The National Museum of the Philippines-Western Visayas featured flora in Biodiversity Friday is interestingly called “easug it usa”, literally, “deer testicles”.
The Mackinlaya celebica from the plant Family Araliaceae is a small, sparsely branched tree that can grow up to 6 meters high. It is native to the Philippines and to Solomon Islands, New Guinea, and Celebes. In the country, it is documented in Negros, Samar, Zamboanga, Misamis Occidental Lanao del Sur, Davao, and Siargao islands.
This plant is also called
The easug it usa grows in rainforests, open hill forests, and open montane forest from sea level to 1,450 meters above sea level elevation. The leaves have a strong parsley-like odor; the flowers are creamy-white in color.
The fruits are blue to purple with a glaucous bloom or covered with a greyish, bluish, or whitish waxy coating. Unripe fruits are green. Though aesthetically appealing because of its blue color, the locals in Madalag, Aklan do not eat the fruit.
This plant was also documented at Mt. Nausang (Mt. Maylumay) in Aklan. Mt. Nausang is one of the highest peaks in the region at 1,566 meters above sea level. Thanks to mountaineers who took photos of their hikes, we get to see the richness of plants and animals thriving in our mountains.
Plants like easug it usa or binlaon belong to the wild. Let us let them thrive in their natural habitat. Republic Act 9147 is a reminder for us to be responsible mountaineers and environmental stewards.