Editorial Team Compiled and written by:
Imelda P. Sarmiento Emiliano D. Sotalbo
Raymundo B. Villanueva
Design and Layout Artist
Nanie S. Gonzales
Mina Jacosalem Neptune Morales Marco Ortiz
Norberto R. Bautista Arthur Glenn A. Umali
Arceli M. Tungol
Anthony T. Arbias Nestor A. Bartolome Nellie Go Chiu Roberto Coronel, Ph.D Christopher Espino Ulysses F. Ferreras Patrick Andrew E. Gozon Alex Loinaz Lorenz G. Palec Elena S.Z. Sarmiento Imelda P. Sarmiento Reynaldo Sioson Emiliano D. Sotalbo George Yao The Archives of the late LEONARD L. CO.
Edgardo D. Gomez, Ph.D
Elizabeth R. Locsin
Guide to the Washington SyCip Garden of Native Trees
University of the Philippines Diliman Campus Quezon City
Copyright ÂŠ2013 by Bridgebury Realty Corporation 32/F Zuellig Building Makati Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati City and Hortica Filipina Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the copyright owners. All images and photographs in this book have been reproduced and manipulated with the knowledge and prior consent of the illustrators and photographers concerned and no responsibility is accepted by producer, publishers, or printer for any infringement of copyright or otherwise. Every effort has been made to ensure that credits accurately comply with the information supplied. ISBN: 978-971-95694-0-4 Published by Bridgebury Realty Corporation (Zuellig Building) and Hortica Filipina Foundation, Inc.
To Washington SyCip on his 92nd birthday and A La Juventud Filipina
June 30, 2013
WASHINGTON Z. SYCIP
r. Washington SyCip is founder of SGV, the Philippines largest professional services firm. He is one of the founders and Chairman Emeritus of the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines. He is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University, Honorary Chairman of the Euro-Asia Centre of INSEAD in Fountainbleau (France) and Honorary Life Trustee of the Asia Society (New York). He is on the board of many major Asian and international companies. Mr. SyCip served as President of the International Federation of Accountants (1982-1985), member of the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations (1995-2010), Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Conference Board (2000-2004), Chairman of the Asia Pacific Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange (1997-2004), and board member of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and
International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania (1983-2000). He also served on the international boards of the American International Group, AT&T, Australia & New Zealand Bank, Caterpillar, The Chase Manhattan Bank, Owens-Illinois, Pacific Dunlop and United Technologies Corporation among others. Mr. SyCip earned a BSc and an MScin commerce with highest honors from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. Soon after passing the CPA exam at age 18, he went to Columbia University in New York for post-graduate studies. After passing the oral examination for his PhD, his dissertation was interrupted by World War II. He served with the Philippine Regiment of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Air Force in the China-Burma-India Theatre. He received numerous academic titles: Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) by both the University of Melbourne and the University of the Philippines, Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) by both the Ateneo de Manila University and Angeles University Foundation in the Philippines, Doctor of Philosophy in Financial Management by De La Salle University, Accounting Education by the University of Santo Tomas, Science (Management) and the University Medal of Honor by Holy Angel University. Mr. SyCip also received many international awards and citations, such as the Lifetime Achievement by Columbia Business School; the Order of Lakandula (Rank of Grand Cross) and the Philippine Legion of Honor (Degree of Commander), both conferred by the Philippine government; the 1992 Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding; the Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Austria; Officer First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star awarded by H.M. the Washington SyCip with Daniel Zuellig (left), Director King of Sweden; and the of Bridgebury Realty Corporation and Dr. Caesar A. Officerâ€™s Cross of the Order Saloma, Chancellor of U.P. Diliman during the ground of Merit (Verdienstkreuz 1. breaking of the Washington SyCip Garden of Native Klasse) of the Republic of Trees. The project started in April 2012 and was inaugurated in July 2013. Germany. VII
his guidebook to the trees planted in the Washington SyCip Garden of Native trees on the campus of the University of the Philippines in Diliman is part of a generous donation given by the Zuellig Group in honor of Washington SyCip. The purpose of this book is to help secondary school students and other interested individuals recognize and appreciate our native trees. The featured species represent a small fraction of the thousands of indigenous and endemic plants found throughout our archipelago. This study guide for our campus trees will not leave the reader guessing, because each tree described is properly designated in the garden itself. Many other species of native trees are to be found on the U.P. Diliman campus, with more and more being added as the university decided nearly five years ago, at the start of its second century of existence, to adopt a native tree planting policy. We aim to highlight the immense and exciting biodiversity of Philippine terrestrial habitats, with a special focus on trees. This biodiversity provides ecosystem services which every high school student should learn and appreciate, so as to contribute to protecting our rich natural heritage which in turn supports livelihoods and human life. Bear in mind that this should be considered as only a start. It is hoped that students, citizens and visitors will use the experience of visiting the garden to learn more about the 101 species planted there through this guidebook and to develop a better appreciation for nature and care for it, for themselves and for future generations.
DR. CAESAR A. SALOMA Chancellor University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City
oday’s youth will do well to study the lives of people who have made great contributions to the development of our country, be they historical heroes, political leaders or captains of industry. Included in this illustrious list is Washington SyCip, whose eminent role in the advancement of the accounting profession in the Philippines and business administration has moved his friends and associates to celebrate his legacy in various memorials such as this garden. Equally important, our youth should learn about the rich natural resources of our great country, including our botanical heritage. It is a tragedy that earlier generations have abused our trees to the point of our near-extinction; it is unfortunate that very few of us are even familiar with native trees. It is time to increase our awareness of the unique biodiversity of our land to inspire us to be better stewards of these natural resources. The San Beda College Alumni Foundation is proud to participate in the National Greening Program of the Department of Education and to assist government’s efforts to designate areas as appropriate planting sites. Together with the University of the Philippines and the Zuellig Group, we share a vision of a clean and healthy environment and the pursuit of sustainable development. We are indeed happy that the Zuellig Group, as a corporate entity, has sponsored the planting of more than 100 species of native trees in the UP Diliman campus. We hope that more companies and individuals join us in the advocacy that the noted Filipino botanist Leonard L. Co pioneered and worked for till his dying breath: “Love all, but plant only native trees.”
DR. JAIME Z. GALVEZ TAN, MPH President, San Beda College Alumni Foundation, Inc.
Why Native Trees?
