Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme

The Philippines’ Lipote – Syzygium polycephaloides (C.B.Rob.) Merr.

February 2, 2021

Photo by Abi Garrino

Most of us know of duhat that blooms and fruits during the summer time. It is so common that many of us think it’s native to the Philippines, but it’s not. Lipote, on the other hand, is a staple to the summer days of those in Isabela, Quezon and Palawan. It is a relative of duhat, but one that is found in the Philippines and only in the Philippines!

Photo by Abi Garrino

Its pink buds bloom profusely into a white cluster of flowers that eventually turn into fruits! As they ripen, the fruits exhibit a number of colors from white, mild yellow, pink, red, purple, maroon and black. Once ripe, the fruits attract a number of animals such as ants and… humans! The fruits are used to make jams and wines but they can also be eaten raw as is, or by adding a mix of salt and sugar and eating it ala #ShakeShakeFries.

Photo by Abi Garrino

Despite being endemic to the Philippines, lipote is not considered an endangered species. However, it has been included in Dr. Domingo Madulid’s list of “Rare and vanishing fruit trees and shrubs in the Philippines”. Indeed, we are lucky to have this on campus!

Originally written by Abi Garrino for The UP Wild.

Abigail Garrino is a research associate at the Biodiversity Research Laboratory (BRL), University of the Philippines Diliman. Her work aims to generate information on forest dynamics, restoration and conservation of the Philippines’ remaining forests.

#WildFoodStories is a co-initiative of NTFP-EP Asia and the Swedish International Agriculture Network Initiative.