Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Makiling Bounty

White lauan seeds
I was with some botanists and members of PNPCSI last weekend and we toured areas around the UPLB campus.  Some of the trees were in fruit and we managed to see some seeds which were lying around on the ground.  I took pictures of them for documentation.

Round tamayuan seeds
Seed no. 1 is tamayuan or Strombosia philippinensis.  This is a shrub to a small tree and appears to be abundant in the campus and Mt. Makiling.  I got the seeds under a tabon-tabon tree, but there were no tamayuan trees in the vicinity.  Dennis Pulan and Pat Malabrigo said that the fruits of tamayuan are fondly eaten by bats, which is probably why we found the seeds away from any tamayuan tree as they were carried out by the bats and deposited there.  Shows you how effective animals are as seed dispersal agents.

Tambalaw seeds
Seed no. 2 is from a nutmeg.  There are a lot of species of nutmegs in the Philippines and they are distributed in several genera including Myristica and Knema.  The nutmeg that I picked up is said to be from Knema glomerata or tambalaw.  The nutmeg spice is derived from the seeds of these nutmeg trees.  So what I pictured is actually priced for its flavor.  But hopefully these particular nuts would not be grind down to bits but rather grow into new nutmeg trees.  

Germinating seeds of white lauan
Seed no 3 is from the famous white lauan or Shorea contorta.  White lauan is one of the members of the dipterocarp family which is known to be the Philippine mahoganies.  The unique seeds have wings which help it glide under the tall tree canopies and establish themselves far from the mother tree.  Dipterocarp seeds should be grown in moist and shaded areas to mimic the rainforest undergrowth.  Seedlings should be shelterd from direct sunlight to grow healthy and strong.  If it survives the competition with other forest trees, it will eventually overtake any other species and dominate the forest canopy, hovering over the crowns of other trees.

Pangnan acorns
Seed no. 4  is from a native tree species related to the famous oaks of the temperate countries.  This is pangnan or Lithocarpus sulitii.  The seeds resemble the iconic acorn which most cartoon squirrels and chipmunks tuck into their winter stash. I previously tried to plant seeds of this species before in Metro Manila and some managed to germinate.  But eventually I neglected the seedlings and they eventually wilted.  I hope these seeds would germinate and not end with the same fate as my Manila seedlings. 

I wish that pangnan trees and the other 3 species would eventually be introduced into the Diliman campus and the rest of Manila.  

1 comment:

Plant Chaser said...

In the morning, I sometimes find seeds in our backyard and can't figure out where they came from or what they are. Next time, I'll try to remember to take pictures to show you.