Saturday, February 6, 2010

That Small Tree with those very Big Leaves

I am about to get burned up writing my thesis (which I have been doing for the past 2 months). So this afternoon when Ronald asked if I would want to come visit Mr. George Mendoza's garden I grabbed the opportunity to take that much needed break, much more when I learned Uly Ferreras was joining us (I had a few questions to ask Uly about some plants in my thesis).

When we arrived in Sir George's garden, immediately again I was in thesis mode (so much for the needed break) to see the fabulous specimens of Macaranga grandifolia near the gate. My pictures of takip-asin (some indigenous people use the very large leaf as food cover) were few so I immediately brought my camera out and started snapping at them.

Macaranga grandifolia is a small tree reaching a height of 7 meters. It is an endemic species according to Uly, only seen in Luzon and Mindoro. Yet Sir George mentioned that this plant has long been cultivated in places like Hawaii. In the Philippines only a few know the aesthetic value of this unique arborescent species.

A little anecdote - I have been complaining to both Ronald and Uly about writing my thesis and how I have been running out of choices to replace of all words - tree. They suggested arborescent species. Not even sure if I used it or spelled it right.


PinoyApache said...

This is a very common tree. I saw this kind in my many mountaineering sorties here in Cebu and the rest of the archipelago. One even grew in my backyard but my wife complained about its big leaves that interfere her drying laundry. Anyway, I love trees. Especially the endemic kind. We share the same passion and I just added your site into my blog. God bless!


Ben Vallejo said...

Our latest tree cover estimate of UP Diliman is 39% down from the 53% four years ago. While we did this is support our urban bird community data, we need to start the arrest of this decreasing trend now. BTW, there is a paho tree near the DMST building.

Ben Vallejo said...

I saw this tree in Bosoboso, Antipolo

metscaper said...

hello. thanks for the comments. i am glad to hear it is quite common, but there is the possibility that you might be talking about a related species, macaranga tanarius.

Wow. i would love to see a paho again. last paho tree i saw was small and it would be great to photograph another growing here in manila. where is DMST?

Bea said...

This is extensively used in other countries for reforestation. These are actually those "samak" leaves that are dried and used to make basi and sukang Iloko.

Wallum said...

Hi! This is my first time reading your blog, and it looks pretty good so far. Beautiful title photo :)
Yes, your use and spelling of 'arborescent species' is correct.
I am in Australia, and here we have Macaranga tanarius , which is like the M. grandifolia, but with smaller leaves. It is a common pioneer species of rainforest, and the only Aust. native Macaranga species. I had never seen a photo of M. grandifolia before; it is beautiful..such huge leaves! I stumbled across your site as I was searching for recipes using Macaranga leaves, as I know the Aust. Aboriginals used to wrap meat in them.

sky said...

I remember this too well as lining (and packaging as well) of banyeras of fish vendors in Baler.

This is a very nice blog, sir. I've been backreading your entries since I stumbled upon it to identify adwas (libas?) seedlings sent by my dad.

Btw, batchmate ko si Uly sa MaSci. Sya lang yata nag-botany sa batch namin.

Bangad Siblag said...

The dried samak
leaves are excellent to make basi.

Bangad Siblag said...

If your in Pangasinan Area I have the best basi in the world made of sugarcane juice and with the famous samak leaves Come and enjoy the native wine of old times and luckily it's still exist in my village I made it personally .

Dubioz Don said...

This actually sprouted by itself in my carport/garden:

Looks like a grandifolia not a tanarius.