The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Plant of the Month (POM) for August 2022 is the Malabagang, scientifically known as Glochidion album (Blanco) Boerl. is from the family Phyllanthaceae and is native to the Philippines and Taiwan. Glochidion came from the Greek word ‘glochin’ or ‘glochis’ means protruding point or the barb of an arrow referring to the toothed style (in flower) of some species while album came from the Latin word “albus” meaning white.
Malabagang is a shrub or small tree reaching up to 2 meters high. Its bark is yellowish-brown and slightly fissured. The plant’s leaves are simple, oblong-elliptic in shape, and are arranged alternately in its branches. Its branches are usually hairy. Meanwhile, Malabagang’s fruits are whitish and compressed between the petioles and branches. The fruits have numerous sulcate (grooves) forming an inflated capsule and its flowers are pale green to yellowish growing on the axil (between the base of the leaf and branch) in groups.
In general, Glochidion species are used as food plants for some larvae of Moth species. The plant has a mutual relationship with moths, where moths actively pollinate the flowers ensuring that the tree produces viable seeds but also lays their eggs in the ovaries of the flowers where they get their nourishments.
Watch this video presentation to see the detailed parts of the plant.