Fr. Manuel Blanco's Flora de Filipinas
Edited by Domingo Madulid, PhD
In 1837, Fr. Manuel Blanco published his iconic botanical text Flora de Filipinas, documenting hundreds of Philippine plant species according to popular usage. After Blanco’s death, several more editions were published, most notably the lavish 1877-83 third edition in six volumes, with over a thousand plant descriptions and 477 magnificently detailed color illustrations by Filipino and Spanish art masters. These volumes have been highly coveted by collectors of Filipiniana as well as botanical enthusiasts. Although a 1993 facsimile edition was produced, it only had a limited number of copies and is now rare.
This revamped and newly accessible modern edition brings Flora de Filipinas to contemporary readers. Eminent botanical expert Dr. Domingo Madulid has selected and compiled 150 Philippine plants according to their usage, rarity, and popularity. The plants have been arranged by their common names, along with their accepted scientific names and the Latin names used by Blanco. Excerpts from Blanco’s original notes give fascinating insight into how these plants were commonly used during his time. They reveal the Filipino people’s attitude to plants and their intrinsic trust in nature’s healing capabilities. Also included are folkloric and historical notes that detail the cultural context of each plant species beyond taxonomic and practical interests. These come together to highlight Blanco’s masterwork for what it is—not simply a scientific reference text, but a valuable landmark of Philippine art and culture.
This book is a treasure trove of Filipinana—science, history, art, folklore, culture, and more. May it be an inspiring and valuable resource for generations to come and a memorial to a great man of science and faith that the Augustinian oredr bequeathed to the world.
— Fr. Ricky B. Villar, OSA
San Agustin Museum Director
Belonging to a family that has always chosen to share its scientific knowledge with the people, I recommend this timeless and monumental book to those who wish to emulate Fr. Blanco's practice of healing with compassion and plants. Flora de Filipinas, long considered rare and prized as heirloom for 180 years, is more relevant than ever to our generation heavily invested in the forward-to-nature movement.
— Mara Pardo de Tavera
Local Food Advocate and Mother of Organic Markets