Posted by: philippineflora | October 26, 2009

Palawan Cherry

Common Name: Palawan Cherry ( Eng )

palawan cherry
Source: PCSD

Palawan cherry is a small to medium-sized tree,15m or taller and 50 cm in diameter. The leaves are pinnate, 40 cm long while the leaflets are ovate, with acute tip, 7 cm long and 3.5 cm wide, green in color and smooth on both surfaces. Flowering branches are usually drooping, 30 cm long. The flowers are in loose panicles. Light pink, 5 cm across. The fruit is cylindrical,hard, smooth, 30 cm long, and black when mature while the seeds are ovate, smooth and black when mature.

This plant is widespread in Palawan often planted in parks and gardens, also at the edge of forests. It is probably of hybrid origin and highly ornamental.

Palawan Council for Sustainable Development

Posted by: philippineflora | September 3, 2009


Common Name: Kalantas

Local Names: Anipla (Iv.); danigga (Ibn.); danupra (Ilk.); kalantas (Pang., Sbl., Tag.); kantingen (Ilk., Sbl.); lanigda (Bik.); lanigpa (Bik.); lanipga (Bik., S. Bis., C. Bis.); porak (Ilk.).

Scientific Name: Toona calantas Merr. & Rolfe

Family Name: Meliaceae


Kalantas is a tree 35 m tall with a diameter of 152 cm. The trunk is terete nad straight. The leaves are compound, alternate, oddly pinnate. The inflorescence is paniculate profuse, lax, equaling or shorter than the leaves, the lower half pedunculate. The fruit is an ellipsoid capsule; dehiscing from the apex toward the base, dark brown, slightly thicker above the middle, 3.2-3.5 cm x 1.2-1.4 cm, with 5 central columns where brown seeds are packed distinctly but unequally winged at each end. The seed with
wings measures 1.2-1.5 cm x 0.4-0.5 cm; that without wings, 5-6 mm x 4-5 mm.

Flowering June-August
Fruiting September-November
Seed collection February-march
Place of collection Mt. Makiling, Laguna

Seed extraction/processing
Capsules easily open and seeds eventually dehisce. Or extract the seeds manually. Remove the wings before sowing.

Seed count: 149,600-150,000/kg
Seed type: Intermediate
Seed germination
Seeds sown in trays with OGS and dried humus germinated after 7 days while seeds sown in 3 layers of filter paper (blotter test) germinated after 3 days. Complete
germination was observed in the blotter and in the potting medium after 6 and 10 days of sowing respectively.
The seeds of this species are the intermediate type. These should be sown after drying them for two days to obtain high percent germination.

Kalantas is widely distributed throughout the Philippines especially in the Balabac group of islands.
The kalantas wood is used in the manufacture of cigar boxes, furniture, and plywood.
Kalantas has distinct ring-porous rings about 2-8 mm wide. Vessels are mostly isolated but sometimes ring-porous. Large vessels are aligned concentrically; vessel elements are distinct averaging 2/mm. The species contains occasional black gummy deposits and iridescent xyloses in some vessels. The fibers of kalantas are moderately loose. The vasicentric parenchyma is inconspicuous while the terminal parenchyma is distinct. It consists of 1-4 bands at the end of a ring which are moderately narrow to very broad and few to moderately few.
The outer bark, 1.3 mm, is brown; the inner bark is 10 mm, reddish with cedary odor. The cambium, 2-3 mm, is white exuding a clear sticky sap with aromatic smell. The
sapwood, white or faintly red, is soft.
Kalantas is generally scattered in the forest hills and in primary forests at low and medium altitudes. It prefers deep, well-drained soils.

Source:  Indigenous Forest Tree Species in Laguna Province. Compiled by Maria dP. Dayan, Rosalinda S. Reaviles and Dolora B. Bandian. DENR Recommends. Volume 15b. DENR-ERDB, College Laguna. August 2007.

Posted by: philippineflora | September 2, 2009


Common name: Malapapaya
Local name: Malapapaya (Visayas, Pangasinan, Tagalog); bongliw (Camarines Sur)
Scientific name: Polyscias nodosa (Blume) Seemann
Family: Araliaceae

Malapapaya is a tall tree reaching a height of about 25 m and a diameter of about 50 cm. Leaves are crowded on twig-apices, widely spreading-downward, simple pinnate, 1-2 mm long; petiole is one third of the length of pinnate leaf; leaflets ovate-oblong, lanceolate from a rounded base, narrowed or shortly acuminate, rounded scallop to saw-tooted edge, 10-25 cm long, and 4-10 cm wide; petiole is very short, more or less 1 cm long. Leaf-blade on the upper surface has distinct fine soft spine in the seedling stage.
Inflorescences in panicles ( sometimes with additional flowering branches in the axils of the upper leaves); primary axils stout, about 1.5 m; bearing secondary axils along its length, bract triangular, about 5 mm long; secondary axils about 20 to 40 cm; capitula borne racemosely along the secondary branches on peduncles about 6-15 cm long.

