Friday, February 4, 2011

Why Some Plants are Safer to Remain Unknown

There is a drawback in promoting Philippine native plants for mainstream landscape use. We Filipinos do not know how to responsibly harness these wonders growing in our forests. In our need to earn a quick buck, we forget that sometimes we take too much advantage of the environment. In terms of plants, when poachers learn that there is a demand for a particular plant find in the ornamental trade, the poor species is over-collected, mindless of the species' extinction in its natural habitat.

This morning I had the privilege of seeing one of the most beautiful Schefflera, and was astounded to learn it is a Philippine species. A little research, I found out that it is not only a Philippine native but endemic. From what I know is that a few specimens are already found in cultivation and from what I have heard, it is very much possible to propagate. A Eureka moment (quoted from Ronald Achacoso) is that in a few minutes of typing in my computer, I learned the exact botanic name of this species, but also attached is the distribution range. Now it is a dilemma if I would even mention the exact botanic name so as not to divulge where to get it, ultimately to protect the existence of this plant. Sometimes it is advantageous for a plant to remain undescribed or unknown to the public so just to protect it from over collection in the wild. But then again some of these plants may just as well vanish from the forest because of destruction of its habitat. I will at least post one picture of the plant for posterity, for record that there is such a plant coming from our forests. May it become common in both landscape and in its native range, but hopefully the wild specimens of this species may remain in its proper place - under the canopy of the bigger trees of the rainforest.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Now that you said and posted it, anything that will happen to your newfound plant will be your fault. hahaha! I hope this very post will not preempt its fate as you just envisioned.