By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
An 8-foot-7 endemic Amorphophallus flower species has been spotted in Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal last week.
The Masungi Georeserve Foundation in a Facebook post identified the flower species as Amorphophallus rostratus, “one of the world’s tallest flowers.”
“Park rangers saw the 8’7″ tall Amorphophallus rostratus, while doing maintenance work last week. They reported the sighting to our site officers who confirmed the native species with friends from the academe,” the post read.
The park rangers also noticed a slightly unpleasant smell when the flower bloomed.
The Amorphophallus rostratus is a species endemic to the Philippines and is seen mostly in thickets and low elevation forest. It is known to bear the tallest flower but is also famous for having a bad smell especially when it starts to decay, which in turn attracts insects.
An indigenous ranger who lived in the upland mountains told the Masungi Georeserve Foundation that the flower was locally called “biga,” which “they cut and cook the stalk in boiling water before eating it.
The foundation noted that at least three species Amorphophallus of varying sizes have been documented in Masungi.
“Truly this is another native wonder that must be conserved from quarrying and other harmful activities in our forests and protected areas,” the environment advocate said.