28 September 2007
Rediscovery of Rafflesia schadenbergiana
Fr. Sirenio "Toto" Jaranilla of Baungon, Bukidnon, Mindanao, the Philippines wrote to me with attachment of splendid recent photos of Rafflesia schadenbergiana Goeppert . I am aware of this rediscovery since the report was sent bt Dr. Julie Barcelona to Leiden to be published.
These photos were taken 7th Sep 2007 from the sites that was extremely vulnerable, so I won't disclose them. The photo of ramenta is probably the only photo available (in the internet?).
The rare Rafflesia schadenbergiana was thought to be long extinct, together with 3 other species of Rafflesia from Kutai, Kalimantan, since it was seen or collected since their discoveries. This poorly known species was last seen in 1881 by ethnologist Alex Schadenberg in Mount Apo, Mindanao. Several attempts by Dr Jamili Nais, Dr Todd Barkman in late 1990's and botanists in Manila could not trace it in Mt Apo, but according to Jamili, there are previous reports of buds in nearby Mt. Matutum. This was later said to be another unknown species. Because of this situation, we don't really know the morphology of the species, and most of us rely on Nais's artist interpretation which look like the larger size of Rafflesia pricei of Sabah.
photos courtesy of J Nais from his rafflesia book
In 1994 entomologist Pascal Lays found buds of R. schadenbergiana in South Cotabato Province, Mindanao and posted a coment in the internet (i forgot the site) and my emails to him left unanswered. However he finally publish his report with a dissection of a but it was difficult to ascertain (I lost this paper! whoever from RRMT borrowed it please return, ASAP - this is an order!). Lays's and Julie's photos is available in Nickrent's page