Philippine's Endangered Flower

Published: 01st October 2009
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When it comes to featuring some of the most unique collections of flowers in the Philippines, there isn't too much that the Filipino could show. Although some of the country's collection of flowers such as their national flower, Sampaguita, are native to the Philippines, it still isn't unique from the Philippines. Other than the name Sampaguita, which means "sumpa kita" or "I promise you", the flower is also known as Arabian Jasmine in Arabic which the flower is also a native in their country.

Truly, there isn't many flowers that are unique to one country. However, there is a species of flowers that can only be found within the Philippines. This species of flower has long been known for its rarity as well as its magnificence compared to its other species. Due to this, the flower have been almost pushed to its extinction because of hunters and collectors. This flower is popularly called by the natives as the Waling-Waling.

An Endangered Flower
The Waling-Waling, or Euanthe sanderiana, is a flower of the orchid family. Locally known as the Waling-Waling flower, this species of flowers is said to have only grown in the Philippines, making it the the country's unique flower philippine. Other than its local name, it is known globally as Sander's Euanthe, after Henry Frederick Conrad Sander a noted orchidologist. The Waling-Waling flower is also considered as the "Queen of Philippine flowers" because of 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.

Euanthe sanderiana or the Waling-Waling is endemic to Mindanao in the provinces of Davao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga where it is found on the trunks of dipterocarp trees at elevations below 500 meters. Over-collected, the plant is considered rare in nature.

The Waling-Waling is known to have two different types or forms, pink and white, also referred to as alba. M. Roebelin discovered the original pink variety in the Philippines in 1881 or 1882. Before the flower was known as Euanthe sanderiana, its original name was Vanda sanderiana but was changed due to several factors. 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.

Although the Waling-Waling flower philippine was almost pushed to extinction due to illegal collection and hunting of the flower, the decline was, however, stemmed when tissue culture was performed in order to repropagate the orchid. Laws have also been passed out to protect these flowers from illegal hunting.



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