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Jasminum aemulum R.Br.

Family: Oleaceae


Description: This is a shrub that grows to a small tree, 4 m or taller. The leaves are oblong, 9 cm long and 5 cm wide, shortly rounded at apex, dark green on both surfaces. The flowers are borne on axils of leaves, white, fragrant, 3.5 cm wide. The plant bears numerous flowers.


Site of endemicity: In Palawan where it is endemic, it is found in Mt. Pulgar, Mt. Binohan, Puerto Princesa, Brooke’s Point, Narra, Aborlan, Tacduan and Zigzag Road.


Economic use: It is highly ornamental.




Adonidia merrillii (Becc.) Becc.

            Syn: Veitchia merrillii (Becc.) Moore f.

Common name: Oring-oring (Tbw)

Family: Palmae


Description: Oring-oring is a slender, erect, solitary palm 6 m tall and 16 cm diameter, covered with smooth gray bark, densely ringed toward the top. The sheath is glaucous green 1 m long, slightly thickened toward the base. The leaves are spreading, recurved, 2 m long, petiole is 15 cm long. The leaflets are ascending, leathery, nearly flat, dull green on the upper surface, paler or glaucous green beneath. The flowers are fragrant, the filaments white, the anthers creamy yellow. The fruit is ovoidly elongated or ellipsoid, hard, red, one-seeded. It grows on limestone hills and in open places, often subgregarious, and in sandy soil near the seashore at low altitudes.


Site of endemicity: This species is endemic to Coron and other parts of northern Palawan.


Status: Because of its elegant form and ease of propagation, this species is now widely grown not only in the Philippines but in many other tropical countries around the world.   




Calamus caesius Bl.

Common name: Sika (Pal, Tag)

Family: Palmae


Description: Sika is a clustering rattan. The stem without sheath is 12 mm in diameter, while the internodes are 40 cm long. Leaf sheath is 20 mm in diameter, loosely armed with small spines and the leaf is 2 m long including cirrus. The petiole is short while the leaflets are arranged irregularly, in 2s or 3s, with narrow lanceolate, 30 cm long and 5 cm wide. The inflorescence is 2 m long, branching, dioecious, and flowers are small. The fruits are ovoid, 10 mm in diameter, the scales yellowish and one-seeded.


Site of endemicity: This species is found in lowland rainforests in northern Palawan (San Vicente, etc.) but it does not occur in other places of the Philippines. It is also found in the wetter parts of Southeast Asia.


Economic use: This is a high quality small-diameter rattan and is popularly made into furniture, baskets and handicrafts. The round cane, skin peel and core provide high quality material for furniture, etc.





Calamus merrillii Becc.

Common name: Palasan (Tag)

Family: Palmae


Description: Palasan is a solitary rattan with a stem 30 m or longer. The bare stem is 8 cm in diameter. The leaf sheath is thick, covered with numerous black or dark brown spines. The leaves are recurved, 3 m long, and cirrus 2 m long. Leaflets are descending, green on both surfaces and lanceolate. The inflorescence is axillary, ascending at first, then becoming recurved to 1.2 m long. The flowers are small while the fruits are roundish or slightly elongated, 1.3 cm long, pale green or whitish, with one seed.


Site of endemicity: This is found in primary forests throughout the country. It is endemic to Palawan and found at low and medium altitudes. It is specifically abundant in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River (formerly St. Paul’s Bay Underground) National Park.


Status: Palasan is the most popular and highly sought species of rattan in the Philippines. It commands a high price in the local and international markets. Because of the over-harvesting, this species is now severely depleted and can now only be found in remote and inaccessible areas of the forests of Palawan.




Daemonorops margaritae (Hance) Becc.

            Var. palawanicus Becc.

Family: Palmae


Description: This is a scandent rattan with leaf sheaths 6 cm in diameter. The leaflets are numerous, equidistant, narrowly linear-ensiform, acuminate to a filiform tip; margins finely ciliate. The female spadix appears before flowering elongate-ensiform, 30 cm long, erect even when in fruit, borne by a flattened prickly; pedicel. Outer spathe narrowly cymbiforms, shortly beaked, armed with small, laminar spines. The spikelets are short with two to four flowers on each side. Fruit is spherical, 20 mm in diameter with only one seed that is globular.


Site of endemicity: The variety is endemic to Palawan where it grows in primary forests at low altitudes. The species is also found in southeastern China.