Saving a Philippine tree last seen a century ago

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In 1915, a taxonomist formally described a species of tropical hardwood tree, known locally as kaladis narig (Vatica elliptica), which was even then considered nearly extinct. More than a hundred years later, a corporate social responsibility initiative of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), the largest producer of geothermal energy in the Philippines, successfully tracked down the fabled species in Zamboanga Sibugay, a province in the main island of Mindanao. The lack of scientific literature on kaladis narig has made it notoriously challenging to grow the tree from cuttings taken from the wild. In 2018, after almost a decade of trying to save the elusive tree, the EDC team was able to grow a single cutting at its nursery in Antipolo, a city east of the capital Manila. The company also found 10 other kaladis narig trees in the same area with the help of the community, which passed a local ordinance to recognize and protect the few remaining kaladis narig trees in the world. MANILA — In 1915, a taxonomist recorded the existence of a tree known locally as kaladis n arig ( Vatica elliptica ) in the forests of Zamboanga Sibugay, a province in the Philippines’ southern island […]

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