Tayabak

Tayabak
Tayabak | @nmbicol via Photos: G. Belarmino and F. De Leon Jr.

Tayabak

ENDANGERED BEAUTY.

Are you aware that the reverse side of the 5-peso coin bears the endangered Philippine flora? To continue our Floral Monday series, we introduce you to an endemic vine known for its blue-green flowers, the jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) of the Fabaceae family, or the tayabak.

This climber has a chandelier-like arrangement of flowers and can grow up to 18m long. They inhabit damp forested ravines along streams from 110-1000m above sea level. It flowers from January to June, and the fruiting period is from November to December.

Bats are jade vine pollinators. Pollens are attached to the bat’s head as they drink the plant’s nectar. This nocturnal pollinator is essential in the distribution of the tayabak. Know more about jade vines here: https://bit.ly/31R3mzv.

Sadly, the jade vine is now endangered per DENR Administrative Order 2017-11. Rampant destruction of its forest habitat and poaching threatens its declining population.

In Bicol, the jade vine is recorded in Viga in Catanduanes, Malilipot in Albay, and Bulusan in Sorsogon. However, even if this species thrives in the region, the public is reminded that collecting jade vine is illegal per RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. The law prohibits the collection of wildlife from their natural habitat. It also urges the Filipino nation to support the conservation and protection of Philippine biodiversity.