Mount Arayat’s new plant species discovered by UST, AUF researchers

Mount Arayat's new plant species
The newly discovered Pyrostria arayatensis belongs to the family of Rubiaceae and was found at the lowland forest of Mount Arayat National Park in Pampanga.Photo courtesy of Dr. Marlon Suba and Dr. Axel Ariolla via DENR Central Luzon FB.

An endemic plant species called Pyrostria arayatensis discovered in Mount Arayat National Park (MANP) in the province of Pampanga by a team of university researchers has been officially published.

The new plant species named Pyrostria arayatensis was discovered in the three-year exploration of researchers from the Angeles University Foundation in Pampanga and the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

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The researchers composed of Researchers Dr. Marlon Suba, Dr. Axel Arriola, Dr. Grecebio Jonathan Alejandro, Nicolas Raphael Arcangel, Jomari Jalipa, Joaquim Gerardo Jurilla, and Jose Manuel Villasenor found the Pyrostria arayatensis growing at the lowland forest MANP way back in 2017.

Dr. Suba conducted a study and found out that the newly found plant species is an endemic to the Philippines and belongs Rubiaceae, a family of flowering tree and shrubs that include coffee plant and santan flower or Ixora coccinea.

On August 10, 2020, Pyrostria arayatensis was been published in the international scientific journal of Annales Botanici Fennici and adds to the list of Pyrostria species that can be found in the Philippines such as P. elmeri, P. obovatifolia, P. oligophlebia, P. ramosii, P. subsessilifolia and P. trifloral.

This year has yielded several species of flora and fauna endemic to the country, proving the rich biodiversity flourishing in the Philippines. Among the discoveries:

A new species of the Philippine False Gecko, also called Bicol Hollow-dwelling Forest Gecko (Pseudogekko hungkag) was discovered in the Bicol region.

In August, new species of fern-looking seagrass called Halophila spinulosa was discovered thriving around in the waters of Boracay Island.

Filipino biologist Jade Aster Badon of Silliman University in Dumaguete discovered a new subspecies of butterfly endemic to the Philippines which he named Appias phoebe nuydai.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the community caring for Mount Arayat National Park and the team from UST and AUF who discovered the new plant species!

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