By Zea C. Capistrano
Davao City – A team of experts in biodiversity named a species of the Philippine Hoya found in the province of Dinagat Islands in Caraga region after City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
In an interview on Thursday, Milton Norman Medina, Director of Biodiversity and Environment Institute of the University of Mindanao, said they discovered the plant species on April 23, 2017, while doing a research in Central Dinagat Islands.
Medina said they found out that one of the plant specimens they collected near a mining area was new.
The new specimen, later named Hoya indaysarae, was tested by other experts and registered in the database of the International Plant Names Index for further studies.
The new species that was collected from a Kamagong tree (Diospyros blancoi) thrived beside a river near a mining area at 100 meters above sea level. The flower is marked with pinkish color at the tip of its apex and measures 1.4 cm.
Medina said the flower of the vine plant grows in old trees endemic to the Philippines.
“It actually has an effect in conservation because if you cut old trees, the plant will also be affected. They need to climb (on) the tree to get sunlight,” Medina explained.
Medina said they decided to name the plant after the Presidential daughter because of her support for nature conservation in the Davao region.
The new species was introduced to a public in a biodiversity forum held inside the UM Matina campus here. Medina said a new species needs to undergo critiquing and tests from other scientists who are studying the same plant family for validation.
“After almost one year of tests, we published the paper in the Hoya journal,” he said. Their paper was published in January this year.
Medina said the research in Dinagat Island aimed to preserve the biodiversity by conducting an assessment and collecting samples in the island.