UP scientist Perry Ong honored with name of new flowering plant in Mindanao

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UP scientist Perry Ong
“Hypericum perryongii Galindon” was discovered by botanists in Mindanao. Photo from John Michael Mamauag Galindon.

University of the Philippines Diliman scientist Dr. Perry S. Ong has been honored with the name of a new flowering plant species found in Mindanao.

The findings of the researchers have been officially published in the Phytotaxa journal on January 5, 2021, which called the discovery “the fifth Hypericum species occurring natively in the Philippines, and the second endemic.” The discovery is significant because it is the first Hypericum species in the country found outside Luzon.

Lead researcher John Michael Galindon said the “Hypericum perryongii Galindon”, a new species from the protected nature reserve in Mindanao derives its name from Dr. Perry S. Ong, an academician, scientist, and conservation biologist from UP Diliman.

Throughout his career, Dr. Ong championed the protection and conservation of the Philippines’ biodiversity through science-based policies and the participation of local communities.

Professor Perry Ong together with his team of scientists from the University of the Philippines has been credited with the discovery of the smallest dwarf species of Rafflesia in the world.

The botanists from the National Museum of the Philippines, Central Mindanao University, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, and other institutions first encountered the novel species during a field expedition in June 2019 within the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (MHRWS) located in Davao Oriental Province, Mindanao.

The MHRWS is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that provides a sanctuary to globally threatened and endemic flora and fauna species in the Philippines.

Other recent discoveries spearheaded by Filipino researchers include the new Philippine orchid species named after the University of the Philippines College of Medicine in UP Manila, the new land snail subspecies at Masungi Georeserve in Rizal, and the endemic plant species called Pyrostria arayatensis discovered in Mount Arayat.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the botanists behind the new discovery of the “Hypericum perryongii” named after the late UP scientist Dr. Perry S. Ong!

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.