Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some Philippine trees indigenous to Bangkok.

The minute that I set foot on Bangkok, I couldn't help but notice the trees that lined the streets of this city. Thailand being a tropical country is just at the western side of the Philippines after Vietnam & Cambodia, which make sense why some flora found in their country are also indigenous to my country. Majority of the landscaped trees I observed along Bangkok's public areas are comprised of the ff:

Young Narra (Pradu, Pradu-ban) trees are planted in the middle of the island road and side streets of the metropolis as shown here at N8 station of Sukhumbit Line near Chatuchak Park. I wonder why I didn't see any century old trees of this species. Could it be that mature specimens were felled years ago or that they were just introduced into the city landscape?

Shown at right is a fruiting and flowering Bitaog (Ka-than-han, Krathing, Tang-hon) tree within the compound of the WAT INTHARAWIHAN temple.

Also nearby and a couple of steps away from the Bitaog tree is this Banaba (Tabeak, Tabek) tree.

Dita (Thia, Tin-pet) trees complement this side of the MBK shopping center, which is found at the corner of Rama I road and Phaya Thai road. I also saw a specimen at the parking area of the Cobra Show and numerous specimen along roadways and parks.

Though I didn't see any mature trees when I was in Bangkok, here in the Philippines they grow to majestic sizes of about 40 meters in height and about 100 cm bole diameter.

While riding
the elephant along the trails of the Elephant Village, I was surprised to see this Akleng-parang (suan, Thing-thon) tree. There was another specimen of this at the parking area of the RTC wood carving.

I saw Talisai (Hu Kwang) trees along the trails of this area. Observed planted trees along roadways and establishments within the city as well.

From left to right is a photo of an Agoho (Son-tha-le), Bangkal (Krathum, Krathum-bok, Taku) and Molave (Bin-nok) tree, which I observed growing along or near the river canal going to the Dumnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Lastly, I encountered a lot of young Bungang-Jolo trees, popularly known as Manila palm or Christmas palm within the landscaped gardens of Chatuchak Park. They were planted in groups of two's and three's.

According to Wikipedia, this particular palm tree is only found growing in the Philippines. This means that this species has been introduced to Bangkok and probably throughout Thailand.

The Manila palm is considered to be an ornamental palm. It is a proliferous fruiting tree and can produce hundreds of single seeded fruit in one season alone.
I can imagine our very own Manila palm becoming invasive in other countries if not properly handled.

Note: Pardon me if I have made any error with regards to spelling of Thai names of tree species or places. Please correct me if I am wrong.


Kapatid RMA said...

Hi. just new to this blog thing. just taking a chance to post an inquiry to you. I am looking for a book compiling all forest trees found in the philippines with photos for reference purpose. I would like to ask if you know where I can possibly buy such book/reference material......five5ph@yahoo.com (legazpi city)

Rico said...

Hi Kapatid RMA! Thanks for reading my blog and posting a comment.

Sad to say, but from what I know, there is no such compilation that exists. I have enumerated a list of books on the mid right-hand portion of my home page, entitled "Mga BABASAHIN", which indicates book titles, their authors and respective book cover images.

What I use as a good reference is the Revised Lexicon of Philippine Trees, which is a good reference book on enlisted Philippine trees with their corresponding local and scientific names with a few added description. The other books will help in some way, but it is still insufficient. I bought this book in FPRDH (Forest Products Research and Development Institute) in Los Banos, Laguna.

The other books mentioned are available in either in National Bookstore, The National Museum under the office of Dr. Domingo Madulid, UPLB publishing and UPLB-FPRDI.

In case you find a good compilation of Philippine Flora, please let me know as I myself am interested in acquiring such book.

Hope that I have helped you in some way. Feel free to give any suggestions or any opinion regarding the topics discussed.

Thanks again.

Kapatid RMA said...

tnx for the reply....tnx for sharing such infos....i let you know if got a copy of such reference material.....do you an updated list of availbale seeds (forest trees) that is for sale and how much does it cost?..Do you of organization who offers training in tree identification (dendrolgy) and wood identification? I am interested to attend such training...tnx....five5ph@yahoo.com

Rico said...

Kapatid RMA,

It's nice to hear from you again.

Actually, I only update the enlisted seeds of mentioned tree species whenever it is available and in season. I collect them myself and make sure that it is still fresh and viable. I don't store any seeds, because most seeds loose viability from prolonged storage. And because I am NOT an expert, I don't want to gamble in selling seeds that I am not sure would grow. I will update this list from time to time. Again, depending on the availability and provided that I am 100% sure of its identification.

I am still in the process of learning and familiarizing myself with the diverse species of our Philippine flora. The name "Yakal" alone for example is associated with eight (8) different species, according to the Revised Lexicon of Philippine Trees by Rojo. Namely, these are identified as Yakal, Yakal kaliot, Yakal magasusu, Yakal malibato, Yakal-saplungan, Yakal-yamban, Basilan yakal and Malayakal. These species belong to the genus shorea and hopea. Yet, White lauan otherwise known as shorea contorta also belongs to the same genus as shorea. As such, seedlings are oftentimes misidentified or not properly labeled by collectors and commercial nurseries.

Part of the reason that hinders me from posting other species in my blog post is because I am still unsure of the identification of the family, whether the genus, species or the sub. species. It is also the same reason why I just can't sell or swap them as seeds or seedlings. I hope you understand.

I am only a hobbyist. I have no formal training in forestry, agriculture or horticulture so I am not in the position to further discuss this topic other than what I already know. I am not a member of any organization either. This blog is primarily intended to bring awareness, realization and share what I have learned through my own experience and understanding of Philippine flora. In time, I hope that I will be able to share more of the said topics.

Thanks again and keep in touch.

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