March 18, 2022

LIST: 7 Unique Flowers in the Philippines

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  • The Philippines is one of the 18 mega-biodiverse countries in the world, which include China, India, and the United States of America. As of press time, our country has over 10,000 varieties of vascular plants. You can find them anywhere in the country—in gardens, shops, forests, and open fields. So to further highlight this, we’re highlighting some of the most beautiful flowers in the Pearl of the Orient Sea.

    Unique Flowers in the Philippines

    Sampaguita (Jasminum sambac)  

    Sampaguita/IMAGE from National Museum of the Philippines 

    In 1934, Governor-General Frank Murphy declared Sampaguita as the national flower of the Philippines. But did you know that this flower isn’t endemic in our country? In fact, according to its historical origin, Sampaguita was introduced in the country for ornament purposes and served as the main ingredient to make perfume because of its sweet smell during the colonial period.

    However, through time, Sampaguita has been associated as an offering solely for saints and religious matters. Simply because of its white appearance that symbolizes purity, fidelity, and hope.

    Rafflesia  (Rafflesia consueloae)

    Rafflesia/IMAGE from Wikipedia

    Known to be the largest flower on earth, Rafflesia is a one-of-a-kind flora. The largest species can be found in Indonesia and it’s called Rafflesia arnoldii. In the report posted by the Library Congress, Rafflesia arnoldii can grow up to three feet across and weigh up to 15 pounds. Meanwhile, the Philippines recently discovered our very own Rafflesia flower that is endemic in the country, it’s called Rafflesia consueloae. With an average diameter of 9.73 centimeters, a team of UP biologists discovered the Rafflesia consueloae near the Pantabangan Masiway Hydroelectric Power Plant (PMHEP) in Nueva Ecjia. According to their research, our Rafflesia consueloae holds the record as the smallest flower among its species. They confirmed so far that the flower only blooms within the two sites in the Pantabangan watershed area.

    The team also added that our Rafflesia flower has been declared critically endangered and currently working to protect the said flower.

    Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) 

    Gumamela/IMAGE from Wikimedia 

    Rose Mallow or commonly known as Gumamela has been part of  Filipino kids growing up as it was used as a hibiscus bubble or pabula to play with. As a matter of fact, the Gumamela flowers are easy to find in many areas and places such as theme parks, gardens, homes, etc. The Gumamela flower only requires low maintenance care yet it brings a great ambiance wherever and whenever it blooms. The Gumamela flowers come in different colors too. It has red, pink, yellow, magenta, and even intermediate colors. To some extent, some Feng Shui experts believe and recommend putting Gumamela flowers on one’s property to bring harmony and balance within the household.

    Waling-waling (Vanda sanderiana)

    Waling-waling/IMAGE from Wikipedia

    Hailed as the Queen of Philippine Orchids/Flowers, the Waling-waling or Vanda sanderiana has been an all-time favorite whether as a garland, perfume, or as a simple ornament at home. Its beautiful flower releases an effervescent smell when it blooms which brings the natural sweet scent of nature. In 2013, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) welcomed the petition to declare Waling-waling as the National Flower of the Philippines instead of Sampaguita because the Waling-waling flower is endemic to the island of Mindanao, where the indigenous Bagobo tribes worship it as a deity while Sampaguita was only adopted flower in our country.

    Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) 

    With enormous, meter-long spikes of brilliant turquoise blooms hanging from the scrambling stems every summer season, the Philippine Jade Vine is one of the unique flowers in the Philippines. This endemic plant attracts tropical bats for pollination, however, due to deforestation in the country the Philippine Jade Vine has joined the list of critically endangered species.

    Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata)

    Ylang-ylang/IMAGE from Wikipedia

    Ylang-ylang or ilang-ilang is a yellow, star-shaped flower that grows on the Cananga tree (Cananga odorata). The Ylang-ylang means flowers of flowers where the tree grows to have a herb of Ylang-ylang flower. This flora dominates the oil and perfume industry as it serves as a great source of deep, aromatic with slightly sweet, earthy, green, and floral notes.

    Rose Grape (Medinilla magnifica)

    Rose Grape/IMAGE from Wikipedia

    Rose Grape or Pink Lantern is an endemic species of orchid in the Philippines. It is an epiphytic tropical evergreen shrub that grows to 8’ tall in its native habitat. The flower is like a beautiful strand of small pink clusters attached to large pink bracts sheltered by its curved leaves. You can find Rose Grape flowers within Luzon area, Mindanao, Mindoro, Negros and Panay. As a tropical plant, it needs high humidity and a warm climate in order to grow fully.

    Source: National Museum of the Philippines, Library of Council, University of the Philippines, Garden Design, Britannica, Official Gazette, Living RainforestProject Noah

    Written by Cedie Salido

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