The Many Beautiful Flowers of the Philippines

Published: 18th October 2010
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There are many popular species of Philippine flowers in which some are widely known across the world, or around Asia. Some are recognized as one of the rarest types of flowers around the world, while others are less than popular than those flowers usually sold in flower markets. So what are the most popular types of flowers found in the Philippines?





Sampaguita


One of the most popular species of Philippine flowers is sampaguita. Apart from being the country’s national flower, the sampaguita is also known for its many uses. One is its use as ornaments, in which the flowers are strung together in a garland. These would then be used as offering for saints, whether in churches or altars at home, or as gifts given to tourists, new graduates, and competition winners.





However, other than ornaments or traditional gifts, these flowers are also known for their medicinal uses. According to the book of Eduardo Quisumbing, the flowers of a sampaguita can be used as a lactifuge, while its roots and leaves can be used to treat venereal diseases and decoction for fevers.





The sampaguita is also recognized as a popular tea in many Asian countries, such as in China. This is because the sampaguita, or mostly known around the world as the jasmine flower, is used as the main ingredient for jasmine tea.





Ylang-Ylang


Another popular species of Philippine flowers, the ylang-ylang is known for its aromatic scent. Similar to sampaguiita, the ylang-ylang flower is also mostly used in garlands together with sampaguita. However, other than its aromatic scents as an ornament, the ylang-ylang flower is also known for its medicinal purposes, such as for aromatherapy.





Many even believed that the use of ylang-ylang for aromatherapy can be used to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac.





The ylang-ylang tree is a native of the Philippines and prefers to grow in slightly acidic rainforest soil. Its flowers are yellow-green in color and shaped rather like starfish. Though native, this flower is also found in many other countries in Asia such as in Indonesia in which the flower is used on the bed of newlywed couples.





Waling-Waling


The Waling-Waling flower, though not sold in any market, is considered as one of the most popular species of Philippine flowers. Part of the reason is because the flower is rare, and can only be found in the Philippines, mostly in Mindanao, particularly in the foothills of Mount Apo in Davao, Cotabato, and Surigao.





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.





Other Popular Flowers in the Philippines


Though considered today as part of the many species of Philippine flowers, most of these were only introduced from other countries. These include:


Santan - Another ornamental favorite, santan is the familiar garden shrub adorned with little red flowers borne in cymes. The species originally came from India, but has since been cultivated in the Philippines.


Dama de Noche – Popularly known in legends, these types of Philippine flowers bloom at night and exude a very sweet scent. Although widely cultivated in the Philippines, the plant was introduced from tropical America.


Everlasting Flower - Also known as paper daisy or straw flower, the everlasting is a famous bloom associated with Baguio City. Due to its longevity, it is also a favorite of devotees who adorn their altars with these blooms. These flowers, however, were only introduced from Australia.

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