The Philippines, an archipelago in southeast Asia, possesses the fifth largest stretch of coastline on the planet. The volcanic soil and tropical climate of the region give it a variety of interesting flora and fauna to appreciate. The vibrant display of plant life in the Philippines includes more than 6,000 endemic species. Endemic flowers, meaning native to or exclusively grown in the area, bloom throughout the country, from its lush rain forests to its oceanic coastline.
Named for the stench emitted from its blooms, the corpse flower, or Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, is endemic to the Philippines. It produces heat within the flowers to accompany the odor for mimicking an animal carcass. This is to attract flies and other insects for pollination. The corpse flower can be found within the rain forests and tropical jungles of the Philippines, but it also will grow in a garden with black, humus-rich soil and plenty of moisture. The flower prefers deep shade, hot temperatures and plenty of compost to keep it nourished. It blooms only once every five or so years.
A relative to the corpse flower, devil's tongue, or Amorphophallus bulbifer, is an endemic flower species found in the jungles of the Philippines as well as India. The plant can grow to 3 feet in a pot, producing a single large bulbous flower of a pale pink hue. The deep green foliage of the plant makes it a lovely houseplant if given proper warmth. It can be propagated by seed in tropical and subtropical regions, or cuttings from the plant can be rooted with a rooting solution. It prefers partial shade and dark, loamy soil. Monthly fertilizing with rich kitchen compost will keep the plant thriving through the growing season.
Native to the Philippines and Malay peninsula, the monkey cup is a carnivorous flower of the Nepenthes species. It is identifiable by its dark green leaves and crimson with pink speckled vining stem. The modest flowers, the same color as the stem, are impressive in their own right. Each flower forms a receptacle filled with a sticky and sweet-smelling substance that is used to attract and trap unsuspecting insects looking to pollinate. The sticky substance is also an acidic digestive compound that breaks down the insects to provide the flower with nourishment. The monkey cup can be grown as an outdoor marsh flower or an indoor plant. When grown indoors the monkey cup requires bright artificial lighting part of the day, with plenty of moisture in dark soil. Outdoors, it can be propagated from plant cuttings near a partially shaded water source such as a marsh, pond or bog.
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