Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Philippines Flora

The country's flora includes well over 10,000 species of trees, bushes and ferns, most of which are endemic to the Philip­pines. In spite of uncontrolled tree-felling in the 1980s, the islands of the Philippines are still covered with around 10% tropical rain­forest, an impressive statistic for Asia. By a curious twist of fate, many forests -in Min­danao, Negros, Samar and Bohol owe their continued existence to the presence of in­surgent armies. As well as stands of mag­nificent giants and rare tree ferns, over 900 species of orchid contribute to the astound­ing variety of jungle flora.

Important cash crops include coconut palm, rice, corn and sugar cane, as well as many different kinds of tropical fruits in­cluding durians, rambutans and lanzones. One crop unique to the Philippines is the pili nut, which is used in confectionery, ice cream and even soap production. It's har­vested from May to October, mostly around Sorsogon in South Luzon. The pretty yel­low flowering narra is the national tree of the Philippines, but the unofficial national tree is surely the nipa palm, which lends its name and timber to the traditional nipa hut found in villages and many tourist resorts all over the country.

5 Comments:

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