The Philippines is renowned as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The tropical archipelago is well-known for its beautiful tourist spots, beautiful people, and of course—beautiful flowers! There are several unique species that can be found only in the Philippines. These exotic flowers grow almost anywhere in the hot and moist environment of the country, from well-trimmed hedges to the natural setting of the countryside to the wild, vacant lots smack in the middle of the metropolis.
One of the most distinctive flowers that can be found in the Philippines is what is locally known as the sampaguita. It is the national flower of the country due to its popularity among the natives and its deep involvement in the local culture and traditions. Its American name is Arabian Jasmine while its botanical term is jasminum sambac, being a species of jasmine with small, white, heavily-scented flowers indigenous in South Asia, specifically in Southeast Asia. Its distinctive fragrance is one that is known by every Filipino. In fact, the flower is so popular that it is usually sold on the streets stringed together like a necklace to use as a cheap car air freshener or as a tribute to statues of saints in Churches and in homes. It grows almost anywhere, loving the heat, and does not require a lot of fussing.
Another exotic flower found in the Philippines is the hibiscus or rosemallow which in the vernacular is called gumamela. The shrub is a popular ornamental plant in the country with brightly-colored, five-petaled blooms in red, yellow, pink, purple, white, orange, and various other color combinations. Aside from being an ornamental plant grown in most gardens and hedges in the country, it is also used as a medicinal plant. Gumamela leaves and flowers are used to treat coughs, fever, dysentery, UTI, headaches, swelling, bronchitis, high blood and other common maladies. There are very few flowers in the Philippines cannot equal the medicinal value of the Gumamela.
The ylang-ylang flower is a small, greenish yellow flower which has petals that extend like a starfish. The name is derived from either two Tagalog words—-ilang, or wilderness, and ilang-ilan, or rare It is widely known for its essential oil used in aromatherapy, lowering blood pressure, treating skin problems and as an aphrodisiac.
The sampaguita, gumamela and ylang-ylang are only some of the most popular exotic flowers in the Philippines. There are virtually thousands of other unique flowers that serve to highlight the breathtaking beauty of the Philippines. It may be a small country, but flowers in the Philippines are some of the best and most captivating in the world.