Just recently, Professor Edwino S. Fernando of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) apace with Dr. Peter G. Wilson of the Australian Institute of Botanical Science discovered an endemic tree species that are unique to the country particularly to Mt. Redondo, Dinagat Island in Caraga Region.
The experts named it 𝑇𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑜𝑝𝑠𝑖𝑠 𝑓𝑙𝑒𝑥𝑢𝑜𝑠𝑎, a small tree reaching 3 meters tall that has distinct crooked branches. It was described as having small leaves with a smooth grey bark, which flakes to reveal a red-brown under-bark.
UPLB further reported that 𝑇. 𝑓𝑙𝑒𝑥𝑢𝑜𝑠𝑎 belongs to Tristaniopsis in the Myrtaceae family- the same faction with makopa, guava, and eucalyptus among others.
Accordingly, it shows no clear affinity to other Philippine tree species but is morphologically linked to 𝑇𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑜𝑝𝑠𝑖𝑠 𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑝𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑎, a species from Borneo’s ultramafic substrates, particularly in Mount Kinabalu.
𝑇. 𝑓𝑙𝑒𝑥𝑢𝑜𝑠𝑎’s specimens are currently deposited at the Museum of Natural History- Forestry Herbarium and Wood Collection.
Apparently, Dinagat Island is classed as an area in Mindanao that has outstanding biodiversity.
Sources report that it has several records of notable species such as the Philippine Cockatoo, Mindanao Bleeding-heart and Celestial Monarch, and the restricted-range Rusty-crowned Babbler alongside other endemic mammal species. (PR)