In bloom: Rare flowers blossom in Rizal amid pandemic

June 24, 2020 - 6:12 PM
This composite June 2020 photo shows voodoo lily and Hoya meliflua flowers that were seen blooming at the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal. (Facebook/Masungi Georeserve, Kal Joffres)

Beautiful and unique flowers were recently spotted at the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal.

Masungi Georeserve, a conservation area in Baras, Rizal, shared photos of an 8-foot-7-inch-tall voodoo lily and rare flora called Hoya meliflua flowers that were discovered to be blooming on the nature-reserve park.

Voodoo lily or the Amorphophallus rostratus flower species, locally known “as biga,” is considered to be one of the world’s tallest flowers.It was discovered by park rangers while doing their maintenance work

It was discovered by park rangers while doing their maintenance work.

“The genus was named after the Greek for ‘misshapen or deformed’ male sexual organ in reference to its spire-like spadix,” Masungi Georeserve said.

The reserve park said that this is endemic to their localized area. It added that this bell-shaped endemic species often smell like rotten fish in the first two days.

Meanwhile, almost a week after the growing voodoo lily was discovered, Masungi Georeserve found another captivating endemic species blossoming in the area this month.

It shared a photo of star-shaped hoya meliflua flowers, which are only found in the Philippines.

This rare flora that can have 10 to 20 flowers have been documented in Apayao, La Union, Rizal, Bataan, Laguna, Mindoro, Palawan, Negros, Panay and Leyte.

At least four species of Hoyas have been documented in Masungi.

Hoya meliflua flowers usually have a reddish-orange color, coming from its dark nectar which easily stains.

“It’s another reason why we need to protect this wildlife sanctuary against quarrying, illegal occupation and other harmful activities,” Masungi Georeserve said.