Los Baños Horticulture Society 2013 Summer Show

Seniors’  Social Hall and Garden, University of the Philippines ,Los Baños, Laguna -Philippines

Los Baños Horticultural Society in partnership with University of the Philippines -Los Baños, Department of Trade and Industry , The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) holds their bi-annual horticulture show and trade fair  .

schedule of the activities and lectures

This year’s theme ” There is Beauty in Our Native Plants” . The focus of the show are the native plants  which are unappreciated and sometimes neglected in many parts of the country. Some of them are highly endangered and almost extinct.

Nephrolepis acutifolia or Iligan Fern

This fern won first place in the category and the centerpiece of the exhibit

I have featured this fern in my previous article post : https://renz15.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/los-banos-horticulutre-society-show-urban-forest/

The opening ceremony was held yesterday, March 14, 2013 at around past 4:00pm and were attended by Ms. Marina Catipon , vips, members of the society and affiliated plant and gardening societies across the country.


This is the most visited and important plant show south of Manila that any plant collector  ,  environment enthusiasts, students and photographers must never miss!

main center piece landscape with fresh water aquarium fishes and paintings

The main exhibit  was landscaped with dracena, philodendron, aglaonema , medinilla and iligan ferns accentuated by  fresh aquarium gold fishes from the personal collection of Mr. Vicente Chin Jr. ( Mr. Vic Chin Jr.).

gold fish

He is a plant hobbyist, collector , propagator , landscaper and now breeder of fresh water fishes like gold fishes from different parts of Asia .

gold fish

I had to commute early in the morning the following day ( March 15 ) from  Buendia, Pasay for about 2 hours arriving at the show site just before they opened. I was greeted by some traders and officers of the Los Baños Horticulture Society .

Dendrobium thyrsiflorum- exhibited by VS Orchids and Ornamental Plants

This orchid species if commonly called  Pine Cone-Like Raceme Dendrobium – In Thailand – Ueang mawn khai – In China Qui Hua Shi Hu.

Habitat and Range : Chinese Himalayas, Hainan China, Assam India, eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam

Dendrobium thyrsiflorum Rchb.f 1875 SECTION Densiflora  is found in humid, mossy mixed and coniferous forests enjoys lots of light and air movement and has slender, ridged, rounded, club-shaped, yellowish apically stems carrying 5 to 8, persistent, smooth, flexible, dark green leaves that blooms in the spring on a pendant, 12″ [30 cm] long, densely several to many [30 to 70] fragrant flowered raceme that arise from near the apex of the cane and is best mounted on driftwood, on pots, mounted on living trees .

Range: This orchid species can be found from elevation of  800 meters to 2,100 meters  with semi shade. Water sparingly throughout  the winter months ( drying them)  and reduce the fertilizer until the initiation of new growth in the spring. The orchid species can reach 2 to 3 feet . 

This landscape exhibit won ” Best Booth Construction ” , ” Best Booth Composition ” and ” Most Outstanding Booth  “  This was landscaped by the Mr. Jojo Lazaro and companions

Medinilla magnifica locally called Kapa-kapa because of its drooping petals resembles a drooping cape .  This serves as a focal point of a garden landscape

water feature includes a pond set-up and water lilies

Unluckily, I had prior commitment and had to attend some events in Metro Manila ( stamp launching , trade fair and corporate activity )  .

RC Farm exhibit bagged ” Most Educational Booth “

RC Farm of Dr. Roberto E.  Coronel with their properly labeled fruit trees seedling from different parts of the world and in the Philippines were a delight to students , visitors and plant hobbyists

Malvarosa Orchids Landscape – Third Prize ” Best Booth Composition “

Special Award

This exhibit proudly showcase several Philippine native plants like Iligan fern, Asplenium leytensis , Medinilla magnifica and various types of flowering annuals in a garden setting complete with native jars and a fountain statue

History :

The Los Baños Flower and Garden Show  is a much-awaited yearly event for plants hobbyists , gardeners and enthusiasts from the mid- 1970’s to early 1990’s .  The event is usually held in the 2nd week of October to coincide with the University of the Philippines- Los Baños ” Loyalty Day” . Then ,  There is another one held during the summer season to coincide with the graduation rites of the campus . Each time the show would feature a particular plant  or would revolve a theme .  Here,  you will find the latest , rarest breed of your favorite ornamental plants , trees, orchids  ,  flowering plants , garden accents as well as the  simplest to the most creative  garden landscapes.

