Putat

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The moisture-loving Putat (Barringtonia racemosa) was among the first of the Philippine native trees that I uncovered from the deep thickets that shaded the small creek running along the borders of my farm.

This was in 2008 when much of the farm was festooned with wild trees that were, at the time, mostly unknown to me.

It took me a year of research and inquiring about before I finally learned its identity. So this was “Putat ….” I thought it was a funny name.

Then one sunny August morning in 2009, after two years of hard toil putting up the fence, taking out obtrusive bushes and out-planting the seedlings, two mature trees that we had retained gifted us with a prolific display of showy, dangling inflorescence that would be aborted later that day, blanketing the ground with pink and white blooms. It was awesome!

No wild Philippine native tree has as yet displayed its magnificence more proudly in my presence than my Putat trees.

Perhaps no tree is as delightful to one’s eyes. If we could only see this tree’s perfect chemistry with the rivers and estuaries, and see the benefit of planting it there, our waterways would be a belt of colors and as amusing as they were a long time ago.

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