|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 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|
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.