Nipa Hut (Bahay Kubo) inspired landscape

This landscape complete with nipa hut inspired by the song ” Bahay Kubo” Some of the bougainvilleas hybrids are planted in old plastic containers

Los Baños Horticulture Society

The garden shows was organized by the Los Baños Orchid Society from the early 1970’s to 2009. In 2009 due to the SEC registration guidelines,  The board decided to change the name to Los Baños Horticulture Society to avoid penalties and confusion among the visiting public , since majority of the members are into horticulture and not just purely growing orchids.

Los Baños Horticulture Society:  http://www.lbhs-ph.org/


Website: http://www.orchidspecies.com/denthrysiflorum.htm

Bibliographies :  Dendrobium thyrsiflorum -Botanica’s Orchids,ISBN 1-57145-721-6 copyright  2002, page 217

American Orchid Society  Bulletin Vol 72 No 6 2003 photo

Department of Trade and Industry : http://www.dti.gov.ph/

PCAARRD :  http://www.pcaarrd.dost.gov.ph/


Dr. Roberto E. Coronel exotic fruit farm tour

RC Fruit Nursery 9945 Mt. Maikiling Street ,Los Baños Subdivision ,Los Baños Laguna -Philippines

participants buying exotic fruits and rare trees

After the tree walk, our group  went to the house of Dr. Roberto E.  Coronel for a mid- morning day treat, book signing and a hunt of rare and exotic trees and plants on sale.

Dr. Roberto E. Coronel signs an autograph

Due to the heavy monsoon rains during the past few days, the group was not able to went to the Calauan, Laguna  farm of Dr. Coronel, but instead he hosted the group in his house in Los Baños.   Majority of the prarticipants are backyard and small farm owners searching for valuable planting items .

Dr. Roberto E. Coronel author of  ” The Edible Fruits and Nuts of the RC Fruit Conservation Farm ” December 2011 and Collector’s Connection / writer Mr. Lawrence Chan in a book signing ceremonies during the tour.
Email : recoronel1939@yahoo.com
Cellphone # (0918-573-3378)
Land line: (049) 536-1919
Fruit Farm: Mabacan , Calauan, Laguna
Cellphone # (0921)966-1255

tarpaulin poster

The RC ” Fruit Conservation Farm ” is a four hectare coconut plantation located at the foothills of Mt. Mateo in Mabacan , Calauan , Laguna . When he acquired the area in 1986 , it was then called RC farm .

participants   buying tree sapling  while seeds of betel  nut palm were distributed to interested growers

At the same time that the coconut palms were being rehabilitated . Rambutan, Lanzones and other fruit bearing trees were inter-cropped with the coconut which was planted at 7 meter x 7 meter . At present , the farm grows about 200 fruits and nuts species from all over the tropical regions of the world. About 44 species are endemic/ indigenous to the Philippines . 73 species are from tropical Asia, 80 species from tropical America and 8 species are from tropical Africa .

RCF Gold Abiu

Abiu or Abio ( Pouteria caimito ) is a tropical fruit from the Amazonian area of  South America. It has a creamy and jelly-like texture and its taste is similar to the sapodilla — a sweet caramel like custard. Sometimes  people in the Philippines would call this as caimitong dilaw ( yellow caimito) .  The flesh and taste is very similar to caimito ( star fruit/ tar fruit ) which was introduced to the country during the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade in the late 16th century.

Unlike the ordinary caimito , abiu , abio or abyo  is still rare in the Philippines, This fruit tree is grown  for curiosity and mostly on a backyard scale .  The price of the fruit is still higher than the caimito since there are few growers . Because of its taste, this exotic fruit from South America holds a promising market in the Philippines.

