The Republic of the Philippines features a tropical climate that adds marine elements. This mix creates moist, tropical heat. Plant lovers will do well to visit the Philippines during the months of April and May, when both heat and airborne moisture are at their highest levels and make for a spectacular sight of multicolored foliage, while the accompanying heady scents can create a once-in-a-lifetime hiking experience. Although still colorful, the blooms are less plentiful between July and the end of October, when the Philippines experiences thunderstorms quite frequently.
Sniff the air for Jasminum sambac, colloquially known as the Jasmine flower. Its evergreen branches may grow as vines, or the plants may be contained in the shape of a shrub. Flowers always cluster, adding to the heady scent sensation. As you hike through the countryside of the Philippines, you will notice many depictions of Jasmine and also vendors selling Jasmine oils. Jasmine is considered the Philippines' national flower.
Yellow Hibiscus Diversifolius
Keep your eyes open for Hibiscus diversifolius, also known as Hibiscus. You probably know Hibiscus as a plant with intense red coloring, but in the Philippines the Hibiscus is actually a light-colored yellow with a red dot toward the center. It grows in the areas close to rivers and marshes.
Purple Barleria Cristata
Look around for Barleria cristata, also known as the Philippine violet. You will notice that it is cultivated in and around gardens, flower displays and also planter boxes. Its blooms are primarily purple, but pink and white intermixed also occur in nature.
Check all around you in the northern Philippines for Rafflesia manillana. Rafflesia has no foliage but only huge blooms. It is a parasitic plant that invades the stem tissues of other plants, making it highly undesirable to maintain in a garden. Flowers measure between 8 and 39 inches in diameter, are colored in white-dotted red and emit a rotting meat smell that attracts copious insects. You may smell this flower before you actually see it.