The Philippines is home to several varieties of orchids, both native and nonnative. Native examples include those from genus paphiopedilum and genus phalaenopsis, some species of which are classified as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This is a result of overpicking for sale and loss of habitat.
The rambutan is a fruit-bearing tree found in the Philippines, although it is thought to be an import from elsewhere in Southeast Asia and therefore nonnative. The flowers are tiny and white, and remain budlike even after blossoming. The rambutan fruit is red and covered with soft spines, and is very popular throughout Southeast Asia.
This is another tropical fruit tree imported to the Philippines. The five-petaled flowers can be a variety of colors and are typically about 3/8-inch wide. They are cultivated in orchards in the Philippine lowlands, and the fruit can be eaten raw with the peel still on. Santol fruits are also made into preserves.
Hibiscus flowers are a common sight throughout Southeast Asia, including the Philippines. They grow both wild and in gardens, and there is a bewildering variety of nonnative species and hybrids present in the country. Among them is one species that is a definite native, commonly called the swamp hibiscus. It is a common practice to pluck and dry the petals of this flowers, and use them as part of recipes for herbal teas and black tea blends.
The "corpse flower," or rafflesia, is well-known for a variety reasons. Foremost is that is the world's largest flower, being about as wide across as a small car tire and often weighing more than 20 pounds. Past its large size is the fact that it looks and smells like it is made of rotting meat. These flowers are found in tropical forests around Southeast Asia, but there have been discoveries of species of this flower that are unique and found only in particular places in the Philippines. Discoveries of these distinctive types of corpse flower were still occurring in 2008.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.