Eric“Errah” Caunca is a logophilic writer and science educator. He writes about various topics of scientific knowledge.
Beautiful Flowers Found in the Philippines
The Philippines is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Despite its small size, it is one of the 18 mega-biodiverse countries in the world, which include large nations like Brazil, China, India, Australia, and the United States.
It ranks fifth in the number of plant species and maintains 5% of the earth's flora. It has 10,045 kinds of vascular plants (a group of the kingdom Plantae where conifers, ferns, and angiosperms belong). The largest group of tracheophytes in the archipelago is the angiosperms, with 8,924 extant species.
They are flowering plants and can be trees, vines, shrubs, weeds, or grass. You can find them anywhere in the country—in gardens, shops, swamps, forests, and open fields. Their colorful parts, the flowers, are significant among Filipino cultures. Like the other parts of the plant, they are used as decorations for special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, religious rituals, and even funerals.
On Valentine's Day, men give them to their partners, and on All Souls' Day, people offer them to their deceased loved ones. The month-long Penagbenga Festival is celebrated every year, which includes floats that are covered with blooms. Several cultures eat petals of rose, hibiscus, bougainvillea, and squash. Some use them as food additives. Plants, such as elephant apple, Sander's Vanda, and yamstick mangrove, are depicted on stamps and coins.
The current national flower in the Philippines is Sampaguita (Jasminium sambac), which is often used in garlands and given to tourists as welcome offerings and new graduates or competition winners as honorary symbols for their achievements. However, it is not endemic to the country because it can also be found in other countries, such as Indonesia. Congress wants to change the national flower to Waling-waling (Vanda sanderiana), an orchid that is endemic and worshiped by Bagobo tribes as a deity.
This article will showcase 10 of the most beautiful flowers which are endemic, native, or originated in the “Pearl of the Orient Sea.”
The 10 Most Beautiful Flowers That Grow in the Philippines
- Jade Vine
- Rose Grape
- Hooded Orchid
- Foxtail Orchid
- Palawan Cherry Blossom
- Monarch Rosemallow
- Red Silk-Cotton
- Passiflora moluccana
- Queen of Philippines
1. Jade Vine
Jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys), also called emerald vine, is one of the world's rarest and most expensive plants. It was discovered on Mount Makiling in Laguna. This climber can grow up to 18 meters long and belongs to the pea and legumes family.
It produces a three-meter-long cluster of claw-like mint-green or turquoise blooms. It displays luminous quality at night to be easily seen by the nocturnal bats that typically pollinate it.
2. Rose Grape
Although it has the common name Philippine Orchid, it does not belong to the family Orchidae; it is named in that way because it is an epiphyte or lives on trees. They can grow up to three meters tall. It has a cluster of pink, red, and purple blossoms. It is also named rose grape (Medinilla magnifica) due to its small, round, purple grape-like fruits.
Most Filipinos use it for ornamental purposes only; it has sweet edible berries, but people often think it's poisonous (a myth). Some tribes eat not just the fruit but also its stem and leaves. It is also called the pink lantern tree, chandelier tree, love plant, and showy Medinilla.
3. Hooded Orchid
There are more than 1,100 members of the family Orchidae in the nation; 900 of them are unique to the Philippines. One of the most beautiful is the hooded orchid.
The local name of the hooded orchid (Dendrobium aphyllum), fairy sanggumay, came from its resemblance to a miniature flying fairy with translucent violet wings and a yellow body (lip) that usually attaches to the cane-like stem. The flower is often used in leis for graduation ceremonies or as decorations or garlands.
4. Foxtail Orchid
The foxtail orchid (Rhyncostylis retusa) is one of the most stunningly beautiful flowers in the world. It is named for the long inflorescence that resembles the tail of a fox and can reach up to 15 inches long. It consists of more than 100 pink-spotted white blooms. At night, when the temperature is warm, it releases a spicy aroma. There are four extant species of its genus, and all of them can be found in the archipelago.
5. Palawan Cherry Blossom
It is good news for the people who live in tropical countries and want to see the Japanese cherry blossom. This plant is almost identical to the national flower of Japan; however, they come from different families.
Sakura comes from the family of plums, cherries, peaches, and almonds and lives in cold climates, while Palawan cherry blossom (Cassia nodosa) is from the family of legumes, peas, and beans and lives in warm climates.
