Monday, April 18, 2011

The Jade Vine on Steroids

My friend, Cathe Nadal, just posted pictures of our field trip to Tagaytay. It reminded me that I have not posted any of my own pictures of the trip, which was already a month ago. I chaperoned with Cathe, Ibay and Nappy the LArch 19 class on their immersion cum exam excursion to the Tall Lake rim. We visited the higher elevation landscapes of Sonya's Garden, Calle Ruega and Nuvali. The students got to feast their eyes on the more colorful plants which do well in the cooler climates of higher elevations, a luxury lowland Manila do not enjoy. Courtesy of Ma'am Cathe, they also got to sketch them.

Flowers were everywhere, probably because it was also the blooming season for most tropical plants. Species seem to have a more vigorous growth in the highlands enjoying the good temperature and moisture. Most plants seemed to be in steroids especially the vines, which had profuse flowers. One plant which is proudly Pinoy was in full display mode, which rarely does so in lower altitudes like in Metro Manila. Too bad because it has such unique pendant inflorescence which is bluish green, which is a rare color in most flowers. This is tayabak or Strongylodon macrobotrys, the famed Philippine-endemic jade vine.

I have seen jade vines before but have not seen specimens with more than 3 flower clumps. The sprays of jade sickle-shaped blooms are impressive enough as it is, but to see a whole trellis full of them wa really spectacular. The plants in both Sonya's Garden and Calle Ruega were in their element that day, superbly providing the already awesome landscape with an added wow factor. For me, coming to the trip was already worth the effort just seeing the jade vines. But knowing these Philippine forest marvels are already out there for people to cherish and enjoy was elation to the max!

4 comments:

Andrea said...

I heard there is also a red 'jade vine', do you have photos of them too? There are orangy flowers at the back of your green, what are they. BTW, the jade vine in UPLB Old Agronomy Bldg is also flowering. It is the replacement planting for the very old vine which already died.

metscaper said...

The red jade vine is probably what you call mucuna benettii or new guinea creeper. This is not native.

Adam Thomas said...

Buy Anabolic Steroids.. I d'nt know about this jade wine...

Blackdove said...

Andrea, I think the the "orangy flowers at the back.." are Thunbergia mysorensis (Mysore Clock Vine, Brick and Butter vine, Doll Shoes vine). They are actually red and yellow.