Dallas, TX (PressExposure) June 01, 2009 -- The sampaguita is considered as one of the country's unique Philippine flowers. Being a national flower, sampaguita is widely known throughout the country. But other than the simple yet aromatic flower, there are also other unique Philippine flowers popularly found in the Philippine. One of these includes the Ylang-Ylang tree.
Ylang-Ylang, The Flower High Atop A Tree I know that a tree is not a flower, but the Ylang-Ylang tree is one of the few trees that sprouts flowers. Ylang-ylang, or also known to the scientific world as Cananga odorata, is a small flower of the cananga tree (though many locals usually call it as "Puno ng Ilang-Ilang" or Ylang-Ylang tree) . It is a fast-growing tree that exceeds 5 meters per year and attains an average height of 12 meters. It grows in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rainforest habitat. The leaves are long, smooth and glossy. The flower is greenish yellow (rarely pink), curly like a sea star, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil.
The name ylang-ylang is derived from Tagalog, either from the word ilang, meaning "wilderness", alluding to its natural habitat, or the word ilang-ilan, meaning "rare", suggestive of its exceptionally delicate scent." The plant is native to the Philippines and Indonesia and is commonly grown in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.
Popular Characteristics The fragrance of ylang-ylang is rich and deep with notes of rubber and custard, and bright with hints of jasmine and neroli. The essential oil of the flower is obtained through steam distillation of the flowers and separated into different grades according to when the distillates are obtained. The main aromatic components of ylang-ylang oil are benzyl acetate, linalool and p-cresyl methyl ether and methyl benzoate, responsible for its characteristic odor.
Uses The essential oil of ylang-ylang is used in aromatherapy. It is believed to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac. According to Margaret Mead, it was used as such by South Pacific natives such as the Solomons where she did much of her research. The oil from ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes. In the Philippines, its Philippine flowers, together with the flowers of the sampaguita, are strung into a necklace and worn by women and used to adorn religious images.