It is a deciduous wood. When it sheds its leaves, it is nearly white from top to bottom due to the nearly pure-white, pink-tinged blossoms that remain on the branches. It is usually found in Palawan, Visayas, and the office of the president.
Narra (Pterocarpus indicus) is the national tree of the Philippines. Also called Amboyna rosewood, Malay padauk, and Andaman redwood, it can grow up to 40 meters tall. It has rose-scented, reddish hardwood usually used to make expensive furniture, houses, and wood arts. It is resistant to termites, fungi, and floods and is used in many ways, including in shampoo, herbal medicine, and tea.
It has an orange-yellow inflorescence and is usually used as a source of honey. Like Cassia nodosa, it intends to shed its leaves. During the wet season, it becomes entirely yellow.
7. Monarch Rosemallow
Monarch Rosemallow (Hibiscus radiatus) is a kind of hibiscus that can grow one meter in height. It has large, trumpet-shaped, showy, mauve reproductive parts that have a fuchsia center. Its leaves are shaped similarly to those of the cannabis plant, so it is often mistaken for marijuana. The shrub is believed to be a cure for fever and is considered a blood purifier.
8. Red Silk-Cotton
Red silk-cotton (Bombax ceiba) is usually found on beaches and coastal areas of the archipelago. It has cup-shaped red blooms with five petals. When it loses its foliage, it becomes entirely red and is mistakenly thought to be burning. It produces a brown oval capsule that, when ripe, contains white fibers that use for stuffing pillows and ropes.
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9. Passiflora moluccana
This is a kind of passionfruit is a climber that can grow up to six meters in length. It is the only type of its genus that has opposite leaves. The large reproductive part is decorated with complex patterns. It has white petals, a purple corona with white in the middle, and large green or yellow stamens at the center. It has a grenade-shaped fruit. It symbolizes the death of Jesus Christ.
10. Queen of Philippines
Queen of Philippines (Mussaenda philippica) is a medium-sized tree reaching up to three meters tall. Its colors vary depending on the varieties, such as Doña Luz (pink), Doña Aurora (white), and Doña Envangelina (red).
The pink, white, or red parts of the plant are not its flowers. It is the bracts or colored leaves that result from having no chlorophyll. The floret is orange and star-shaped and is located at the end of the cluster of bracts. It is usually used as an ornamental plant for parks and public gardens or planted along roadsides.
- The most beautiful flowers in the world - Verdissimo
What do you think are the most beautiful flowers in the world? Nature often surprises us with true wonders. And there are flowers capable of leaving anyone speechless.
- Plants of the Philippines | Project Noah
Project Noah is a tool that nature lovers can use to explore and document local wildlife and a common technology platform that research groups can use to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.
- List of the Orchidae of the Philippines - Wikipedia
- List of the Philippine Flora Families
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Eric Caunca
Amy on October 26, 2020:
These flowers are very beautiful. I especially liked the Jade vine and the Palawan cherry blossom. Thanks for sharing such an interesting article.
Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on October 24, 2020:
Every time I come across an article about the natural wonders of the Phillippines I always learn something new. These flowers are spectacular!
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on October 24, 2020:
The Rose Grape is certainly unique and new to me so I favored it. The Passion Flower vine is found around here in California. People love importing unique flowers and vines. I have seen them but never grew one myself. You have to have just the right place to let it climb and take over. Lovely flowers. Thanks for taking us on a tour of your flowers.
Adoracion dela Cruz on October 20, 2020:
Sakto sakto article sa panahon plantito plantita mga Pilipino, favorite ko queen of Philippines at gumamela na rare pati cherry blossoms sana magkaron ako
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 18, 2020:
Thank you for showcasing these spectacular flowers that grow in the Philippines. It was hard to choose just one in your poll for a favorite.
Ankita B on October 17, 2020:
Excellent article. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the different flowers native to Phillipines. The photos are beautiful.
Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on October 17, 2020:
Ipagbunyi ang yamang Pilipinas!
Salamat po kailangan ko ma meet yang si Rose grape.
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 17, 2020:
Interesting and informative article about the beautiful flowers in the Philipines. The jade vine is so beautiful and unique.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 17, 2020:
The facts are interesting and the photos are beautiful. Thank you for creating this informative article, Eric. I enjoy learning about plants from the Philippines.