f the goal is to plant trees and cover bare ground, then does it make a difference whether we plant the foreign mahogany from Bolivia rather than molave or any other trees native to the Philippines? Yes, it makes an enormous difference and the reason, in one word, is ecology. Molave, as a native species, has a relationship to the land, water and other organism that has developed over a million years. Certain fungi live with the roots; certain insects feed on the plant parts, while others pollinate the flower. Birds and mammals live along the branches and feed on the seeds. No such relationship exists for the newcomer. Ten hectares of mahogany is a â€œdead zoneâ€™ in terms of biodiversity. There are no birds, no insects, only a nearly dead soil due to the lethal chemicals that leak from the rotting leaves. Native species are rarely found as seedling beneath the canopy and so, most significantly, there is no future for ten hectares of mahogany. It will remain as it is until it is cut and replaced. The alternative to plantations of alien species is to rebuild our forests with native species. Such schemes have been practiced for centuries by many Southeast Asian indigenous communities and aim to imitate the natural succession of forests as they recover from typhoon or fire. Bare ground is first occupied by the hardy pioneers that thrive in the full sun. Birds of the forest margin then bring in seeds of the fruit-bearing shrubs and other smaller trees that provide a layer of shade, within which the seedlings of the larger canopy trees will begin life. With advancing shade the pioneers must find a new home in gaps and along the forests margins, and thus begins again the cycle of forest collapse and renewal. The challenge in reforestation with native species lies in the immense richness and diversity of our Philippine flora: perhaps 10,000 different kinds of flowering plants and 3,600 native trees. Which ones to choose? And what are the requirements for optimal growth? This little book is filled with examples of plants native to the Philippines that can contribute to our endeavor of possessing our uniquely diverse natural environment. The result for our children and their children will be forests that grow and mature over decades and change in a way that guarantees centuries of social and economic service to our people. JAMES V. LaFRANKIE Ph.D. EDC Professor of Plant Diversity, UP Diliman Author of Trees of Tropical Asia: An illustrated guide to diversity
How to Use This Guide
f you are a visitor in the Washington SyCip Garden of Native Trees: Mabuhay! There are few places in the metropolis where you can see such a large number of native tree species. This little guidebook to the Washington SyCip Garden of Native Trees is not a reference book; it is merely a map to the 101 native trees (99 trees and 2 palms) in this collection of native tree species. The Washington SyCip Garden of Native Trees (WSGNT) was envisioned to honor a man who personifies what many of our native trees stand for: strength, usefulness, endurance, resilience and majesty. Washington SyCip founded the country’s largest multi-disciplinary professional services firm (SGV). He helped shape Philippine business just as our native trees define our biological heritage. The area along Magsaysay Avenue in the UP Diliman Campus, where the WSGNT now stands, was an empty parking lot until 2012. WSGNT may showcase just a small portion of collection of 3,600 native tree species but it is a start. Like a small seed that grows into a mighty tree, this small park may inspire many Filipinos to plant native trees to save our environment. As you walk through the WSGNT, take note of the red, brick path that meanders through the “islands”. The islands host one, two or several tree families represented by their respective members. Plant families are Latin words that end with –ceae (i.e., Euphorbiceae, Phyllanthaceae). Plant families are like our own extended families consisting of brothers, sisters, cousins. These are identified by their scientific names. Scientific names are two Latin words that are always italicized. The first word, whose first letter is capitalized, is the genus (similar to our family name). The second word, written in lower case, is the species name (like our given first name). A species name could describe certain characteristics or features of the species, like Cananga odorata, so called because of its odorous, fragrant flowers; or it could indicate the origin of the species where it was first recorded, like Cinnamomum mindanaense (in Mindanao); or it could honor a certain person, as in Adonidia merrillii, named after Dr. Elmer Merrill, a reknowned botanist. One scientific name refers exclusively to one particular species. But one local name could refer to several different species, and different local names could refer to just one tree species (i.e. narra is naga in the Bicol region and angsana in Singapore and Malaysia, but XI
all refer to it as Pterocarpus indicus). Note that “species” is used for both singular and plural forms. This book will make it easier for you to locate each tree in the Garden and will give you the basic information about each tree, as follows:
p q r
n Species number o Color bar for primary use
p Local name q Scientific name r Family s t u
t u v
Ecological classification Status Size: Optimal height and trunk size Type Natural habitat Tree tales
The number on the upper edge of each page will lead you to the location of each tree within the garden. It also corresponds to the number indicated on the tree marker The following colors indicate the primary purpose for growing each tree: for its edible fruits for its blooms for its foliage for its timber for economic, medicinal and other uses
p q XII
The ‘title’ of each page carries the official local name of the tree featured (i.e. Mangkono). The featured tree Scientific name (i.e. Xanthostemon verdugonianus).
The third line consists of the following: the family (Myrtaceace); the ecological classification (endemic or indigenous: indigenous trees are trees native also to other countries within our climatic zone; endemic tree species, on the other hand, are found only in our country); lastly, the tree status as defined by DAO 2007 of the DENR (from critically endangered to vulnerable). The tree sizes as indicated are the maximum sizes the trees attain in their natural habitat: • Small tree: 3m to 8m • Medium-sized tree: 8m to 16m • Large tree: 16m and higher “Type” will indicate whether the tree is evergreen (trees that always have leaves), deciduous (trees that shed their leaves periodically and become bare), or semi-deciduous (somewhere between an evergreen and deciduous). Some tree species have male and female plants (dioecious), like the himbaba-o or the pili (although pili is not featured in the garden). “Habitat” indicates the tree’s natural home. For most species, the original habitat is in forests. However, like domesticated animals, most of the featured tree species will live and thrive in urban areas. “Tree Tales” are notes about the featured tree species, such as information about medicinal and economic uses and explanations of the origin of names (Latin or Filipino name).
Enjoy and learn from the WSGNT with this guidebook. We hope that you will be inspired to plant your own little garden of native trees; even if you have time and space for only one tree, you will have done your part in preserving our biological heritage. Finally, a blessing from St. Francis of Assisi “…may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.” IMELDA P. SARMIENTO Hortica Filipina Foundation, Inc.
EUPHORBIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: 5-10m tall; trunk size 10cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen, dioecious (with male and female plants) HABITAT: Secondary forests, thickets and open rocky grounds
The banato is a gregarious species useful for regenerating forests. Its appearance also qualifies it to be an ornamental tree. Beauty conscious women love its seed oil for its efficacy in cosmetic preparations. Any of its parts may be used to treat parasitic infections of the skin, leaves may be used for fodder. Ripe fruit granules are used as dye and preservative for vegetable oils and dairy products.
EUPHORBIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 8m tall; trunk size 25cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Thickets, wasteland, open spaces and second-growth forests at low and medium altitudes
The binunga is suitable for the natural regeneration of deforested land as it is a fast-growing pioneer species. In southern Sumatra binunga has been used by pepper growers to make temporary ladders to harvest the crop. Its wood was popular for making the once-ubiquitous bakya (wooden clogs). A decoction of the binungaâ€™s root-bark may be applied topically on wounds, but not including its sap, which is sticky as glue.
Malabagang Glochidion album
PHYLLANTHACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 3m tall TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary forests at low and medium altitudes
Malabagang means “molar-like,” and this tree’s curious-looking, yellow-green fruits have the size and appearance of molars, including parallel grooves. Malabagang wood is prized as fuel.
EUPHORBIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Re-growth thickets, roadsides; in primary forests at low and medium altitudes
Alim is a drugstore of sorts. Its leaves, when ground with ginger, serve as an ointment to treat dandruff and flaking skin; when dried and crushed, it may be taken with cold water to treat constipation, tuberculosis and chest pains. It is said to be powerful enough to shock worms out of infested bodies. Its tiny clustered fruit is a favorite food for many bird species.
Bignay Pugo Antidesma pentandrum
PHYLLANTHACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Small tree up to 3m tall TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Secondary forests, thickets and open rocky ground; very resistant to drought
A sister of the more popular bignay, bignay pugo is smaller and its fruits are more sour. A household with this tree in its backyard will never run out of vinegar.
PHYLLANTHACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: 3 to 10m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Thickets and open slopes, in towns and communities and occasionally in forests from northern Luzon to Mindanao
The bignayâ€™s cascading cherry-like fruits are green when young, and turn to red and deep purple when ripe. You might want to harvest bignay fruits before the birds get them! Substitute the green fruits for vinegar when cooking sour dishes (sinigang! paksiw!); preserve the red ones as jam or as wine or juice to ease a fever; and eat the purple ones with a sprinkling of salt to be fortified with iron.
Bignay Kalabaw Antidesma pleuricum
PHYLLANTHACEAE â€˘ Endemic â€˘ Limited Distribution
SIZE: Up to 5m tall; trunk size 25cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary lowland forests in Luzon, Burias, Samar, Siargao, Mindanao
Traditional Filipino healers immerse and crush bignay berries in a glass of water as a potent drink to bring down a fever. Very rich in anti-oxidants, bignay berries rival their foreign counterparts in usefulness and size. Mabuhay ang sariling atin! Unknown to many of us, the Philippines has 24 different species of bignay, of which more than half are found only in our country. But due to its limited distribution and the destruction of habitat, this species could become endangered. 7
MYRTACEAE • Endemic • Endangered
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Very limited habitat mainly Dinagat Island, Surigao, Homonhon Island in Samar, Leyte, Palawan and Sibuyan; usually near seashores in ultrmafic soil
The mangkono is described as nature’s superstar for its lovely red and white flowers. It is also known as the Philippine “ironwood” for its luxurious timber of extraordinary density. It attains a 7 cm diameter after only ten years. It grows best in soil where minerals like copper and nickel are present. Mangkono wood sinks in water and is immune from termites.