According to Dr. Coronel  , which introduced the fruit to the country in 1986 via Australia , There might be two or three types  of Abiu in the Philippines. one produces round fruits while another bears fruit with pointed tip. Usually the one with pointed tip produces bigger fruits. Some fruits may weigh 350 grams although most are smaller. On the other hand, the round fruits are generally smaller although some of the round fruits may also weight 300, grams each. the third type my have been from Colombian origin and the tree is smaller compared to the 2 other types.

rows of succulents , cacti and adenium form part of plant collections of Dr. Roberto E. Coronel

The farm also grows about 120 improved fruit cultivars  , many of which are registered with the National Seed Industry Council of the Department of Agriculture . Four of these cultivars have been selected in the farm. They are RCF Gold Abiu, RCF Morado starapple, RCF Purple Avocado and RCF Mauve ( Red ) Sugar apple.

Coco de Mer fruit

Coco de Mer  also called Double Coconut or Sea Coconut (Lodoicea maldivica), the sole member of the genus Lodoicea, is a palm endemic  to Praslin, Curieuse in the Seychelles  . It formerly also was found on St Pierre, Chauve-Souris and Ile Ronde (Round Island, an islet near Praslin) in the Seychelles group, but has become extinct on these islands. The name of the genus, Lodoicea, is derived from Lodoicus, the Latinized   form of Louis, in honour of King Louis XV of France .

Madam Charito holds the rare fruit of  Coco de Mer


Aside from being grown as a curiosity plant in the Philippines, This palm is still considered rare in the country with few specialized growers. Some of the old coco de mer palms had been introduced into the country from Maldives , Thailand , Seychelles  and Madagascar from Filipinos who were assigned  in those  countries.

The seeds of the coco-de-mer have been highly prized over the centuries; their rarity caused great interest and high prices in royal courts, and the tough outer seed coat has been used to make bowls and other instruments.

The shells of the fruit are life-sized stimulation of the female reproductive organs, which has been nicknamed the love nut, the pubic fruit, and the butt nut.


The history of exploitation continues today, and the collection of nuts has virtually stopped all natural regeneration of populations. This palm has been lost from the wild from three Seychelles islands within its former range.Habitat loss is one of the major threats to the survival of remaining populations, there have been numerous fires ( allegedly made by humans)  on the islands of Praslin and Curieuse, and only immature trees remain over large parts of these islands. It takes 6-7 years for a fruit to mature and a further two years for it to germinate into a new plant.

Sources and Bibliographies:

International Palm Society : http://www.palms.org/index.cfm

Rare Fruit Nursery : http://www.rarefruitnursery.com/index.php

Raw Food Health : http://www.raw-food-health.net/CocoDeMer.html

Edwards, Kollmann & Fleischmann’s selective review of the biology of the species (2002)

Fleischer-Dogley, F. (2006). Towards sustainable management of Lodoicea maldivica (Gmelin) Persoon, PhD thesis, University of Reading, UK.

Beaucarnea recurvata (elephant’s foot, ponytail palm) is a species of plant in the family Dracaenaceae, native to the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and San Luis de Potosí in Eastern Mexico.

Given time and the right conditions, however, these plants will grow into respectable specimen plants, up to 10  feet in height or more. They are native to arid regions in Mexico, and are among the easiest palms to grow indoors.

These plants are grown for their caudiciforms and pachycaul . The unique shaped caudex are desired by plant collectors and landscapers. This plant is more than 25 years- old.

Houseplants.about.com :


After the tour of Dr. Coronel house,  some of the participants went home to Manila , while others went straight to the next venue, while our group had a short side trip to another member of the group.

University of the Philippines Los Baños Tree Walk

University of the Philippines campus , Los Baños , Laguna – Philippines

I saw this event invitation via face book group  in the middle part of July and after checking my schedule. I quickly sign-up and confirm a slot for the UPLB tree walk  and organic farm tour via face book after exchanging few calls and test messages from the organizers.  Mrs. Moje Ramos-Aquino gave me the contact information of   Mrs. Agnes Del Rio who is from the Quezon City area.