Flowers are attached directly to a branch, capitate, 8-12 in capitulum. Petals are broadly oblong, valvate, acute, yellowish green, usually 2 mm. Fruits are subglobose, ridged and yellowish red when dry.

The wood is primarily used for fancy woodwork, native wooden shoes, matchsticks, pencil slats, lollipops and Popsicle sticks, toothpicks, chopsticks, ice cream spoons,
boxes and crates. It is also a good material for plywood making.

Malapapaya can be found in Benguet, Pangasinan, Zambales, Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna, Quezon, Sorsogon, Mindoro, Palawan, Leyte, Surigao, and Basilan. It also occurs in
Solomon Island, in Malesia; Sunda Straits, Java, Lesser Sunda Island, Celebes, Moluccas and Papua New Guinea.
Site requirements
Malapapaya grows in open thickets and second growth forests at low and medium altitudes. It also grows in moist areas along gullys and creeks.

Malapapaya is propagated by seeds.

Seed technology
Seed collection
Fruits of malapapaya are gathered from superior mother trees by using a pruner with long handle, a ladder or by climbing up the tree.

Seed processing and storage
Fruits with pulpy covering are placed in a can filled with water for 24 hrs in order to soften the covering. As soon as the pulpy covering is soft, the fruits are macerated. Then, the seeds are taken and spread on a dry surface under a shade and allowed to dry for 2 to 3 days. A moisture content of 4 to 6% is most favorable for long storage.

Nursery practices
1. Prepare seedboxes measuring 60 cm long, 45 cm wide and 14 cm deep.
2. Fill the first bottom inch of the seedboxes with gravel and the second and third inches with sifted sand. The rest should be filled with clay-loam soil which should be one
inch lower than the rim of the box. Before sowing, the surface soil is lightly pressed to make the soil firm.
3. Broadcast the seeds thinly and then cover with a thin layer of sifted sand.
4. Cover the surface of the seedboxes with burlap or gunny sacks. Then, gently sprinkle with water and allow it to penetrate slowly into the soil When the gunny sacks are
partially dry, remove them. Water the seedboxes everyday.
5. Germination usually occurs from 25 to 30 days after sowing.
6. Pot the seedlings in 3 x 6 or 4 x 8 inches polyethylene bags with soil media mixed with sand and top soil.
7. Rear the seedlings in the nursery until they become robust and vigorous enough for field planting, usually when they reach the height of 10 to 20 cm or 8 to 10 months
from sowing.

Plantation establishment
Open thickets and secondary forests are ideal places for plantation establishment of Malapapaya. The following are the steps in establishing Malapapaya plantation:
1. Prepare the planting site by complete removal of vegetation.
2. Plant the potted seedlings before they reach the height of about 20 cm in holes with 3 x 3 m spacing.
3. They should be planted at the onset of the rainy season.
4. Weeding should be done around the base of the plant as may be necessary but not during the dry months to avoid the drying up of the surface soil within the plant

Symptoms: Damping-off occurs either before or after seedling emergence. In postemergence damping-off, infected seedlings develop water-soaked lesions at the base which dehydrate later, turn brown, wilt and cause the seedlings to topple over. In very crowded seedbeds, the cotyledons and the upper part of the stem may turn brown and die.
Causal pathogen: Phytopthora, Pythium, Diplodia, Rhizoctonia and Fusarium spp.
Control measures: Since the disease is caused by a variety of soilborne fungi, exact control measure cannot be given. However, the following measures may significantly
control if not minimize the disease:

1. Avoid using heavy soil – a good growing medium is a 50:50 mixture of fine sand and clay-loam soil.
2. Avoid overcrowding. Thin immediately if seedling population is dense. Thinning enhances circulation of air and prevents accumulation of moisture at the base of the
3. Remove diseased seedlings and burn them once infection becomes evident.
4. Gradually expose the seedlings to full sunlight.
No observation has been made regarding major pests that attack Malapapaya.

