Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Overdue Post and the Interesting Mistletoe

The mistletoe atop a lanzones tree in a house in Laguna
I actually thought of going back to blogging because last December, I went on a road trip with Mam Ime Sarmieno, botanist Ulysses Ferreras and some other companions to visit a Laguna farm.  Whenever there is an invite for a trip and I learn Ulysses will be joining, I try to as much go because it is always botanically enlightening and rewarding.  The joy is vicarious on us his companions, whenever he spots something  exciting. On this trip he found plants which aroused his interest but I would probably blog about that in another time. 

Asked the household for a branch  to examine
What I wanted to blog about last was on Uly's favorite, the native mistletoes.  I had thought that blogging about it in December was timely and appropriate since mistletoes are popularly associated  with Christmas.  But that did not happen and I am writing about the mistletoe after the new year.  Better a bit late than never at all.

We took pictures of the flowers
Uly always keeps a sharp eye out for mistletoes because they are not easy to spot.  They grow parasitic, sometimes high up on a tree.  Since we were in Laguna, the widespread species, Scurula atropurpurea, commonly preys on domesticated lanzones trees.  Once we entered lanzones country it did not take long for us to hear Uly exclaiming 'ayun meron'. And indeed the mistletoe was growing about a few meters above, on the branch of a medium sized lanzones tree found in a residential backyard. Looking at an another tree, he again spotted specimen, this time with flowers. It was high up the orchard tree and hard to photograph. We asked permission from the homeowners to get a flower and they said yes. One of our companions nimbly made his way up the lanzones branches to cut a flower stem to for us to closely examine and picture.

Uly always happy to see a mistletoe in flower
Non-remarkable flowers
The mistletoe in my opinion is not remarkable.  It does not appear to have any aesthetic appeal.  The flowers appear simple.  It will not grow in any other garden unless you have the host tree, in this case the lanzones. Thus it is rendered ornamentally useless

What probably amazes Uly is the habit and the diversity of the species native to the Philippines.  He mentioned a few other genera which now escapes my memory. I would probably learn more about them when I run into our friendly neighborhood botanist again in a future trip.

Everytime and everywhere he seem to find the romantic mistletoes.  Makes me wonder if he is looking for them or they keep on finding him (peace, Uly, hehehe).    But it is always intriguing to know that mistletoes do grow native around the diverse landscapes of the Philippines. They even grow on domesticated non-native trees like the lanzones just to survive. With Uly's zest for mistletoes we expect to learn more about them in his future researches.  

2 comments:

trinket said...

i also love looking for mistletoe! thanks for introducing me to another species, the one i'm most familiar with has bright red/pink flowers & i've seen it a lot while birding. ( ihope you don't mind the link: http://katrinket.blogspot.com/search/label/mistletoe)

marry gamboa said...

WATCH PINOY TV HERE IN HD CLICK HERE

WATCH FULL MOVIE CLICK HERE

WATCH PINOY TV LIVE CLICK HERE

LIKE US ON NEW FB PINOY HD MOVIE UPDATE