Malabaltik Syzygium affine
MYRTACEAE • Endemic
SIZE: A medium-sized tree up to 20m tall TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Found in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon and Sorsogon
The Filipino word “baltik” means “a fit of anger” or “bad temper.” Malabaltik wood is prized among house builders, carpenters and furniture makers all over Luzon. It is sturdy enough for posts, poles, window sills, flooring, implements and fiber board.
MYRTACEAE â€˘ Endemic â€˘ Limited distribution
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 70cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Luzon, Mindoro, Sibuyan Island; in forest slopes and along streams at low and medium altitudes
Its clusters of fluffy and showy strawberry-pink flowers make this a lovely ornamental tree. True to its genus, the tumolad is a medium to heavy hardwood used for house construction as posts and poles.
MYRTACEAE â€˘ May be endemic
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 25cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Sibuyan Island along the coasts
Syzygium is one of the most robust genera in the plant kingdom. Consisting of hundreds of species, the non-native trees duhat, makopa and tampoy, as well as the native igot, lipote and hagis, all belong to this species. The fruits of both these native and non-native trees are edible, many of them sour; hence the name.
MYRTACEAE â€˘ Endemic â€˘ Limited distribution
SIZE: Up to 20m; trunk size 25cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: From Luzon to Mindanao; in primary forests at low to medium altitudes
This native fruit tree has clustered whitepinkish flowers that are showy when in full bloom. Its fruit looks like the fruit of the non-native macopa in shape and color. The hagis fruit may be eaten raw or made into juice, jam or jelly.
LAURACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Mindoro, Guimaras, Basilan, Mindanao; in primary forests at low and medium altitudes
The puso-puso tree is known for its leaves which, when mixed with mortar, yield a glutinous substance that produces strong glue. Because of its leaf groupings, the Malaysian name for this species is “payong”, which means umbrella in both Bahasa and Filipino. Like many umbrellas, its underleaf is a lighter shade than its topside.
LAURACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 20m; trunk size 60cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Secondary forests and thickets at low and medium altitudes
Sablot is a member of the aromatic laurel family of trees whose leaves are used in cooking adobo. The oil from its seeds are used to make candles and soaps. A row of sablot trees may be seen on the middle island of Padre Burgos, which stretches for 200 meters from Roxas Boulevard.
Marang Laparan Litsea grandis
LAURACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Common in lowland to mountainous forests and in peat swamps
Marang laparan is an important source of light to medium weight hardwood for sturdy furniture and wood carving.
Marang) 16 Malaabukado (aka Litsea cordata LAURACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 36m tall; trunk size 25cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary and secondary forests along rivers, in swamps, also in hill forests
There is some confusion with this tree’s name. For botanists the official name of the species is “marang,” but this is not to be confused with the native fruit that competes with the durian in taste and smell, named by the botanists marang banguhan. Malaabukado/marang wood is used for light construction, for interior finishing and cabinets.
LAURACEAE • Endemic • Vulnerable
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 60cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Throughout the Philippines in lowland and mountainous forests
Cinnamomum, also known as camphorwood, is mentioned in several biblical passages. One of the Philippines’ endemic cinnamons, kalingag boasts of a long list of medical uses. Its cinnamon is used to brew root beer.
Patalsik Pula Decaspermum blancoi
MYRTACEAE â€˘ Endemic
SIZE: 12m tall TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Throughout the Philippines; in lowland and mountainous forests; along streams and in swamp forests
Patalsik-pula enhances gardens and roadsides with its beautiful blooms. Its name already evokes the splendour of its attractive flowers. In Java the species is found as second storey in forestry plantations. Although hardly logged for its timber, its wood can be used to produce small objects like tool handles and rice pounders.
Cinnamon 19 Mindanao Cinnamomum mindanaense LAURACEAE â€˘ Endemic
SIZE: Up to 10m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Surigao, Davao, Zamboanga; in lowland and mountainous forests
Among the cinnamons, the bark of this species is considered one of the best found in the Philippines. It can be brewed into a fresh and nutritious breakfast drink.
Lagunding Dagat Vitex trifolia
LAMIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: A treelet that grows from 1.4m to 4m TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Along the seashores
The lagunding dagat, whose scientific name refers to its cluster of three leaves, can be compared to basketballâ€™s 3-point clincher, not just for its numeric association but in terms of its importance. Like its sibling lagundi, it provides a potent cure to various ailments.
LAMIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes
Insects that prey on dengue-carrying mosquitos are attracted to the fragrant alagau which has become their natural habitat. Steeped in hot water, the leaves are also a good cure for coughs. Plant an alagau tree in your backyard and be rewarded with a dengue-free zone, cooking condiments, a fragrant environment and a beautiful tree.
LAMIACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Secondary and open primary forests over limestone and seasonally dry forest and sometime along the sea coast
This tree must have made a great impressison on President Manuel L. Quezon, who said in his speech: “I want our people to be a molave tree. Strong and resilient, standing on the hillside and unafraid of the rising tide, lightning and the storm, confident of its strength.” Molave timber is tough and durable, used for high grade construction and woodcraft. It is a source of pride among Filipino homeowners if their houses and furniture are made of molave.
ANNONACEAE • Endemic • Rare
SIZE: Up to 40m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Luzon, Leyte, Cebu and Mindanao; in primary lowland rainforests
Bolon is one of the trees described by Father Blanco in his book Flora de Filipinas. The religious connection does not end there. The tree’s latin name Platymitra is Greek for flat-mitre, referring to the shape of the petals that resemble bishop’s headdress. The bolon wood is regarded as a substitute for hard maple. There are only two species in the genus Platymira: One variety is found in other Southeast Asian countries, whereas bolon is found only in the Philippines.
ANNONACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 60cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Forested areas up to 800m altitude
Ilang-ilang (or ylang-ylang) blooms perfume many a Filipino memory. The curly and fragrant flowers dangle at the end of beautiful leis presented to loved ones, dignitaries and religious icons. In Australia, the ilang-ilang tree is used for rainforest regeneration due to its fast growth and fauna-attracting fruit. On the coast of East Africa, ylang-ylang plantations produce tons of flowers which are harvested and dried to make perfume, such as the famous Chanel No. 5.
ANNONACEAE â€˘ Endemic
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Throughout the Philippines; in forests at low and medium altitude
This tree is known by different names: duhat-matsing, baling manok, duhatduhatan, tagputagpuan. A famous member of this genre is the Polyalthia longifolia, known locally as the Indian tree or the cemetery tree, an introduced species. Yellow lanutan timber is dry and termite-resistant, making it a popular choice for building houses.
LAMIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous â€˘ Rare
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary lowland forests
The lingo-lingo tree is a tragedy in the making. It is known to be a fast growing species that is perfect for reforestation. However, it is heavily depleted due to habitat destruction and is in serious danger of genetic erosion. Unless this trend is reversed, the Philippines would be deprived of its wood, which is used for construction, musical instruments, and household and agricultural implements.
Goniothalamus amuyon ANNONACEAE â€˘ Endemic â€˘ Rare
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Pangasinan, Quezon, Rizal, Batangas, Negros, Bohol, Mindanao; in forests at low and medium altitudes
The Hanunuo Mangyan tribe of Mindoro burns fresh amuyong bark to control rice bugs and corn borers. The bark is used to weave ropes in an attractive apricot-buff color. Amuyong seeds are cooked with oil and used as liniment for rheumatism, while its fruit is used as medicine to ease stomach ache.
Bagawak Morado Clerodendrum quadriloculare
LAMIACEAE • Indigenous • Critically endangered
SIZE: Up to 8m tall; trunk size 6cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary and second-growth forest at low and medium altitudes
This is a good candidate to be the official tree of the University of the Philippines. Its leaves are deep green with maroon undersides, in perfect consonance with the university colors. It is a small ornamental tree with festive blooms and striking foliage. Butterflies love its nectar. Boholanos call it pebrero because it blooms in February, while others call it the “Mexican firecracker” because its pink flowers, with its long tubular throats appear like exploding fireworks.
