Friday, April 1, 2011

The Palawan Cherry Dilemma in Palawan

The Palawan cherries are again in bloom! I have seen it flower in Manila Seedling bank for how many years back. So when I finally got to see them in bloom right smack in Palawan, it was double excitement. As soon as our van drove out of the airport driveway, the pink-flowered trees appeared one by one, lining the main avenue going to the city center. The trees were jampacked with the heaping clusters of flowers which most of the time over power whatever leaf remnants there were present.

But seeing more than just one specimen in Palawan, I perceive there are more than just one plant considered by residents as the balayong, or Palawan cherry. There are at least two varieties. In the past week that I was in Puerto Princesa and the succeeding towns up north, I encountered two types of trees which locals call the local cherry. One is similar to trees lining Manila Seedling. Another had a darker shade of pink. But both are heavily blossoming at this very moment.

I am not yet sure which of the two is Cassia x Palawan cherry or Cassia nodosa, both of which are the pinned botanical names of the balayong. I am also not certain if they are pure species or just cultivars. It is even argued if the balayong is in fact a native tree in Palawan. The late Leonard Co even did not consider balayong native to Palawan. Yes, there are lots of the tree present in Palawan mainland. But the individuals I saw were growing mostly in inhabited places. There were also some growing amidst wooded areas but also very proximic to public roadways. I asked one local if the trees in their area were natural, he said most of them were planted when they paved the main highway. They are even sometimes dispersed with mahoganies and knife acacias which also are truly non-natives of Palawan and the Philippines.

The first five photos are of Palawan cherry suspect no 1. The last 3 photos are of suspect no. 2. Both are very fine landscape specimens, may it be in Palawan or any other city. Just have to make sure that if it is not native it will not creep into the ecology of our fragile forests and disrupt its balance.

10 comments:

Andrea said...

Hi, haven't been to El Nido too, though my friends have been visiting a few times. May i request you to please look at my previous post if it is really the Cassia nodosa? That was the first time i saw this tree flowering, found it in Siquijor. Thanks. http://abagillon.blogspot.com/2011/03/cherry-blossom-too.html

metscaper said...

That looks like the seedling bank Palawan cherry, probably Cassia x Palawan Cherry.

Andrea said...

There is also a flowering tree like this occupying the most important place in front of the Agricultural Training Institute, Quezon Memorial Circle. If you happen to pass by that, can you see if it's the Cassia X Palawan Cherry, Palawan Cherry, or Casia nodosa? My post which i saw in Siquijor has bigger flowers and more white than here at the ATI. I asked Enrico Flor about you,he is my friend. Thanks.

Edd Lasala said...

Hi, I'm from Cebu. Do you know anyone from Cebu who are selling Palawan Cherry Seedlings or Seed? If not how can I have one? I really like the Palawan Cherry.

Thanks

Andrea said...

This is for Edd Lasala's question, which i saw in my feeds earlier than metscaper's reply. I have a pod with me here in QC for the taking, as I picked up some seeds few months earlier. If you happen to be in Manila drop by our office and i will give it to you, the whole pod!

metscaper said...

I have a post titled FINDING IN CEBU which you could search by typing the said words in the search feature of my blog. One of the commentors said that he has a nursery of native plants and he gave his contact number. I am pretty much sure he has Palawan cherry.

mujacko2002 said...

Mabuhay!

hi there! First and foremost, napakagandang basahin ng mga blogs mo tungkol sa mga Philippine endemic plants. I am more confident na talagang biniyayaan ang bansa natin ng mga halamang wala sa ibang bansa. Tapos, i live in Cavite and sometimes visit MSB and on Sundays Centris, may mabibilhan ba doon ng Palawan Cherry? Can it thrive in a Cavite environment? I thank you in advance for any response. Kudos!!!!

metscaper said...

They have Palawan cherry in MSB.

Miss Galaxy said...

I bought a seedling from a nursery in Laguna. My lawn is really small but i just love this tree. Can it possibly survive in a container? I'm planning to bonsai.

Helene said...

hello po. Ako c Helen Herold nakatira ngaun sa Germany..may nabili po akong lupa sa Catanduanes (beach area) ano po bang puno ang pweding tumubo sa buhangin(sweet water) na ang bulaklak ay dinadapuan ng bubuyog,,plan ko pong mag bee keeping in future..salamat po.