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Featured Wildlife: Alocasia and Corpse Flower of Guinumhay Peak, Agusan del Sur




Documenting one of the most threatened species A. sanderiana

Traversing the trail going to the Peak of Guinumhay in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, Mindanao surprised me to encounter some of the most noted species of aroid particulary Alocasia and Amorphophallus. Based on their ecological status, some are endangered  and some are rapidly dwindling in numbers in their natural habitat.
It has been a hobby of mine to discover and take photos of different species of Aroid in the wild after I was  introduced to it by my former professor and now friend Dr. Melanie Medecilo. With my fascination on this beautiful plants, I always includ them in my observations in every places I am visiting .

Alocasia is under the Family Araceae that grows abundantly in the tropical and subtropical regions. Though some species are edible, majority is becoming a popular item for horticultural purposes or house plant displays.

Aside from loss of habitat, poaching of exotic species have endangered its very existence in the wild and slowly disappearing. If no intervention implemented, these plants will no longer be seen elsewhere in the Philippines.

With the help of Dr. Melanie P. Medecilo of De La Salle University-Dasmarinas , the identification of the following species were confirmed. Though further study is required , confirmation of the presence of endangered plants will aid on the justification of the local community to pass some ordinances to keep the area from illegal poachers. 

(Dr. Medecilo is a renowned Filipino scientist/botanist and a pride of Mindanao. She mastered the study on Philippine  Alocasia, its Taxonomy and Classification)

Alocasia clypeolata





 Alocasia sanderiana (pointed) and A. zebrina 


For the purpose of protecting A. sanderiana, we opted not to show the image of the plant since it is prone to poaching







Alocasia heterophylla






Giant Corpse Flower

Amorphophallus on the other hand is also under the family Araceae but different in morphological structures compared to Alocasia. Before the discovery of Rafflesia, Amorphophallus titanum was known to be the biggest flower in the world. Amorphophallus is noted for its unimaginable stench of the flower that tagged it as the “corpse flower”.  The stench is actually an adaptation of the plant to attract insect pollinators. Some species are being consumed as food, while most of it is used for aesthetic decoration in the garden.

The vicinity of the ancestral domain of Ognop is “infested” with Amorphophallus, camouflaging with other plants in the wild.   Though the picture above is being suspected as A. dactylifer,  there is a need to wait for an individual plant to bloom into flower to confirm the species of the Amorphophallus. The presence of this species also gives another attraction for those potential researchers to study their existence, abundance and niche in the environment.



24 comments :

  1. Wait lang... BS Bio grad ba ka Sir Dennis? :D Awwwww I miss our field works back in college!!!! PLant Taxo ftw!

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  2. slight lng po ... environmental science po ako sir renz :)

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  3. Done some articles about Philippine Flora but not encountered these species. Good find.

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  4. I really do learn something new about plants every time I visit your site and it's really nice to appreciate rare species of plants and I hope that they don't get endangered.

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  5. Hey Dennis! Just curious. What course did you graduate from back in college? :) Astig kasi palagi ng subjects mo especially your focus on the different plant species that you write about.

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  6. I finished environmental science way back in college ... currently practicing my degree. thanks for asking Mai :)

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  7. with our combined effort to spread environmental awareness .. WE CAN! :)

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  8. Wow! Im blown. Its my first time in your site and I find it very interesting and knowledgable. If it was me I would think its just normal, useless grasses, never knew they have their own names and big part in the environment. Im amazed still! Well done!

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  9. Botany. i guess you love this subject.I took this subject during my predental course and in high school(?) .

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  10. It's been awhile since I've read and learned about science particularly grass. Nice read.

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  11. weeehhh...never heard that kind of leaves. Nice read.

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  12. Haaay! There are many species of plants and different types of leaves... You have to go and find them in the forest. You're one curious adventurer.

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  13. Awesome adventure!

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  14. I was starting to wonder why you are so interested in this and then I saw one of your responses where you revealed you took up environmental science, so that explains it!

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  15. the environment is very much neglected and everybody is so busy with the new hype technology...it is in the end when nothing is left , that is the time we will be recognized...as of now we are just spec of dusts to the so called high fashioned desk jobs.

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  16. reading comment below also explains your interest... because i nose-bled reading, tissue please... just kidding... i have very high regard for your passion and knowledge combined.

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  17. Something new from me. Great share and article Sir. Keep sharing the knowledge. Thanks!

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  18. You are not just a traveller but a nature lover as well.

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  19. wow! im glad to know this kind of information! they look wonderful1 xx

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  20. that's one unique hobby you got there.

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  21. great job. I know that we have unknowingly already wiped some plant life from our earth... wish there were some rules when it comes to developing!

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  22. wow! and i'm from prosperidad

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  23. Hi Sir. I am a masteral student from UPLB and I'll be working on Alocasia zebrina in Mt Makiling and Mt Banahaw. Do you have any references that could help in my study. Thank you so much.

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  24. Hi Carla , I suggest you try to contact Dr. Melanie Medicilo from DLSU-D in Dasmarinas Cavite . Her dissertation is on the Philippine Alocasia including the A. zebrina... I have seen this species also in some parts of Mindanao...

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