NEW PLANT SPECIES DISCOVERED IN MOUNT TIMOLAN, PHILIPPINES
Photo by Rudolph Valentino A. Doctor
The Plagiostachys lourdesiae (Zingiberaceae) that belongs to a ginger family was discovered by Rudolph Valentino A. Docot, a scientist and faculty of Far Eastern University, Manila. The scientist named the plant Plagiostachys lourdesiae in honor of the school’s Chair Emeritus Lourdes R. Montinola. He found the species in Mt. Timolan Protected Landscape, Tigbao, Zamboanga Del Sur in 2018. He was then granted with a WIldlife Gratuitous Permit No. IX-01-2018 by DENR-IX for conducting research entitled “Establishment of Far Eastern University Herbarium: Floristic Assessment in Mt. Timolan Protected Landscape, Zamboanga del Sur” this is in line with the provisions of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 after it was granted clearance by the Protected Area Management Board to the research proponent.
The plant is known to be a terrestrial herb growing loose clumps. It is also known to be a species of ginger. At a squint, the plant looks peculiar which “ its flower head breaks through the lead sheaths just above the ground, appearing lateral,” said in a university release. Its growing size is around to be 10cm and it’s reddish in color.
The Plagiostachys lourdesiae was proven to be a new species that is endemic to the province of Zamboanga del Sur and Agusan del Sur after going through a series of botanical research.
The new plant discovery was published in the Nordic Journal of Botany, an international journal for the scientific study of plants and fungi.
Undoubtedly, the Protected Landscape has so much to offer. It should be protected at all times and discoveries will be rife. The Philippines just proved once again that it is home to much-undiscovered beauty and rich biodiversity.
Photos courtesy of Rudolph Valentino A. Docot/ DENR Zamboanga Peninsula