75 Trendy Plants in the Philippines for 2021 (Part 3)

Plantiquarians, plantitos, plantitas, halamoms, batang halaman will always on a look-out for cheaper and trendy plants this coming 2021 and 2022.

Many are looking for small plants which can fill their limited space. They can be grown with minimal care.

75 Trendy Plants in the Philippines for 2021 to 2022

Episcia hybrids :Photo courtesy of Mr. Delmer del Rosario

68.) Episcia hybrids – Episcia and its hybrids are grown for several decades in the country, The prices are still quite affordable. They are usually grown in hanging baskets, elevated pots, semi-indoor garden and in some cases indoor culture.

There are ten species it contains are native to Central and South America with hundreds of man-made hybrids.

Episcia GREEN Tea

These plants are easily grown and are easily hybridized with exciting marked or patterned leaves. Majority of the flowers are red (rarely orange, pink, blue or yellow) flowers. Unlike other plants, These can be grown in wide array of set-up such as small containers, pocket garden, carpet, terrarium, vivarium and even dish garden.

Photo courtesy : Mr. Delmer Del Rosario

Philippine Episcia Growers Society FB group had more than 2,000 members which can attest to the popularity of the genus. The retail prices of episcia had significantly grown over several months period.

small plants or plantlets price range from are about Php 150 for ordinary varieties, Php 250 up for new hybrids, Php 400 up for cleopatra, picasso and other chimera types

67.) Zamia furfuracea – ( commonly called cardboard palm or cardboard cycad. Other names include cardboard plant, cardboard sago, Jamaican sago, and Mexican cycad ) This is type of cycad which originally found in Veracruz state and Eastern Mexico.

The cycad is getting some attention among palm, cycad and plant collectors since it survive with minimal change since the Jurassic era.

When Zamia furfuracea was introduced to the country in the early 1970’s, This was used by Mr. Ely Bardenas in many of his landscape projects. It was planted in big pots and used as focal point in many private subdivisions.

Online selling sites base in the United States, one foot Zamia furfuracea and Zamia floridana (native to US) only cost $14.99 or about Php 730 pesos. However, one must bear in mind that there are additional cost like freight, import taxes, custom duties and others that would increase the prices of the plant.

Zamia furfuracea is grown as hedge plant in a pocket garden in Quezon City

There are compact types and variegated types of Zamia furfuracea which were exhibited in local plant shows. price is quite elastic over the past few years, For local cycad and plant collector, this is more affordable compared to Encephalartos and Dioon.

The leaves are sometimes use during palm sunday as substitute for Cycas revoluta or young fronds of coconut leaves ( palaspas). One must be careful with this cycad as this can be toxic to pet animals and to even human when ingested.

photo courtesy of pixabay user:duplex-87749

66.) Cycas revoluta – commonly called sago palm, king sago, sago cycad, pitogo, Japanese sago palm.

As a group, the cycads are commonly considered “living fossils,” their lineage little changed over more than 250 million years. The plants is native to Ryukyu islands, parts of Taiwan and Fujian province in China.

Cycas revoluta was introduced during pre-hispanic era with early contacts from Ryukyus, Taiwanese and Chinese traders might have brought the plants.

It is propagated via seeds or basal offset. The leaves are use during palm sunday as alternative for young coconut palm fronds for palaspas. The leaves can stay green for several days during the holy week ( mahal na araw, semana santa) which makes them desirable symbol in warding off evil spirits which would roam during the lenten season. There were several superstitious beliefs surround this cyad, that local growers would covet this plant.

Cycad sago is extremely poisonous to animals (including humans) if ingested. But in some parts of Ryukus islands (Amami islands) the pith is processed and used as a source of flour.

The process is ardous and long process. The trunk had to be cut down and had to be de-barked or peels first then soaked. Soaking the starch from the stem or the seeds helps leach out the potent toxin known as cycasin, which can cause death.

The chopped fragments are dried in the sun and then fermented. material is placed in a bamboo basket and leached many times with water. The water is caught in a wooden tub in which the starch is allowed to settle. them out.

Mashing the starch slowly removes the toxin. the flour is used in making edible pastry known as sotetsu mochi and sotetsu miso.

Asplenium musifolium grown near the entrance of a homeowner somewhere in Quezon City. The owner believes that this fern brought them good luck, good health and prosperity. This fern had been growing in their pocket garden for more than 10 years.

