New Wildflower Species Discovered in El Nido

A new begonia species was discovered in El Nido town in Palawan and was named after local naturalist Will Cabanillas for his contribution in field exploration and biodiversity conservation. 

Rene Alfred Anton Bustamante, who first documented the wildflower in 2017, said the discovery of the new species, called Begonia cabanillasii, was published in a global scientific journal, Phytotaxa, by a team of researchers composed of himself, Yu Pin Ang, Danilo Tandang and John Michael Agcaoili.

Bustamante said, “We could choose other plants that we have discovered to name after [him], but we chose this one because this is really attractive.” 

Cabanillas, who is also a bird-watcher, has on many occasions led the research team to natural habitats of plants found only in Palawan.

Even if has only been recently discovered, the new begonia species is already threatened, as there are only “less than 50 mature” plants observed in the wild.

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