Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bagawak Flower Season

I was contacted by Wendy Regalado (Philippine Horticultural Society President) last week asking if I could again give a tree forum on the Annual Phil Hort Show, this time at the Manila Seedling Bank (which I agreed to do scheduled on Feb. 3 at 3pm). Before she ended the call, she told me that her bagawaks (Clerodendrum quadriloculare, Leonard Co corrected me about the misnomer in its scientific name - not quadriculare) were already reaping seedlings. I just remembered that it is indeed the season for bagawaks to flower. Some also call it Pebrero, due to the fact that it flowers fully in about February. This native shrub of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, has one of the most impressive flower displays among our native flora. Plus, the bagawak has thick green leaves and reddish undersides, makes it a very attractive addition to any garden.

The problem is bagawaks are still not popular as a garden plant. I could only count the gardens I have visited which had this Clerodendrum in its collection, mostly in posh subdivisions. If you would want to see the spectacular starbursts of flowers the nearest i could think of are the shops selling them in Manila Seedling Bank. There are also full grown specimens growing in UP Los Banos, Forestry Department.

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