Flora and Fauna of Manila Exhibit

There was an exhibit of various Flora and Fauna at the Manila City hall lobby  from June 18 to June 30, 2010.  This was to highlight the founding date of the city of Manila.

Mr. Jeremy Barns- Director IV- National Museum, Mr. Larry Henares  – National Museum Chairman , Hon. Alfredo S. Lim -Mayor of Manila, Ms. Gemma Cruz de Araneta – Manila Historical and Heritage Commission during the cutting of ribbon last June 18, 2010 .

Ideopsis juventa manillana, Moore 1883

This butterfly species was first described by Moore in 1883 . This dried taxonomic butterfly specimen was exhibited by the Philippines National Museum . The butterfly species had the word Manila .

Cinnamomum manillarum ( Lauaceae)

Fr. Manuel Blanco (1779-1837), who developed a botanical research garden at the church celebrating its 400th birthday today. Blanco’s Flora de Filipinas, first printed in 1837, has served as a guide to the islands’ plants ever since.

Fr. Blanco described Scyphiphora hydrophyllaces, locally known as nilad: a tree with white star-shaped flowers. He wrote, “Manila denotes a place where there are many of this tree and from this, great Manila derived its name.”

Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea (common names: nilad in Tagalog; chengam in Singapore and Peranakan communities of Malaysia) is a mangrove species  that is about 3 m (10 ft) tall.


It is often found in mangrove forests or sandy beaches. Its leaves are opposite. The leaf blades are broad and drop-shaped. Its terminal buds and young leaves are coated with a varnish -like substance. The flowers have four white lobes that are tinged in pink. They are arranged in dense clusters.

The fruits are elliptic and deeply ridged, becoming light brown and buoyant when ripe. Its dark brown wood can be used to craft small objects. Leaf extracts are known to be helpful for stomach aches. The flowers can be used as a cleansing or whitening laundry agent.

Capital city of the country ( Manila) , got its name from the nilad because the shores of Manila Bay are teeming with this shrub. The place was called “Maynila”, which means “There is nilad” or “Where is Nilad”  . The Capital city’s name   was also probably derived from the Indian – Sanskrit  word “nila” (नील) which means “indigo tree.” but still is subject for scholarly debate on the origin of the etymology.

Caprimulgus manillensis

The Philippine Nightjar (Caprimulgus manillensis) is a species of nightjar   in the Caprimulgidae  family. It is considered as an endemic species found only in the Philippines.

Its natural habitats  are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, and subtropical or tropical moist montanes.

The aim of this exhibit was to create awareness that a significant number of plant and animal species that were named after the capital city of the Philippines which is ” Manila “.

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