In Los Banos we found 2 flowering plants that could be found in the forests of Luzon. One is tagpo or Ardisia squamulosa. I have seen this plant before growing wild in the foothills of Zambales. This is taller relative of Ardisia crenata or money plant, but instead of bearing bright red berries, it has drab colored ones. But its prolific pink to lilac flowers are very attractive.
The second plant is another common species which is locally called pure-tutungaw. This is Melastoma malabathricum, a showy plant related to the Medinillas. The big flowers range from dark pink to deep violet in color. But despite the inflorescence display, both A. squamolosa and M. malabathricum are not yet popular garden plants. So it is quite refreshing to know that they are however are becoming available in the garden shops of Laguna. I hope we would see them more in new garden developments in the metro.