El Nido Palawan’s newly discovered wildflower named to honor local conservationist

HSBC Philippines
El Nido new discovered wildflower
Begonia cabanillasii was named after Will Cabanillas of Palawan. Photos from Philippine Taxonomic Initiative and Yu Pin Ang.

A new wildflower discovered in El Nido town in Palawan, Philippines has been officially published and named after Will Cabanillas, a local conservationist.

The new species Begonia cabanillasii was published in the July 2020 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Phytotaxa of New Zealand.

Of the 23 Begonia species that can be found in Palawan, the Begonia cabanillasii is distinguished with its distinct hair, leaf thickness, and compact habitat. Its staminate flower pedicel ranges from 15 to 25 millimeters, with four white and pink petals.

The wildflower discovery was made by researchers Yu Pin Ang, John Micheal Agcaoili, and Rene Bustamante from the Philippine Taxonomic Initiative and Danilo Tandang from the Botany division of the Natural History Museum of the Philippines. Bustamante first documented the Begonia species in 2017.

Yu Pin Ang explained in a social media post about the naming of the new Begonia species after Cabanillas.

“Finally, a species named for Will Cabanillas! 😄 My friend and guide from Palawan. For the numerous discoveries that he contributed to science, there was no better way than to name Palawan’s most beautiful Begonia species after him!”

Cabanillas responded to the honor of having a flower named after him by encouraging people to take care of nature.

“Let us help immortalize these wondrous gift. Take a pledge and be more responsible by changing our attitude towards nature!”

The Philippines’ rich biodiversity has yielded several discoveries of news species including a new helmet orchid species also found in Palawan, an 8-foot flower spotted in Rizals’ Masungi Georeserve, and a new species of Shooting Star flower found in Quezon.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the Will Cabanillas and the team of researchers who discovered a new wildflower species in El Nido, Palawan!

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