The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Plant of the Month (POM) for October 2023 is the Bagawak/Bagawak-na-puti, scientifically known as Clerodendrum minahassae Teijsm. & Binn. from the family Lamiaceae. The plant is native to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Bagawak is an evergreen shrub to small tree growing up to 4-6 meters tall. Usually found in areas on lower elevations within secondary forests and thickets. It is commonly cultivated and grown as ornamental plants and flowering hedges.
The Bagawak leaves are simple and opposite with very prominent venation and the upper leaves are usually smaller than the others while its fruit is a fleshy drupe, bluish to dark purple enclosed in a thick reddish calyx that splits into lobes nearly at its base and spreads as it matures. Further, the plant’s flowers are whitish and fragrant, borne at the terminal in panicles with greenish calyx somewhat inflated during flowering.
This plant has edible uses with its young leaves are said to be juicy and are cooked as vegetables, although the leaves of clerodendrum species have bitter flavor, they are still eaten due to their tonic effect on the digestive system. Its leaves are also used as flavoring for meat and fish-based foods. Moreover, Bagawak also has medicinal uses. The boiled Bagawak leaves are used as a poultice for carbuncles and boils and as a remedy for chest and stomach pains.
Did you know?
In the Philippines, Bagawak plant is used as an external remedy for chest and stomach pains commonly used by the Ayta communities.
To know more about this plant, please watch this video: https://youtu.be/SF2zTjoWSao
By: AALimpiada and ACMalayba