The Philippines are a group of about 7,107 islands surrounded by the southern China Sea, northern Pacific Ocean and the Sulu Sea located near Asia. The climate is affected by tropical cyclones and typhoons, and the average temperature is about 82 degrees F. The average rainfall is around 81 inches per year or 7 inches per month. It rains about 144 days each year. The Philippines is a growing area with high amounts of humidity.
Scaevola taccada is also called konnat. This woody plant grows 10 feet tall. Thick leaves 2 to 8 inches long crowd the tip of each stem. Konnat produces an abundance of white flowers 1/2 to 2 inches across each with five petals. Later white, round fruits appear that are 1/2 inch or less long. Konnat tolerates coastal, salty conditions. This plant is used as a windbreak or ornamental shrub, the flowers in garlands and leis, and the leaves and buds are mixed with coconut oil to create perfume.
Spathoglottis plicata is also known as the ground orchid. This tall orchid grows on the ground and has broad leaves. Rose-lavender flowers are produced on 3-foot flower stalks. This versatile orchid is native in grassland areas in the Philippines and will grow in a home garden in the sun or shade. It is even adaptable to rich to limestone soil.
Blechnum orientale is also called oriental blechnum or centipede fern. This fern produces erect fronds between 6 to 12 feet long. It has a tidy appearance when compared to other ferns. This fern adds color with new emerging fronds producing red and bronze colors. It grows on exposed hillsides in the Philippines.
Manila Hemp Plant
Musa textillis is commonly called the abaca plant or Manila hemp plant. This plant is related to the banana plant and has a similar appearance with giant banana plant shaped leaves. The fruit this ornamental tree produces is inedible. Abaca grows 20 feet tall and is tolerant of salt water. The fiber from this plant was used worldwide in the 1800s for ropes on sailing vessels.