Tangisang Bagyo Xylopia densifolia
ANNONACEAE • Endemic
SIZE: Up to 18m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Throughout the Philippines; in forest at low and medium altitudes
Such a sad name for a tree: Tangis is “grief” in Filipino, bagyo means “typhoon”, and its scientific name Xylopia means bitter-wood in Greek. The genus Xylopia in the Annonaceae family is the only genus that is shared among Asia, Africa and America with 160 species.
LAMIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 8m tall; trunk size 5-8cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Near bodies of water, disturbed land, grasslands and mixed open forests
The different parts of the wondrous lagundi tree may be used to cure any of the following ailments: colds, flu, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and pharyngitis. Lagundi products are among the ten herbal medicines acknowledged by the Philippine Department of Health to have proven therapeutic value. Lagundi is also used by agriculturists to protect stored garlic from pests.
ANNONACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 7m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Widely distributed in the Philippines; in primary and secondary forests
Kalimatas contains the syllables “mata”, the filipino word for eye. Coincidentally, the bark solution of this species is popular for treating sore eyes. It may also be used as an antispasmodic, a cure for ulcers and small wounds.
LAMIACEAE • Endemic • Critically endangered
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 5cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Luzon with San Juan and Lobo, Batangas as its natural habitat; also found in Iling Island, Mindoro; in thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes
The tree’s local name, malapangit, does not do it justice. Philippine teak produces a bonanza of bluish to purple/lilac blooms in summer. The tree’s other folk name, malabayabas, is more appropriate because its flaky and thin bark is similar to the guava tree. Its scientific name Tectona refers to the Greek word for carpenter. Teak wood was used to build and repair galleon ships during the Spanish colonial era.
Baguilumbang Reutealis trisperma
EUPHORBIACEAE â€˘ Endemic â€˘ Critically endangered
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 40cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Laguna, La Union, Cavite, Batangas, Quezon, Rizal, Camarines, Negros, Davao
Baguilimbang, a moderately fastgrowing tree, is a source of oil. It may also be used as a living fence and an ornamental tree. It is a hardy tree that can withstand drought even with minimal care. As the name implies, lumbang and baguilumbang are relatives. Several of these tree species have been planted along the northbound lane of NLEX at km 19-20.
OLACACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 70cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Luzon, Catanduanes, Mindoro, Sibuyan, Leyte, Mindanao; in forests at low and medium altitudes
Tamayuan produces a heavy wood used for posts, joists and rafters, mining props, railway ties and ax handles. Indeed, tamayuan has helped build this country! Its fruit is shaped like a toy top; hence the Greek name Strombosia. The pulp of the fruit is eaten raw, mostly by bats which help to propagate its seeds.
CHRYSOBALANACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 40m tall; trunk size 70cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Rocky and sandy hills in coastal areas and inland up to 600m altitude
Liusin is world-famous as the ideal timber for saltwater construction, especially in building wharves, as its wood is resistant to marine and other wood borers. Its seed oil is used for paint manufacturing. Its fruit is edible and dispersed by hornbills and fruit pigeons.
LYTHRACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Forests and in comparatively open, dry habitats
Banaba is well known for its attractive clusters of purple flowers, its savory tea leaves that treat urinary tract ailments and diabetes and its beneficial bark that counters diarrhea and abdominal pains. If only for its explosion of violet blooms, banaba is the perfect roadside tree. Its root system is widespread and dense and should be popularized as a prime species for controlling erosion and for reforestation.
DILLENIACEAE • Endemic • Vulenerable
SIZE: Up to 12m; trunk size 30cm TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Throughout the Philippines in low to medium altitude forests
In the Singapore Botanical Gardens, rows of katmon welcome visitors with a marker that proudly credits their origin; “Dillenia philippinensis.” The katmon is one of our most beautiful trees and is ideal for the beautification of our cityscape. No wonder many barangays and towns have a street named after this tree.
BURSERACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 35m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary and secondary forests, sometimes found in open forest and savannas at low altitudes up to 500m
The names of products of exceptional quality and economic importance refer to its origin, i.e. Manila hemp, Manila folder. Likewise, pagsahingin’s resin is known in the trade as the “Manila elemi”. The root word sahing means resin, and the tree produces this substance in good quantity, and is used for various economic and medicinal purposes. The tree also has a zany nickname, “rocky nut,” owing to its hard seeds.
PITTOSPORACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 10m tall; trunk size 10-15cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Thickets and secondary forest at low and medium altitudes
The mamalis, whose fruit is clustered like orange grapes, is used in the production of wooden beads for ethnic-inspired jewelry. The fruit yields an oil, which is used in baths by women after childbirth. Author Margaret Barwick, in her book Tropical and Subtropical Trees, classified mamalis as endemic to the Philippines, and described the fruit as “bright, waxy and perfect... they look artificial and are pinned on for decoration.”
Mali-Mali Leea guineensis
LEEACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 2m tall TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Secondary and primary vegetation, thickets and secondary forests, especially along streams at low and medium altitudes; from the Babuyan Islands and northern Luzon to Mindanao and Palawan, in most or all islands and provinces
Sometimes planted as an ornamental for its profuse berries, the mali-mali may just be the cure for the Filipinosâ€™ fractious politics. Its leaves are used for treating bad blood. Hey, let warring politicians try this one!
Bischofia javanica BISCHOFIACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 35m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Moist lowland forests and riverbanks
Tuai is a fast-growing native tree that reaches maturity in just ten years. Filipinos value its durable timber for use under water; it is also known as “Bishop Wood” in trade circles. Its young leaves are edible and the reddish brown dye extracted from its inner bark has many uses. When introduced in California and Florida, it was considered an invasive species.
Cordia dichotoma BORAGINACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 60cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Coastal hills, inland fringes of mangrove vegetation
Anonang is a valuable source of glue and gum. In Australia, it is known as Glue Berry because of the sticky latex of its yellowish pink fruit. In upland rice fields, the branches are used to repel termites. Anonang is a decorative tree.
Malapapaya Polyscias nodosa
ARALIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 60cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Open thickets and secondary forest, mostly at low altitudes
Due to its unique appearance, malapapaya is ideal as a centerpiece tree for accent landscaping. But unlike its namesake, the malapapaya is not famous for its fruit. Its wood is used to produce small and light objects like boxes, matches, pencil slats, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, chopsticks and ice cream spoons.
Artocarpus ovatus MORACEAE â€˘ Endemic
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 50cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Throughout the Philippines; in lowland forests and thickets
Anubing is popular for its strong and durable wood. It produces a useful latex called Anubing Gum. Children are delighted to play with its leaves because of its Velcro-like underleaf that firmly sticks to articles of clothing. Another local name for anubing is kili-kili (armpit), so called because of the smell of its rotten fruit.
Dungon-late Heritiera littoralis
MALVACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunks size 50cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Inland zones of mangrove swamps
Dungon-late is called the Looking Glass Tree because its silver and copper-hued underleaf becomes transparent when illumined by the sun. This species has a place in our history; it was used in making the balangay, a wooden boat used by pre-colonial seafaring Filipinos.
MORACEAE • Endemic • Endangered
SIZE: Up to 30m TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: We might be forgiven for thinking this tree could only be found in the hills of Antipolo Rizal Province; it grows throughout the Philippines, especially in Luzon, Mindanao and Negros, in thickets and forest of low and medium altitude.
This tree is associated with the statue of the Virgin Mary in Antipolo, believed to be miraculous, and a famous song. “...Bakit, saan ba tayo pupunta?/ Sa Antipolo na malaging masaya... Tayo na sa Antipolo/ at doo’y maligo tayo/ sa batis na kung tawagin/ ay hi-hi hinulugang taktak...” Antipolo wood is used for making musical instruments.
COMBRETACEAE â€˘ Endemic
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Throughout the Philippines; in primary forests at low and medium altitudes
Sakat wood is used for furniture and general construction. It is also used as boat planks, although some experts caution that it may not withstand exposure to the elements. The bark is a source of yellow dye material.
COMBRETACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 35m tall; trunk size 100cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Widely distributed in primary and secondary forests at low altitudes
This is a beautiful tree. Its bark is used in tanneries. Its bright red and fleshy fruit is edible as a jam preserve, but more importantly it is used to sweeten and age lambanog (Filipino coconut arrack). “Isang tagay para sa kalumpit!“
COMBRETACEAE â€˘ May be endemic
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 15cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Sibuyan Island
The batitin-an belongs to a large family of flowering trees that have at least 100 known members in various tropical regions, e.g. the talisay. The trees are famous for producing flavonoids, tannins and aromatics. The batitin-an leaves are unique in that these grow only at the tip of its shoots; hence, Terminalia.
MALVACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 10m tall; trunk size 30cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary or secondary forests; on riverbanks and often on alluvial soil
The fast-growing bayok has many uses. Its bark is used for dying clothes. Its wood is used for making posts, beams, joists, rafters, flooring, sheathings, ceilings, furniture, tool handles, carriage and wagon shafts. It is even used for making baseball bats. As native trees go, the bayok is a home-run!
MALVACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 15m high; trunk size 5 to 10cm developing suckers from the base TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Thickets, secondary forests and deserted clearings and sometimes in riverine forests
This is a genus of a single well-known species, the tan-ag. The species is called “Guest Tree” as it hosts various epiphytes, lizards, insects and snakes in its natural habitat. In local parlance, the tan-ag is a preferred tambayan! Its flowers are showy pink, rich in nectar; the fruit is a papery capsule with a few seeds.
MORACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 30cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Lowland primary forests
Malanangka is so-named because its fruit resembles a small jackfruit. Although the fruit is edible, its seeds are believed to be poisonous. In Papua New Guinea, the seeds are pounded and mixed with lime to treat sores. Its wood is used for light construction, boxes and crates, especially for core layers in plywood.
Malakalumpang Sterculia ceramica
MALVACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 50cm diameter TYPE: Briefly deciduous HABITAT: Luzon, Quezon, Mindoro, Sibuyan, Palawan, Guimaras, and Sulu; in primary and secondary forests, near coasts on sandy clay soil
Malakalumpang is prized as soft timber, used for interior trim, packing cases, panelling, shutters, veneer, blinds, boxes and crates and interior building materials. Early Filipinos used its inner bark to make rope and its pulp to make paper.
MORACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 10m tall; trunk size 140cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous; dioecious (with male and female plants) HABITAT: All over the Philippines; in open grasslands, dry thickets and forested creek banks; recently recorded also in Celebes
This tree has flowers that look like green worms. But the flowers and the leaves of male trees are acclaimed as vegetables: known as alocon to the Ilocanos; babayan to the Aetas; and alibabag to the Ybanag. Of the seven species that comprise the genus, only the B.luzonica yields timber; in the Bicol region, the tree is planted to shade abaca.
MALVACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 90cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Evergreen or deciduous forests or open forests in dry areas
This is a fast-growing tree that reaches its mature height of 25m in 11 years. Its wood is popular among carpenters and artisans as it is easy to work with. Its bark is made into rope and is used to enhance black dye.
MIMOSACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 160cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Ilocos Sur southward to Palawan and Negros; in forest at low and medium altitudes
Akleng gubat is a wild forest tree, hence its name. It is commonly associated with molave (Vitex parviflora) although it does not belong to the same family. This misidentification is a perfect argument for planting more akleng gubat to give this wonderful tree its own identity.
Sindora supa CAESALPINIACEAE â€˘ Endemic â€˘ Endangered
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 100cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Camarines, Albay and Mindoro; in forests at low and medium altitudes
Supa wood oil is prized in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. It is used as medicine and manufacturing of paints, varnishes and transparent paper. The way the oil is harvested is a sad story of destruction: the felled log is hacked to cut cavities in its base, and the flow of oil is stimulated with fire.
MIMOSACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Lowland rainforests
Kupang is also known as the “drumstick tree”, perhaps because its inflorescence heads (flower clusters) on long stalks look like inverted drumsticks and its light wood is perfect for manufacturing drumsticks.
Alibangbang Bauhinia malabarica
CAESALPINIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous â€˘ Limited distribution
SIZE: Up to 10m tall and stem to 50cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Ilocos to Laguna; in areas with distinct dry season at low altitude, rarely found above 300m.
The alibangbang tree should not be confused with the flighty insect that has been immortalized in three kundimans (Chitchiritrit, Ohoy Alibangbang and Alibangbang). This tree played a great role in Philippine history. During World War II, Filipino and American soldiers who were on the Death March from Bataan to Capas, Tarlac, subsisted on the leaves of the alibangbang trees planted along the roadside.
MIMOSACEAE • Indigenous • Endangered
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 100cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary forests, near the coasts up to 850m altitude
The banuyo tree, also called the “honey tree,” produces an explosion of yellow flowers when it blooms. It is ideal for erosion control in coastal and riverine areas. Its resistance to salt helps for soil stabilization and protection.
Ahern’s Balok Milletia ahernii
FABACEAE • Endemic • Limited Distribution
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 40cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Luzon (Cagayan, Ilocos Sur, Rizal, Quezon); in open forests at low altitude
The balok, considered a wild tree, is rarely used as an ornamental tree, although its cascading clusters of purple flowers, not unlike little ripe grapes, are a sight to behold.
FABACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 45cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Along seashores throughout the Philippines
Bani is an ideal roadside or avenue ornamental tree. Its fragrant lilac and pink blooms rival the banaba. It is also a native of India, where it is cultivated as a source of lamp oil, and a native of Australia, where there is ongoing research to develop bani seeds for biofuel.
CAESALPINIACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 50-100cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Forests along the sea shore
The siar, often called “Golden Flamboyant”, is under-utilized as an ornamental or roadside tree. It is a hardworking tree as it blooms twice a year. Its fragrant yellow flowers are rich in nectar and are havens for bees.
Cynometra ramiflora CAESALPINIACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 30cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Inner or landward fringe of mangrove forests, also found in forest along streams, at low and medium altitudes
Often mistaken for the Australian “handkerchief tree,” the balitbitan’s new leaves are a show of their own. In varying colors of white, green, yellow and pink, its leaves hang from their twigs and sway in the wind like multi-colored bandanas.
Akleng Parang Albizia procera
MIMOSACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 70cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Cagayan to Batangas, Mindoro, Busuanga; in second growth forests at low and medium altitudes in regions subject to a long dry season
The akleng parang is an amazing survivor tree. Highly regarded as a fast-growing pioneer tree for the reforestation of dry or burnt land, it is commonly found in fire-induced grasslands. Not only does it thrive in harsh conditions, it also helps restores the soilâ€™s nitrogen balance.
CAESALPINIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous â€˘ Endangered
SIZE: Up to 50m tall; trunk size 150cm diameter TYPE: Semi-deciduous HABITAT: Along coasts and inside coastal areas
Ipil must not be confused with the invasive alien species, ipil-ipil. The ipil tree is an endangered species and should be included more regularly in tree planting programs and landscaping projects, if only for fragrant flowers. Its timber is highly prized as it is resistant to termites and salt water and can withstand water log.
Afzelia rhomboidea CAESALPINIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous â€˘ Endangered
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 50cm diameter TYPE: Semi-deciduous HABITAT: Forests at low to medium altitude; tolerant of poor soil
Tindalo has figured in two important events in Philippine history: President Manuel L. Quezon planted a tindalo in the plaza of Bacolod City when it became a chartered city in 1938. Much earlier, in 1521, the cross planted by Magellan in Cebu was encased in tindalo.
Albizia butarek sp.nov nom. ined. MIMOSCACEAE • Could be endemic
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 70m diameter TYPE: Semi-deciduous HABITAT: Forests at low and medium altitudes
This tree is one of the botanical finds of the late Leonard Co. One of the nation’s foremost botanists and plant taxonomist, he was murdered in Leyte in 2010. He discovered this species growing along tributaries of the Palanan River in Isabela. The species name “butarek” comes from the name of the barangay in Palanan, Isabela where the botanist first spotted this species.
