Mt. Irid: A Haven of Rich Biodiversity
I first documented our Mt. Irid experience last August 2014 in the entry mt. irid: gateway to the mossy forest and i have photographed some of the rich biodiversity this mountain has to offer but who would have thought that deep down the forest of Mt. Irid we will find an addition to the richness of its biodiversity we found the most celebrated flower in Malaysia called Rafflesia. On our second climb to Mt. Irid the other day (March 12, 2016) an overnight hike of Lakwatserong Sulit Adventures we were so lucky that along the trail we saw this Rafflesia Manillana. (I’m not so sure if I am correct with the specie but it looks like it as I further my research).
I found this Rafflesia just a kilometer away from the bunkhouse in Sitio Sadlac where the military 2nd ID is currently situated. It is will hidden under a pile of dried leaves and small branches just a feet away along the steep trail to the summit. Luckily, I saw the petal and I got curious so I removed the dried leaves and branches that covers the flower. I am not sure at first because I’ve never known that this flower exist in this mountain. Once I removed the dried leaves and branches I recognized it as the Rafflesia in its blooming stage. I was fascinated and got excited to take photograph of it and realized I was cleaning the entire area including removing the soil inside the flower and I even thought that I was doing psittacism to my co-mountaineer explaining what I just found. I am pretty excited because it’s been years since I first saw this flower, as far as I can remember it was way back when I was a kid when my grandfather showed me this flower in the trail to his farm in Mt. Asog.
The Rafflesia being known as the largest flower in the world has also earned the name “Corpse Flower” because of its foul odor, which some say smells like rotting flesh during its full bloom stage. The foul smell of Rafflesia according to research is the way of attracting flies to serve as its pollinator unlike other flowers that attracts bees.
Rafflesia Manillana is considered critically endangered by the DENR. According to my research of the 28 species of Rafflesia in the world, ten are found only in the Philippines. This makes the Philippines the world’s Rafflesia biodiversity hub as it has the most number of species. Rafflesia can be found in the provinces of Ilo-ilo, South Cotabato, Panay, Quezon, Laguna, Antique, Bataan, Kalinga, Quirino, ComVal, the Bicol Region and the latest in Rizal.
Rafflesia is also known as the plant that do not contain a chlorophyll, which means it is incapable of photosynthesis. It doesn’t require sunlight to survive. How cool is that? But, it has a parasitic relationship with a particular vine called Tetrastigma.
It was indeed a beautiful creation of nature. By doing this entry I wish I could help strengthen the awareness of the people, promote and conserve Rafflesia in a manner that will inspire others to do the same.
More Biodiversity in Mt. Irid
There are a lot more to see in Mt. Irid all you just need is to open your eyes to the possibilities. In this section I will be asking for your help to identify the species of the flora and fauna in photos.
I am not sure if the bug above is in the family of Pachyrrhynchus.
This one is obviously a pitcher plant but I’m not sure if it is the Nepenthes.
I have no idea what is this but it looks like a pine tree cone.
This maybe another bug from the family of Pachyrrhynchus, only bigger than the first one.
Looks like a ganoderma.
Be sure not to be bitten by this blue legged centipede along the trail coz it’s really painful.
Help me out with little orangee creature.
Cute blue green stick insect.
That’s all for now, I hope you can help me identify the flora and fauna above. I will be very glad to put the names of each specie.
Most photos were taken last March 12-13, 2016 during our climb to Mt. Irid while some of the photos were taken on my first climb last August 2014.
My gratitude goes to all the participants who joined this event. I hope you all enjoyed the whole experience! Congratulations Paulo, Eco, Rikki, Gervy, Nina, Chai, Katy, Arnel, Camzs, Patrick, Melay, Kit, Merryl, Louiesana, Betsie, Je, Yam, Car and Mikee for making it to the summit of Mt. Irid. It’s an honor climbing with you guys! See you soon!
My special thank goes to my buddy Majoi for always being there for me, this event would have not been a success without you.
If you like this entry, please also like us in facebook Lakwatserong Sulit.