Pink flowers and striped leaves caught the eyes of conservationists trekking up a river in Palawan’s Port Barton way back in 2012.
“I immediately recognized it as a new Begonia species,” recalled Jonah van Beijnen, a Dutch environmentalist who previously helped discover seven other Begonias, plus new dragonfly species in Palawan.
Begonias are flowering plants native to moist tropical climates. Over 2,000 species have been described, many of which are kept as ornamental plants.
“The plants were growing on an exposed crop of limestone and looked absolutely stunning.”
In acknowledgement for his conservation efforts across Palawan and advocacy to raise the Cleopatra’s Needle Mountain Range to protected area status, Begonia beijnenii is named after Jonah van Beijnen who discovered the population.