Monday, April 8, 2013

The Wild Creeper

Pundakit shore
Trees with crawling creepers
Memecylon covered up with Quisqualis
Lots of flowers
For a long time I have been asking around if Rangoon creeper or Quisqualis indica is native to the Philippines. For years  I have been getting different answers.  But recently I got to ask my botanist friend Ulysses Ferreras if the plant is indeed natve.  He said yes.  I believe him.

Flower detail
The first time I saw Quisqualis indica or niyog-niyogan (as called by Pinoys), it was sold as an ornamental.  So when I encountered it again growing wild in a creek in Cavite, I thought it was introduced. Then I saw it again near a waterfall in Ilocos.

Close up of vine spray
Today I got to see it again growing wild on trees in the coastal areas of Pundakit in Zambales.  It anchored itself on several Barringtonia and Memecylon trees.  Almost half of the trees in that part of the beach had Quisqualis growing on them.  I wonder if the area becomes fragrant with the overlapping smell of Barringtona and the Quisqualis.     

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