Source: Research Information Series on Ecosystems. Volume 3 No. 4. April 30, 1991. DENR-ERDB. College, Laguna

Posted by: philippineflora | August 11, 2009


Common Name: Bitongol, Bitaog

Local names: Batarau (Cagayan, Batanes), bitaog (Babuyanes, Abra, Zambales, Ilocos Norte and Sur, Bataan, Leyte, Agusan); bitaoi (Pangasinan); bitong (Bataan); bi-taog (Cagayan, Camiguin, Isabela; bittog (Bataan); butalao (Batangas); dagkalan (Isabela);  dangkalan (Bataan, Tayabas, Camarines, Albay, Mindoro, Masbate, Negros, Capiz, Lanao, Zamboanga, Burias Island, Butuan, Cotabato, Palawan) dangkaan (Davao); palomaria (Mindoro, Tayabas, Bataan, Zambales, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Cagayan, Manila, Cebu, Zamboanga; palomaria dela playa (Bataan, Laguna, Camarines, Mindoro, Misamis, Zamboanga, Basilan); pamittoagen, tambo-tambo (Jolo); Vutalau (Batanes).

International name: Poon (India), bitanghol, bitaog (Philippines), Tamanau  (New Caledonia, Penaga (Sabah), ka thang han, ka thang lan, Tang hon (Thailand), damanu (Fiji Islands).

Scientific name: Callophylum inophyllum L.

Family: Guttiferae

Bitaog is medium to large-sized tree which attains a height of 25-35 m and a diameter at breast height of 150 cm. Its trunk is short with low big branches and a dense spreading crown. The bark outside is rough, cracky, dark brown to blackish. Its leaves are simple opposite, leathery, and oblong. The inflorescences unbranch, occasionally with threeflowered branches. Flowers are snowy, white, fragrant with numerous yellow  stamens.
Fruits in a small bunch or drupe. They are round, smooth, with green exocarp measuring 3-4 cm in diameter. Its yellow seeds are enclosed in thin, dark brown cork and thin, brittle light brown shell with a diameter of 2-3 cm.

The tree is distributed throughout the Philippines, indigenous in Southeast Asia to tropical coasts, in the Pacific (Polynesian Islands). India to East Africa, northern Australia, Central and northern Queensland. Bitaog in now rare in Central Visayas. Ther are only 10 mature trees in Siquijor. In Cebu, bitaog is found in Bulhoon Municipal Hall and few trees in Osmeña Reforestation Project, Camp 7, Minglanilla, Cebu.

• Tree – shade, shelter, windbreak esplanade planting, reforestation and afforestation species.
• Timber – construction, furniture and cabinet work, ship stern, gunstock, musical instrument, cartwheel hubs, vessels, canoes and boats.
• Bark – source of tannin
• Flowers – bouquets and wreaths
• Seed – source of bitaog oil or tamanu oil, the sacred oil of ancient Tahitian. The oil is a potent healing agent that promote the formation of new tissue, thereby accelerating wound healing and growth of healthy skin a process known as cicatrisation. Bitaog oil is one of the most effective and known cicatrizing agent in nature. The oil with its unusual absorption, mild and pleasant aroma makes it ideal for use in lotions, creams and other cosmetic products. It is also excellent for soap making. The Polynesian women use it for the care of their babies skin, which is sensitive to rashes and other skin problems. It is also a traditional topical aid where the oil is applied to cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and stings, abrasions, acne and acne scars, psoriasis, diabetic sores, anal fissures, sunburn, dry or scaly skin, blisters, eczema, herpes sores, athlete foot, foot, foot and body odor and hair loss. The oil when massaged into the skin relieves neuralgia, rheumatism, sprains and sciantica. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The ethyl ether of the oil is used as an intramuscular injection to relieve pain and symptom of leprosy. It also combats head lice and eliminates dandruff. Used as illuminant in the rural areas, the freshly fallen fruits are gathered and the pulp is allowed to ferment. The fermented pulp is removed by hand. The thin shell is then cracked and the kernel is thinly sliced and dried thoroughly under the sun. The dried kernel slivers are steamed and the oil is squeezed by hands. The extracted oil is used as lamp oil and in the preparation of varnish.
Bitaog oil is greenish yellow in color: The kernels contain 60-75% oil. The oil contains 71.5% fatty oil and 28.4% resin. The fatty acids consist largely of palmitic, oleic and stearic acid.

Bitaog is common in seashores and sandy beaches. It is also found in areas with sandy soil.

Site requirements
Bitaog grows in the uplands up to 400-500 m asl. It needs calcarious soil with high pH. It can also grow in mine tailing areas and degraded soil.

