales. This is taller relative of Ardisia crenata or money plant, but instead of bearing bright red berries, it has drab colored ones. But its prolific pink to lilac flowers are very attractive.

The second plant is another common species which is locally called pure-tutungaw. This is Melastoma malabathricum, a showy plant related to the Medinillas. The big flowers range from dark pink to deep violet in color. But despite the inflorescence display, both A. squamolosa and M. malabathricum are not yet popular garden plants. So it is quite refreshing to know that they are however are becoming available in the garden shops of Laguna. I hope we would see them more in new garden developments in the metro.

1 comment:

sky said...

I thought all along this was *the* money tree. I have this at home and threw out the seedlings because I thought it was invasive, and gave away most of them to our neighbors. Native pala ito. Will definitely cultivate this. Now I know the name of another unknown plant that we have at home. Thanks sir!