Spondias pinnata ANACARDIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 25 m; trunk size 60cm diameter TYPE: Semi-deciduous HABITAT: Forests at lowland up to 500m elevation
Pick a libas leaf and eat it to appease your hunger while waiting for your simmering paksiw dish, soured by libas leaves and its green fruit. If the libas fruit, whether ripe or sour, reminds you of siniguelas (Spondias purpurea), it is because these two species are siblings, albeit the siniguelas is non-native.
ANACARDIACEAE • Endemic • Vulnerable
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 60cm diameter TYPE: Semi-deciduous HABITAT: Luzon to Mindanao, in lowland primary forests along river banks or on hills
The tree’s scientific name “edule” means “edible” and “enjoyable” in Latin etymology. The lamio’s seed kernel, flowers and leaves are edible. The lamio is a relative of the mango tree, but a closer relative is the dao, sharing the same genus. Unfortunately both species are becoming rare in their natural habitats.
ANACARDIACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 35m tall; trunk size 75cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Lowland forests, along river banks, near beaches and dryland and secondary forests up to 300m altitude
The balinghasai is sometimes called “malamangga” because of its similarity to the mango tree. This species stands out when it blooms as it fills up its entire canopy with creamy white flowers. It is highly recommended as a shade tree for dry, sunny sites with poor soil.
APOCYNACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 65cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Open primary and secondary forests and thickets at low and medium altitudes.
When it flowers between May to September, the batino tree is surrounded by butterflies and bees. The English name of this tree is “Hard Milkwood” in keeping with the characterictics of its prized timber. Its bark and leaves have medicinal properties.
Wrightia pubescens ssp. laniti
APOCYNACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 10m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Common in thickets and forests, often in drier areas
The lanete is used as a reforestation species because it is fast-growing and tolerant of poor soil. In Indonesia the bark is commonly used as a coagulant for the manufacture of litsusu, a traditional cheese-like product. Its wood is used for musical instruments. With its pinkishwhite flowers, the lanete is a good roadside tree.
APOCYNACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 50cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Coastal areas
“The sweet fragrance of the blooms compensates for the poisonous nature of the large, ruby-red, lacquered fruit, the oily seeds of which are reported to contain the heart poison, cerebin... (Hence) the name Cerbera alludes to the toxic nature of the plant and derives from Cereberus, the name of the three-headed dog from Greek mythology that guarded the entrance to Hades, the underworld.” Margaret Barwick “Tropical and Subtropical Trees”
Alstonia scholaris APOCYNACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 50m tall; trunk size 100cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Almost sea level and open mountain slopes at about 1000m altitudes
The treeâ€™s academic-sounding scientific name, scholaris, refers to its soft wood that was used as writing slates. The tree is also called the Devil Tree, undeserved because it is a medicinal tree.
Anisoptera thurifera ssp. thurifera
DIPTEROCARPACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 45m tall; trunk size 200cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Throughout the Philippines; in lowland forests at altitudes up to 750m
Palosapis gum is chewable, much like the commercial chewing gum. Bees love this tree because of its resin, which is collected to build their nest.
DIPTEROCARPACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 45m tall; trunk size 200cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary forests at low altitude
Old Philippine houses had the luxury of using plywood made with bagtikan wood. Once considered an important commercial timber for plywood manufacturing, the supply has since dwindled due to excessive logging. Fortunately this member of the dipterocarp family grows faster than its siblings and can survive the Philippinesâ€™ harsh summer climate.
DIPTEROCARPACEAE • Endemic
SIZE: Up to 50m tall; trunk size 100-182cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Babuyan Islands to Mindanao; occurs in low altitude forests from sea level to 700 m elevation
Watching the white lauan’s seed twirl like helicopter rotor blades until it detaches itself from its mother tree to fall slowly a distance away is almost melancholic, reminiscent of children leaving home to seek their own destiny. Nature’s unique propagation of the white lauan’s seeds is typical for this family of trees.
Shorea almon DIPTEROCARPACEAE â€˘ Indigenous â€˘ Vulnerable
SIZE: Up to 70m tall; trunk size 100-160cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Quezon, Camarines, Albay, Sorsogon in Luzon; Negros, Samar, Leyte in Visayas; Surigao, Agusan, Bukidnon, Davao, Misamis, Lanao, Zamboanga, Basilan in Mindanao; in undulating hills, in mixed diterocarp forests at low altitudes
Carpenters, furniture makers and artisans know the quality of their timber. Among the Philippine dipterocarps the almon is one of their favorites, thanks to its beautiful ribbon-figured grain.
DIPTEROCARPACEAE â€˘ Indigenous â€˘ Vulnerable
SIZE: Up to 40m tall; trunk size 180cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary semi-evergreen or evergreen forests up to 600m altitude
The apitong is a dipterocarp that bears large and fragrant five-petal flowers in a pinwheel display of pinkish red and white. Apitong resin is used as lithographic ink, paper water-proofing, varnish, basket and boat caulking, and for lighting torches.
Shorea guiso DIPTEROCARPACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 40m tall; trunk size 180cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Undisturbed forests up to 400m altitude
Among our countryâ€™s fine dipterocarp timber, guijo plays a supporting role to its more valuable siblings. While house posts are made of the sturdier red lauan, guijo wood is used for door jambs and stair railings. In the wild, guijo is home to many organism. It needs shade to grow but will reach out for the sun as it matures.
Yakal Saplungan Hopea plagata
DIPTEROCARPACEAE â€˘ Indigenous â€˘ Endangered
SIZE: Up to 55m tall; trunk size 180cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary forests at low and medium altitude
Yakal saplungan, like all dipterocarp species, yields first class timber. This is a fast-growing tree that can survive in the open field. It should be considered for reforestation and large-scale plantations, so as to remove it from endangered status. In Vietnam and Thailand, century-old yakal saplungan trees line roadsides. It has become increasingly popular for urban areas e.g. in Singapore.
Cubilia cubili SAPINDACEAE • Endemic • Rare
SIZE: Up to 15m tall TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary forests at medium altitude from Luzon to Mindanao
Botanists identify “nuts” as “fruits”. Kubili is categorized as an edible fruit but it is the nut that is edible. The fruit, measuring 5 to 6cm long, is ovoid and dark green, while the nut, 3 to 4cm long, is oblong and dark red. Eat the boiled or roasted nut of the kubili and not the fruit.
Litchi chinensis ssp. philippinensis SAPINDACEAE â€˘ Indigenous â€˘ Endangered
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 40cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary and secondary forests from sea level up to 500m altitude
Alupag is the Philippine lychee. It is a tasty, truly Filipino edible fruit; unfortunately it has been completely overshadowed by its imported counterpart. The pits are used to make a natural shampoo.
Madhuca betis SAPOTACEAE â€˘ Indigenous â€˘ Endangered
SIZE: Up to 35m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Luzon, Mindoro and Mindanao; in primary lowland forests
Betis, a Pampanga town famous for its skilled wood workers, was named after this tree. Its hard and heavy wood is ideal for construction and woodcarving. Other uses: its latex is used to expel worms and the seed oil is an illuminant. However, its bark powder induces sneezing.
SAPOTACEAE • May be endemic
SIZE: Up to 35m; trunk size up to 80cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: This species was found in Sibuyan Island
The species identity of the Madhuca found in Sibuyan remains unknown. This means that not very many botanists have seen or studied this tree. Sibuyanos call it the “tar apple.” Sibuyan Island is our own Galapagos, with a wealth of yet undiscovered flora and fauna.
MELIACEAE â€˘ Endemic â€˘ Critically endangered
SIZE: Up to 25m tall; trunk size 70cm diameter TYPE: Deciduous HABITAT: Throughout the Philippines; in primary rainforests at low and medium altitudes
The kalantas is a good replacement for its ubiquitous cousin, the non-native mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla and Swietenia mahogani). It grows moderately fast, and its red timber, with a pleasant cedar smell, is used mainly for furniture and musical instruments. The late botanist Leonard Co highly recommended the kalantas as timber species of superior quality.
MELIACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 60cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Found in forests up to 1,800m
Dysoxylum is “foul wood” in Greek. A sprinkling of this tree’s bark may be used as a natural insecticide or to stun fish. Take note how igyo, malapapaya and lamio look similar but belong to different families.
Kalibaian Heynea trijuga
MELIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 15cm diameter TYPE: Semi-deciduous HABITAT: Rainforest at the edge and in regenerating clearings and along roadsides
While the kalibaianâ€™s bitter leaves and bark are medicinal, its seeds are anathema and poisonous to some birds. This nearobscure native species, is a fast-growing ornamental tree that should grace our urban landscapes.
EBENACEAE • Indigenous • Endangered
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 30cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Found at low altitude up to 350m
The anang is a favorite among fruit tree collectors and enthusiasts because its brown and hairy fruit, edible and sweet, is more luscious than the mabolo. Its wood is called “black ebony” and is used to make bowling balls and golf clubs.
EBENACEAE • Indigenous • Vulnerable
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 50cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Found in evergreen forests in low altitude
Bonsai enthusiasts gush over the bantolinau, more so if it is yamadori (collected from the wild). The mature tree has a deeply dark trunk and a gnarly root system; together with the tree’s shiny leaves and yellow/red berries, this appearance makes the bantolinau a favorite among bonsai aficionados.
EBENACEAE â€˘ Indigenous â€˘ Critically endangered
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 40cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary and secondary forests up to 800m altitude
Its creamy and sweet, yellow-deep red fruit is called mabolo, also known as the velvet apple or butter-fruit. The mabolo fruit is not popular among Filipinos, but is commonly cultivated in the rest of Southeast Asia. Kamagong wood is used in the Philippines by house builders, carpenters and artisans. Previously, the kamagong was thought to be endemic to our country until the same species was found in Taiwan.
EBENACEAE • Indigenous • Endangered
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 50cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Found in peat swamp forest
Members of the Ebenaceae family are known to produce ebony wood. While its more famous siblings produce black or brown ebony, the bolong-eta is known among timber traders for its “streaked ebony,” very much in demand for high quality furniture.
EBENACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 50cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Thickets and forests along the coast and inland
The malatinta may have earned its name from the bluish or reddish grey ink-like texture of its freshly-squeezed juice. The fruit is edible and is also known as “sea persimmon” (hence the species name maritima). The non-native persimmon fruit belongs to the Diospyros (“seeds of the gods”) family.
CLUSIACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 15m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Primary and secondary forests, open woodland, thickets and grassland on well-drained soil
The paguringon may have a rough bark, but when used for treating wounds and scabies, it smoothens out the skin. Also called the kansilay, Silay City in Negros Occidental was named after this tree. In turn, the “Paris of Negros” named the paguringon its official tree.
CLUSIACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 20m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Semi-deciduous HABITAT: Sandy, well-drained soil in beaches and coastal thickets
“Shade and shelter, food and medicine, sea transport and shore protector; soil improver and ornamental: this is a tree for all seasons and many reasons, for life’s ailments and its enhancements... the Bitaog would seem to make it compete with the coconut tree for the title ‘Tree of Life.’” Ed Maranan, writer, author and journalist; quote from Philippine Native Trees 101: Up Close and Personal
CLUSIACEAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 30m tall; trunk size 65cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Secondary and mixed dipterocarp forests on hillsides, to 180m altitude
The dangkalan is a source of the packaging used for the popular edible souvenir from Baguio City with the wacky name sundot kulangot. Dangkalan is becoming a rare tree despite its wide ecological range.
MYRTACEAE • Endemic • Endangered
SIZE: up to 25m tall; trunk size 80cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Very limited habitat mainly Dinagat Island, Surigao, Homonhon Island in Samar, Leyte, Palawan and Sibuyan; usually near seashores in ultramafic soil
The mangkono is described as nature’s superstar for its splendid red and white flowers. It is also known as the Philippine “ironwood” for its luxurious timber of extraordinary density. In ten years it grows to a diameter of just 7cm. It grows best in soil where minerals like copper and nickel are present. Mangkono wood sinks in water and is immune from termites.
PITTOSPORACEAE • Indigenous
SIZE: up to 10m tall; trunk size 10-15cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Thickets and secondary forest at low and medium altitudes
The mamalis, whose fruit is clustered like orange grapes, is used in the production of wooden beads for ethnic-inspired jewelry. The fruit yields an oil which is used in baths by women after childbirth. Margaret Barwick, in her book Tropical and Subtropical Trees, classified mamalis as endemic to the Philippines, and described the fruit as “bright, waxy and perfect that they look artificial and are pinned on for decoration.”
LECYTHIDACEAE â€˘ Endemic â€˘ Endangered
SIZE: Exceeds height of 35m tall; trunk size 100cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Near riverbanks or on hillsides, in swampy and cool places
Toog is considered to be the tallest tree in the country; it can grow higher than 40 meters. It is considered a vanishing species, due to the high demand for its wood in the last 20 years, leading to its drastic depletion. Its seeds are edible and, many say, taste like peanuts.
PUTRANJIVACEAE â€˘ Endemic
SIZE: Up to 5m tall; trunk size 20cm diameter TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Batanes Island and Camiguin Island; in secondary forests and wooded thickets at low altitude
Gakakan is endemic only to two island groups in the Philippines: Batanes and Camiguin. Interestingly, Camiguin is tropical while Batanes has a very different sub-tropical climate.
ARECACEAE/PALMAE • Endemic
SIZE: Up to 20m tall with distinguishing ringed trunk TYPE: Evergreen HABITAT: Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, Negros, Mindanao; in primary and secondary forests up to 700m altitude
The anahaw is a popular ornamental palm planted in parks and gardens. It is the country’s national leaf because of its beautiful design and usefulness. Anahaw leaves are used to make fans and hats. Anahaw is also used for layered thatching and constructing walls of nipa huts. It has decorated the floats and stages of many a barrio fiesta. It is also used to wrap Pinoy “to go” food.
Manila Palm Adonidia merrillii
ARECACEAE/PALMAE â€˘ Indigenous
SIZE: Up to 15m high; trunk size 25cm diameter TYPE: Palm HABITAT: North Palawan; in forests on karst limestone
The Manila palm is distinguished by its 2m long arched leaves that are graceful and strong. It is a popular ornamental palm whose light red ripe fruit is a substitute for the (betel nut) of indigenous Filipinos, nganga.
