A Replacement For Sampaguita As National Philippine Flower

Published: 23rd October 2009
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There are many kinds of philippine flowers today that Filipinos could be proud of. One is the popular Arabian Jasmine, or Sampaguita in Tagalog, which is known for its many uses such as ornamentals as well as for medicinal purposes. The Sampaguita is also known in the world as the main ingredient of a popular Chinese tea called Jasmine tea. But what made the flower very popular among the Filipinos is that because of its significance in the Philippines. Sampaguita is known as the national philippine flowers. The government chose this because of its simplicity as well as with its alluring scent.

But there have been a debate in the Philippine congress about changing their their national flower from Sampaguita to another unique flower found in the Philippines. The reason why this has been made is because, unlike the Sampaguita, which is known throughout the Asian countries, this new flower is known to be uniquely found only in the Philippines. This is the Waling-Waling flower.

The waling-waling is a rare epiphytic orchid endemic to the island of Mindanao, particularly in the foothills of Mount Apo in Davao, Cotabato, and Surigao. The flower is also known as Sander's Euanthe, after Henry Frederick Conrad Sander, a noted orchidologist.

The philippine flowers was first given the scientific name of vanda sanderiana by Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach, but this was changed to euanthe sanderiana because of several reasons. Rudolf Schlechter separated Euanthe from Vanda in 1914 due to structural differences in the flowers.For breeding purposes and registration by the Royal Horticultural Society, however, it is still treated as a Vanda.

Hailed as the "Queen of Philippine Orchids," the waling-waling is considered by many as the country's best orchid variety due to its many stunning colorful hybrids. This captivating trait led to hunters and orchid collectors from all over the world harvesting the species almost to extinction. The decline was stemmed, however, when tissue culture was performed in order to repropagate the orchid. Because of the flower's significance in the Philippines, a motion in the House of Representatives of the Philippines have been made in 2004 to declare the "Waling-waling" as the country's national flower, replacing the Sampaguita.

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