It was a wet day when I met Ms. Agnes del Rio in Cubao , Quezon City . Together with her husband , our group went to the SLEX Station and met a couple of people who are also going to Laguna and an over night trip to Candelaria , Quezon province. From the initial few people, the crowd swell to more than a dozen. Everyone took time taking pictures and sharing stories.

We then headed our way to University of the Philippines in Los Baños , Laguna. The group waited for a few minutes and our small crowd suddenly swells to more than 50.

Dr. Roberto E. Coronel under the Royal Palm – Roystonea regia

Roystonea regia or Royal Palm was introduced and planted within the campus around 1933 and 1934 . Most of the palm are almost 80 years -old !

We were then met by Dr. Roberto E. Coronel and he proudly displayed his hat with UPLB batch 1960 . Which means that he is an alumnus of the University for more than 5 decades or a Golden Jubilarian !

Dr. Coronel together with the participants within Majestic Palm Promenade

He acted as our tour guide for UP Heritage trees walk. Most of the trees that were listed in the leaflet played a major role in the development of the campus,  molding its alumni. These living trees are silent witness  of UP campus history.  According to the UP Heritage marker,  UPLB is the only known campus in the country with an avenue of Majestic Royal Palm , UP president Mr. Rafael V. Palma expressed his interested and pleasure for having planted in this campus as president of the university in December 15, 1933.

Campus Notes :  (The Makiling Echo, Volume XIII, No. 1 January  1934 issue)

Kapok Tree or Ceiba pentanda from Tropical America

This kapok tree with hundreds of seedlings is said to have originated from the tropical America. This tree specimen was tagged by UPLB community in 2008 , However according to Dr. Coronel , this tree is still young when he was still studying in the area. He estimates that the tree is no more than 70 years -old. Kapok tree can grow up to a height of 150 feet or more and its puffy whitish cotton like fiber can be used as stuffing for mattress and pillow.

website: http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/kapok.htm

Some of the trees were more than a century –old, while some trees played an important part of the campus life, while others are prized for their rarity and beauty! Although according to Dr. Coronel not all of these trees are century-old.

Dau/ Dao ( Dracontomelon dao) ( Blanco )Merr. & Rolfe

This tree serves as an inspiration to National Artist Leandro V. Locsin , for the design of the student union building . The columns projecting from the ceiling to the ground is a mimic of  the flaring Dao trunk and buttress.  In April, 2005 the  National Committee on Monuments and Sites , National Commission for the Culture and the Arts  declared in its resolution 2005-07 recognizing the intrinsic cultural value of this tree.  More recently regent Romulo Davide in his letter be named the Centennial Tree after it had survived countless of typhoons  other than Milenyo last September 2006.

Dau tree leaning a few degrees toward the building

This tree had sparked a few debates in the past since there are threats and calls to cut this tree because it had been leaning towards the buildings and may cause havoc whenever a strong typhoon or wind can easily toppled this majestic tree. However environmentalists and alumni had express to preserve this historical tree which is said to be  hundred of years -old .

It is very sad to see that some of the old –trees were being cut down indiscriminately for development in some parts of the country.  Few other colleges and universities can boast of having at least one or two heritage trees like those of Far Eastern University (Akasya) , De La Salle University ( Botong )  , University of Santo Tomas ( Narra) and Metro Manila College ( Duhat ) . UP takes pride of their trees, and the university can claim of having the most number of heritage trees that can be found within their campus premises both in Diliman and Los Baños.

college of agriculture historical marker installed in 2009

According to Dr. Coronel , the UP centennial tree walk was launched in June 18, 2008 in time for the founding of the University. While a historical marker  installed by National Historical Commission of the Philippines  marked the centennial of UP establishment in Los Baños.

rows of santol tree ( Sandoricum koetjape ) with fruits

Some of the streets within the campus were named after specific fruiting trees like Mangga, Pili , Santol.  Explaining  “why” these streets bear the name.

