Recently, park rangers along the Legacy Trail at Masungi Georeserve in Rizal spotted the eulophia zollingeri, marking the first time the orchid species has been identified within the park grounds. Botanist Dany Tandang and Professor Annalee Hadsall had helped them do so.
These orchids are best known for their beautiful bronze flowers, which are in bloom during this period of the year. It is unfortunately considered a "threatened species."
Only about 30 percent of orchids grow on the ground. Most of them are far more suited to growing on trees, rocks, and water, as we know. The thing about eulophia zollingeri is that it is a terrestrial orchid, which means they live in close association with fungi.
Lovely, aren't they? Orchids are good barometers for the ecological health of an environment. Suffice it to say, they're thriving.
The carrion orchid was first formally described in 1857 by Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach. It used to be named cyrtopera zollingeri before it was changed to eulophia zollingeri in 1905.
The Philippine-native eulophia zollingeri can be found in various parts of the country, particularly in Luzon.
Eulophia zollingeri is in the Appendix II of The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Its international trade is heavily regulated.