Seed Technology
Bitaog can be propagated through seeds. Collect the seeds from the tree either by picking individual fruits, looping off the branches with pruning poles, or collecting them from the ground. Extract the pulp manually. Air dry the seeds. Do not dry under the sun. Store seeds at an MC of 20% and above in a refrigerator or in air tight container. Bitaog seed count is 78 seeds/liter. The seed type is intermediate.

Nursery practices
Before planting the seeds, pre-treatment is important. Remove the shell completely then soak the seeds in tap water overnight. Seeds will germinate in 8-12 days. The treated seeds are then directly sowed in the medium containing 1:1:1 ordinary garden soil, dried humus, and fine sand in plastic trays or in seed boxes. Bitaog can also be propagated by wildlings which abound under the canopy of some mother trees. Bitaog wildlings, having hardy thick leaves, have a high survival rate.

Plantation establishment
Uproot wildlings by breaking the soil with a spade after heavy rain. Uprooted wildlings are then packed in newspaper and used clothing before placing them in a folded banana leaf/sheath.


Florido, Helen and Fe Cortiguerra. Research Information Series on Ecosystems. Volume 16 No. 1. January – April 2004. Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau. College, Laguna.

Posted by: philippineflora | August 11, 2009

Philippine Rosewood (Toog Tree)

Philippine rosewood (En: trade name)

Common Name: Toog (Filipino), kapullan (Cebu, Visaya)
Scientific name: [Petersianthus quadrialatus (Merr.) Merr.]
Family: Lecythidaceae

A deciduous, medium-sized to fairly large tree that grows up to 40 m tall and 100 (-250) cm in diameter. The trunk is straight, cylindrical, branchless with a length of 20-30 m. Buttress is occasionally up to 2 m high. Bark surface is flaky, fissured, dark brown to grayish red; inner bark is tough, fibrous, and pinkish. Leaves are arranged spirally, simple, alternate. Flowers are in panicles, and have four white petals. Fruit has 4 seeds, in capsule, circular with four papery wings. Wood is hard and difficult to cut. Toog has been found to strong as akle, ipil and molave. Because of its appearance and high quality, toog is now recognized in the local and world market under the trade name Philippine rosewood. However, it is considered a vanishing timber.

Wood is manufactured into face veneer, pulp and paper making and fancy plywood. It is also suitable for general construction, beams, joists, paneling, bridge building, mine timber, pallets, poles, wood piles of wharves and piers and vehicle bodies. It is highly preferred for door faces and door components like jambs, stops and casing that are sold in major export markets, It branches, twigs, sawdust can be used in making charcoal briquettes.
Seeds are edible and taste like peanuts.
Leaves are medicinal especially in treating skin rashes.

Petersianthus comprises only two species. One occurs in tropical West Africa. The second species, P. quadrialatus (Merr.) Merr. (synonym: Combretodendron quadrialatum (Merr.) Knuth), is endemic to the Philippines. Toog abounds in Agusan, Surigao, Davao del Norte, Leyte, Samar, Negros and Masbate. It is also reported to be growing in Laguna, Sorsogon and Bataan.

Toog is fairly common and grows scattered in primary rainforests, near riverbanks or on hillside, in swampy and cool places.

Environmental requirements
Toog grows in an elevation that ranges from sea level up to about 400 m. It thrives in an area where rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. It requires well-drained, clayish, sandy and loamy soils.

Flowering of toog is erratic and apparently triggered by sudden fluctuations in temperature. It occurs between July and February. The fruit takes about one moth to mature, between March and May. Trees remain leafless during flowering and fruiting and buds appear after seedfall. Toog is a prolific seeder.

Seed Technology
Toog is propagated through seeds. After 13 days in storage, the seeds have a viability of 60% and a survival rate of 52%. Toog seeds lose their viability very rapidly, hence, should be sown after collection.

Plantation establishment
Young plants must be ring weeded. A mortality of about 11% was recorded for nonweeded control plot.

Natural regeneration
Natural regeneration is very scarce. Seedlings can be found as far as 200 m from mother trees, especially between buttresses. Seedlings are established on bare soil, e.g., along roads. Toog trees coppice easily.

Growth Rate
Early development in the nursery is rapid and height increment in the first 4 months averages 31 cm. Height increment in a 2-year-old plantation was 0.7 – 2.9 m and diameter increment is 0.6 – 3.8 cm.
For ring-weeded plants, the mean diameter growth after two years is 2.99 cm.

Florido, Helen and Fe Cortiguerra. Research Information Series on Ecosystems. Volume 16 No. 1. January – April 2004. Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau. College, Laguna.