In some parts of the country – streets, place or town that are name after the specific trees, plants that were found there – (or used to be found there?). Examples are Balete Drive , Kamuning ,  Santol, in Quezon City .

Fertility Tree of University of the Philippines- Los Baños

We pass several old buildings, and have seen a couple of  old rain tree more popularly called Akasya  (Samanea saman ) .The tree is a natural spreading natural landmark in the campus  which is contrasted by a tall vertical of the Rizal Centenary Carillion designed by National Artist Leandro V. Locsin .

UPLB version of UP Diliman carillion

Popularly , it serves as an umbrella to conceal dating sweethearts and lovers thus getting its humorous and popular name among locals as the ” Fertility Tree ” .

group picture under the fertility tree

Dr. Coronel and Mrs. Aurora Guanzon admiring the flowers of  Mussaenda Doña Aurora 

This is a tropical shrub or sub-shrub that will grow to 10ft tall in tropical areas, but more likely will reach 1-3ft tall in containers. Clusters (corymbs) of small, tubular flowers with five spreading lobes bloom in summer, however it is the large and colorful, ovate, leaf-like sepals (to 3” long) that provide the real ornamental display. Some individual flowers in each cluster will develop a single enlarged sepal. Elliptic to ovate, bright green leaves (to 6” long). Hybrids typically feature flowers in red and/or yellow with showy sepals of white, bright red or pink.

ordinary form

No other ornamental flowering plant  has gained wide acceptance in the Philippines as that of the mussaendas. Collectively known as Doñas, they are cultivated throughout the country. The mussaenda hybrids are considered a  breakthrough in Philippine horticulture industry . They are also very much sought after in the tropical countries.

This flowering shrub can reach 10 to 12  feet tall

Discovery :

The development of the mussaenda hybrids gained momentum when a mutant of the species Mussaenda philippica variety aurorae was discovered by Professor  Hugh Curran and Mamerto Sulit in  Mt. Makiling, UP Los Baños in 1915. This species was named ‘Doña Aurora’ in 1938 in honor of the wife of the late President Manuel L. Quezon . The late Dr. Dioscoro L. Umali, plant breeder and former Dean of the UP College of Agriculture, initiated the development of the hybrids in 1948 using M. erythrophylla, a species with single red petaloid and ‘Doña Aurora’ as parents. Continuous crossing and back-crossing resulted into the present colorful hybrids of mussaendas that differ in the number of petaloids depending on the parents used. The Mussaenda varieties is also called Kahoy Dalaga .

Source : www.uplb.edu.ph

larger flowers – preferred by plant collectors and landscapers

According to Dr. Coronel, the original Doña Aurora variety is different from the much preferred larger flowers ( due to selection and breeding )  by backyard and commercial farm growers. Now, the once rare flowering shrub is found in many parts of the country , tropical and sub-tropical areas in different parts of the world.

Dr. Coronel planted this tree sapling

Hylocereus undatus

Hylocerus undatus is commonly called Night Blooming Cereus, Queen of the Night, Honululu Queen , Cactus orchid . Cactus and Succulents is said to have come from Mexico and arrived from the late 16th century via port of Acapulco in Mexico .

Some cactus species and varieties had been naturalized and used as food  in  some parts of the country . commonly called  pitahaya , dragon fruit,  prutas na dragon , belle of the night , paniniokapunahoa ( Hawaii ) , papipi pua ( Hawaii )  had been widely cultivated in many parts of the country which was introduced from Central America, Taiwan , Thailand and Vietnam .


  Hylocereus undatus has several adaptations that allow it survive in dry years including in short droughts.  ideal  rainfall is about 500-1500 millimeters annually, although too much rain, causing soggy soil conditions lead to rotted fruit and may cause fungal infections . However the plant can survive  waterlogged soil, H. undatus can grow in a wide variety of soil conditions including soil with relatively high salinity as well as nutrient poor soil. H. undatus is a hemi-epiphytic cactus; during a portion of its life the plant requires another plant or object to grow on while at another part of its life will be rooted in the soil.

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