Baladu is MBG’s Plant of the Month for May 2024

The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Plant of the Month (POM) for May 2024 is the Baladu, scientifically known as Medinilla pendula Merr. from the family Melastomataceae. It is listed as Endangered (EN) in the DAO-2017-11. The plant is endemic to the Philippines.

Baladu is a small evergreen tropical epiphytic shrub growing up to 1 to 1.5 meters in height and it generally grows in mossy forests, along creeks and streams, and in damp ravines. Its leaves are described as a simple, dark green usually in whorls of 4-5 leaves which are narrowly oblong with 2 pairs of veins arising below the middle. Further, its flowers are pinkish-white and pendulous always in terminal and clusters, with horizontally branched inflorescence. It bears large pendulous grape-liked fruit, and purple berries that turn black as it matures while Baladu seeds are numerous and minute in size. Ripened Baladu fruits are edible.

Baladu is cultivated as ornamental. In the Cordillera region, the leaves are eaten and used as garnish. Meanwhile, in Benguet, the leaves are decocted and used to treat coughs, colds, and flu. Baladu leaves are also used as forage.

By: AALimpiada and ACMalayba May 2024

To learn more about the tree, you may click this link.

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