Melochia umbellata

Melochia umbellata

Family: Byttneriaceae

Origin: native from India to New Guinea and Philippines. Introduced beyond in southern Asia and Pacific Island

Common name: Banitlog, Hierba de Soldado

Reference: Phytoimages

Here is a description from Common Trees of Hawaii:

This is a small tree that reaches 50ft (15m) tall. Leaves alternate, with long slender stalk 2 3/4 – 4 inches (7-10cm) long. Blades broadly ovate, large … abruptly long-pointed, heart-shaped at base, finely sawtoothed, thin, soft hairy, dull green above and gray green beneath.

It was introduced in Hawaii in 1925 because it is quick growing and as shade for young forest trees and coffee. It is now considered an invasive weed there.

According to Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) the calyx (sepals) ranges from yellowish green to pinkish brown and the petals from pale pink to red, rarely yellow or orange-tinged, pale blue, purple, or violet.

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Alien Frog

Have you seen this frog? He’s wanted! If you see a small frog with a stumpy body and stripes down its side, it could be an Asiatic Painted Frog Kaloula pulchra. The Philippine Center for Terrestrial and Aquatic Research is documenting and mapping the spread of this alien and invasive species.  You can help them by sending a photo with the location (Barangay, Municipality/City, province, island), date, and your name to: pinoynaturalist@gmail.com .

Scientists believe that the frog was accidentally introduced through agricultural and horticultural products. Unbeknownst to gardeners and plant collectors, deep within the soil of their potted plants are hibernating frogs that will wake up and start mooing like a cow once the rainy season starts!

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Non-natives like the Kaloula pulchra compete with the native wildlife for food and habitat. They can also spread diseases to the native wildlife.

The native Kaloula species are: Smooth-Fingered Narrow-Mouthed Frog Kaloula baleata, Trncate-Toed Chorus Frog Kaloula conjuncta, Catanduanes Narrow-Mouthed Frog Kaloula kokacii, Slender-Digit Choruos Frog Kaloula picta, and Luzon Narrow-Mouthed Frog Kaloula rigida.

 

 

 

Ipil-Ipil

Leucaena leucocephala

Family: Fabaceae

Common Name: Ipil-Ipil

Origin: introduced during the Spanish times as feed for livestock

Reference: Stuartxchange

According to the Stuartxchange website, in the early 1970’s and early 80s this tree was known as the “miracle tree” because it is long-lived and highly nutritious as forage for animals. It is also one of the fastest growing leguminous trees. It also says that it was used in reforestation.

It is now considered an invasive weed.

From Global Invasive Species Database:

The fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing tree/shrub Leucaena leucocephala, is cultivated as a fodder plant, for green manure, as a windbreak, for reforestation, as a biofuel crop etc. Leucaena has been widely introduced due to its beneficial qualities; it has become an aggressive invader in disturbed areas in many tropical and sub-tropical locations and is listed as one of the ‘100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species’. This thornless tree can form dense monospecific thickets and is difficult to eradicate once established. It renders extensive areas unusable and inaccessible and threatens native plants.

I only noticed the presence of Ipil-Ipil in our place this year when I saw many seedlings coming up at the site where I’ve been clearing hagonoy weeds.  Then I started noticing seedlings coming up in other areas, as well as several trees in flower. We will be removing as many of the trees and seedlings as possible.