Monday, October 1, 2012

The City and the Country Tea

Northwestern University Ecotourism Park and Botanic Garden in Laoag
The NUEBG tsaang-gubat
NUEBG tree house
Located at one corner of Northwestern University Ecotourism Park and Botanic Garden in Laoag City is a very nice and attractive specimen of Carmona retusa which they commonly call Fookien tea or tsaang-gubat. There is nothing unusual with the scene except that this plant is big and healthy.  But you would expect to see healthy specimens in the city as tsaang gubat is a known and popular garden plant.  It is much propagated in Tabang, Bulacan and sold as topiary in the shape of balls, cones and animals. 

The Carmona retusa was planted at a nice shaded spot, along a prominent pathway.  I am not certain where the NUEBG tsaang gubat came from, but I am sure it is given utmost care by the staff of the university, especially the botanic garden's superintendent, Michael Calaramo. As a result, it is tall and lush, with robust branches forming a compact crown. The leaves have a glimmer, as if they were sprayed with lacquer. It really is a handsome addition to any landscape.
Dwarfed forest of Burgos
The wild tsaang-gubat
About two hours away from Laoag is the craggy shores of Burgos town.  It is a windy part of Ilocos region so the vegetation are quite wind swept and naturally maintained low. Here another Carmona retusa grows at the other end of the spectrum. 

The Burgos tsaang-gubat might be a wild specimen.  It is low and gnarly, almost hugging the ground, trying to blend with the other dwarfed species growing on the rocky slopes. It is mixed with resilient shrubbery and weeds, including Phyllanthus, Tabernaemontana, Celtis and a lot more. The specimen here does not have a lush crown or the perfect foliage, which goes to show that a lot of natives do not actually grow in perfect conditions, but they do adapt and manage.        

1 comment:

Kirstz said...

We know that trees are very important in our life especially in our environment. I like this place very relaxing hopefully I can spend a tour here. Thanks.

Kirstz @ tree planting Philippines