Index to Scientific Names Actinodaphne multiflora 13 Adonidia merrillii 105 Afzelia rhomboidea 69 Albizia acle 58 Albizia butarek sp. nov. 70 Albizia procera 67 Alstonia macrophylla 74 Alstonia scholaris 77 Anisoptera thurifera 78 Antidesma bunius 6 Antidesma pentandrum 5 Antidesma pleuricum 7 Artocarpus blancoi 48 Artocarpus ovatus 46 Bauhinia malabarica 61 Bischofia javanica 43 Broussonetia luzonica 56 Buchanania arborescens 73 Calophyllum inophyllum 98 Calophyllum obliquenervium 99 Cananga odorata 25 Canarium asperum 40 Cerbera manghas 76 Cinnamomum mercadoi 17 Cinnamomum mindanaense 20 Clerodendrum quadriloculare 29 Cordia dichotoma 44 Cratoxylum sumatranum 97 Cubilia cubili 85 Cynometra ramiflora 66 Decasopermum blancoi 19 Dillenia philippinensis 39 Diospyros blancoi 94 Diospyros ferrea 93
Diospyros maritima 96 Diospyros pilosanthera 95 Diospyros pyrrhocarpa 92 Dipterocarpus grandiflorus 82 Dracontamelon edule 72 Drypetes falcata 102 Dysoxylum gaudichaudianum 90 Glochidion album 3 Goniothalamus amuyon 28 Heritiera littoralis 47 Heynea trijuga 91 Hopea plagata 84 Intsia bijuga 68 Kleinhovia hospita 53 Lagerstroemia speciosa 38 Leea guineensis 42 Litchi chinensis subsp. philippinensis 86 Litsea cordata 16 Litsea glutinosa 14 Litsea grandis 15 Macaranga tanarius 2 Madhuca betis 87 Madhuca sp. 88 Mallotus philippinensis 1 Maranthes corymbosa 37 Melanolepsis multiglandulosa 4 Milletia ahernii 66 Milletia pinnata 64 Parartocarpus venenosus 54 Parashorea malaanonan 79 Parkia timoriana 60 Peltophorum pterocarpum 65 Petersianthus quadrialatus 102
Phaeanthus ebracteolatus 33 Pittosporum pentandrum 101 Platymitra arborea 24 Polyalthia flava 24 Polyscias nodosa 45 Premna odorata 22 Pterocymbium tinctorium 57 Pterospermum diversifolium 52 Reutealis trisperma 35 Saribus rotundifolius 104 Shorea almon 81 Shorea contorta 80 Shorea guiso 83 Sindora supa 59 Spondias pinnata 71 Sterculia ceramica 55 Strombosia philippinensis 36 Syzygium affine 9 Syzygium merrittianum 10 Syzygium sp. 11 Syzygium tripinnatum 12 Tectona philippinensis 34 Terminalia microcarpa 50 Terminalia nitens 49 Terminalia sp. 51 Toona calantas 89 Vitex negundo 32 Vitex parviflora 23 Vitex trifolia 21 Viticipremna philippinensis 27 Wallaceodendron celebicum 62 Wrightia pubescens ssp. laniti 75 Xanthostemon verdugonianus 100 Xylopia densifolia 31
Photo Credits Most photographs were shot by our lead photographer, Arceli â€œCelâ€? M. Tungol, unless indicated below: (the number indicates the page; the letter abbreviations are as follow: L: left; R: right; T: top photo; B: bottom; ul: upper left; ur: upper right; ll: lower left; lr: lower right; cl: center left; cr: center right; cb:center bottom) From the archives of Leonard L. Co, courtesy of Glenda and Linnaea Marie F. Co 5in, 6ur-lr, 7, 14T-ll, 15, 27T, 36ur, 37cr, 45L, 56lr, 67, 69ul, 70ur-ll-lr, 73ur-lr, 74lr, 76ll, 78in, 79ur, 80ur-lr, 81, 96ur, 97ur-lr, 98ur-cr-lr, Ulysses F. Ferreras: 10, 14lr, 16ur-lr, 17lr, 18, 19, 30, 31, 37L-ur-lr, 43ur-lr, 44, 54T, 60ur, 69lr, 82ur-ll, 85ur Reynold Sioson: 1lr, 9, 33ur-lr, 41L-lr, 46L-ur-cr, 52lr, 61ur, 63, 92, 96L-cr-lr, 101L-lr, 105L-ul Dr. Roberto E. Coronel: 12lc-lr Nestor A. Bartolome: 28lr; 54ll-lr, 69ur-ll, 70ul-cb, 83ur Lorenz G. Palec: 46lr, 82L-lr, 83L, 843L-lr, Patrick Andrew E. Gozon: 41ur, 56ur, 61L-lr, 101ur George Yao: 8L, 100L Nellie Go Chiu: 20 Alex Loinaz: 71 Anthony T. Arbias: 45R, Christopher Espino: 8lr, 100lr Elena S.Z. Sarmiento: 13 Emiliano D. Sotalbo: 5l-ur, 17ur, 21, 33L, 34ur, 47cr, 59lr, 87in, 103ur, 104R, 105lr Imelda P. Sarmiento: 1L-ur, 2, 3, 11,12L-ur, 16L, 22, 24, 26, 27ll-lr, 28L-ur; 32, 36L-lr, 40, 42, 43L, 48, 49, 51, 52L, 53, 57, 58, 59L-ul, 60L-lr, 66ul-lr, 68ur, 73L; 76T-lr, 79L-lr, 80L, 83lr, 85L-lr, 86, 87L-ur-lr, 88, 91, 94, 95, 97L, 98L, 99, 103L-ll 107
References Barwick, Margaret: Tropical and Subtropical Trees, A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide; Thames & Hudson, London, United Kingdom, 2004 Co, Leonard; JV LaFrankie; DA Lagunzad; KA Pasion; HT Consunji; NA Bartolome; SL Yap; JE Molina; DC Tongco; UF Ferreras; SJ Davies; PS Ashton: Forest Trees of Palanan, Philippines, A Study in Population Ecology; Center for Integrative and Development Studies, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, 2006 Coronel, Roberto E., Important and Underutilized Edible Fruits of the Philippines; University of the Philippines Los BaĂąos Foundation, Inc. and the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Research, Quezon City, Philippines, 2011 De Guzman, Enriquito D; RM Umali; ED Sotalbo: Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna Vol III, Dipterocarps and Non-Dipterocarps; Natural Resources Management Center, Ministry of Natural Resources and the University of the Philippine, Diliman Quezon City, 1986 De Guzman, Enriquito D; E.S. Fernando: Guide to Flora and Fauna, Vol IV: Palms. Natural Resources Management Center, Ministry of Natural Resources Management Center, Ministry of Natural Resources and the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City 1986 Department of Environment & Natural Resources â€“ Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau: Philippine Plant Conservation Committee, Framework for Philippine Plant Conservation Strategy and Action Plan; DENR Quezon City, 2003 Fernando, Edwino S; BY Sun; MH Suh; HY Kong; KS Koh: Flowering Plants and Ferns of Mt. Makiling; ASEAN-Korea Environmental Cooperation Unit, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, 2004 Green Convergence, Hortica Filipina Foundation, Inc., Binhi Project of EDC: Philippine Native Trees 101: Up Close and Personal; ABSCBN Publishing, Inc. 2012 LaFrankie, James, Jr.: Trees of Tropical Asia, An Illustrated Guide to Diversity; Black Tree Publications, Inc. Philippines, 2010 108
Madulid, Domingo A.: A Dictionary of Philippine Plant Names, Vol I & II; Bookmark, Makati City, 2001 Madulid, Domingo A.: A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants; Second Edition, Bookmark, Makati City, 2000 Malabrigo, Pastor, Jr.; Abe, Ricardo P, Jr.; LaFrankie, James, Jr.: Shades of Majesty, 88 Philippine Natives Trees; Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc., Cebu City, 2012 Merrill, Elmer D.: A Flora of Manila; Bureau of Printing, Manila, 1968 Merrill, Elmer D.: An Enumeration of Philippine Flowering Plants, Vol I-IV, Bureau of Printing, Manila Min, Boo Chih; K. Omar-Hor; Ou-Yang Chow Lin: 1001 Garden Plants in Singapore, 2nd Edition; National Parks Board, Singapore, 2006 Plant Resources of South-East Asia 5: (1) Timber Trees: Major Commercial Timbers; I Soerianegara and RHMJ Lemmens, Editors; PROSEA, Bogor, Indonesia, 1994 Plant Resources of South-East Asia 5: (2) Timber Trees: Minor Commercial Timbers; RHMJ Lemmens, I. Soerianegara and WC Wong, Editors; PROSEA, Bogor, Indonesia, 2002 Plant Resources of South-East Asia 5: (3) Timber Trees: Lesser Known Timbers; MSM Sosef; LT Hong; S Prawirohatmodjo, Editors; PROSEA, Bogor, Indonesia, 1998 Primavera, Jurgenne H.; R.B. Sadaba; Beach Forest Species and Mangrove Associates in the Philippines. SEAFDEC, Aquaculture Department, Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines 2012 Quisumbing, Eduardo: Medicinal Plants of the Philippines, Katha Publishing Co. Quezon City, Philippines Rojo, Justo P.: Revised Lexicon of Philippine Trees; Forest Products Research and Development Institute, Department of Science and Technology, College, Laguna, 1999 Sotalbo, Emiliano D.: Trees, Palms and Bamboos of the University of the Philippines Diliman; UP Press and Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, UP Diliman, Quezon City 2001 Whitmore, H.N.: The Forest of the Philippines, Part I and II. Department of Interior, Bureau of Forestry, Bureau of Printing, Manila 1911