65.) Asplenium musifolium and related species – Plant sellers, traders and collectors would all agree that Asplenium musifolium ( bird’s nest fern) and related species will still be popular for 2020 and 2021. These ferns are not only grown for their aesthetic value, the fern roots can be sustainably harvested for use as pasdak in horticulture industry. There are several folk tales and superstitious beliefs which surround growing this fern in our country.

forking types of Asplenium grown at the Arid and Aroids Farm in Silang, Cavite

Some also believe that these ferns brings good luck and invites prosperity in our homes. Some would hung several bird’s nest fern on the eve of their homes or one’s entrance.

serious collectors would covet the more expensive forking types, variegated types.

64.) Microsorum punctatum fulcra CV “Salisi” – This is an underrated Philippine fern species. The demand is slowly picking up. Its curly fronds are the main attraction for this species. The care and fertilization is similar to Asplenium musifolium and native ferns.

Whenever this particular fern variety would appear in private collection. This would elicit some excitement among local collectors.

Microsorum punctatum furcatum CV” SALISI” -photo courtesy of Mr. Lebon Ong

Background Story : This was a true story of greed and was told countless of times by plant collectors, garden society members, sellers at the former Manila Seedling Bank Foundation. This happened between 14 to 15 years ago.

Personalities involvedMicrosorum punctatum furcatum cv ” Salisi” a mutant form was acquired from a Gubatum/ Gubatum Harbatum/ Hablotii ( jungle collected plant trader). The said personality is infamous in Okinawa and many Southeast Asian countries. – Let us give the code name: Okimon ( known in the international orchid and plant scene as a collector having the rarest plants of them all)

Plant and Orchid Trader ( code name: Mr. Seller or Mr. Descendant of an Emperor in China ) was presumed to be co-owner of the plant, since the original plant owner was his BFF. “Best Friend Forever”.

Eccentric Woman Trader ( Ms. EWT) Ms. EWT is well-known in the entire Manila Seedling Bank Foundation, as resource person, plant seller and plant collector/ influencer.

Rich Society Matron (Mrs. RSM) was a rich business woman from Antipolo, Rizal province.

Sales Girl from a nearby plant stall

Microsorum was the joint ownership of Okimon and Mr. Seller who were known in their respective field. The fern was allegedly stolen during a plant show in broad daylight sometime in 2006 or 2007 by Ms. EWT. It was Ms. EWT who stole the mutant fern under the command of Mrs. RSM. ( collector of rare plants among others).

When the owner learned that the fern was stolen, Mr. Seller went around and almost went to the community police precinct to file a report on the lost/ theft.

Neighboring plant stall sales girl took notice on the commotion on Mr. Seller’s booth. They pinpointed that the eccentric woman trader took the plant just borrowing for show and tell.

Mr. Seller immediately went to the stall of Miss Eccentric Woman Trader and confronted the person. The fern was held by the rich society matron, According to Mr. Seller, it was for sale for 5 digit amount. When the rich society matron learned that the fern was quite expensive, It was returned back to the former owner.

Took a while for Ms. EWT and Mr. Seller on a speaking term. The incident also brought the dark side of each party involve- back biting and back stabbing each other’s personality.

news of the alleged stolen reached even far flung provinces and plant society members would visit the stall of Mr. Seller/ Descendant of the Emperor just to see and take photos of the fern in question.

The news was quite big that even international fern collectors from the other parts of the world took notice. It was later bought by a rich eccentric businessman for 5 digit sum higher that what was initially offered. Occasionally, when this fern variety would pop-up in local market or garden center. Those who knew the story would always remember the story and call this fern as Microsorum SALISI… in reference to the incident.

Special Mention : Mr. Delmer del Rosario – administrator of Philippine Episcia Growers Society FB group, Mr. Lebon Ong, Arid and Aroids, Mrs. Aldemar Sanchez, Quezon Memorial Circle plant center administrator.

Please wait for the rest of the list in my following post… Happy New Year 2021

Sources:

Personal Interview among plant center owners, Orchid and Plant Lovers of the Philippines FB, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Fairview Neopolitan Garden Center, Cartimar Garden Center, White Plains, Bulacan Garden, Arid and Aroid’s Farm, Quezon City Memorial Circle, Tabang -Guiguinto Pla apast few nt growers, GreenScapes Garden CenterNovaliches, Farmer’s Garden Center -Cubao, Sidcor -Eaton Centris Sunday Market, Rona’s Garden.

Related article link ( 75 Trendy Plants for the Philippines in 2021 Part 2) and ( 75 Trendy Plants for the Philippines in 2021 Part 1)

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