Macaranga mappa – Bingabing
Other Common Names: Pengua
Macaranga mappa is a large plant that is considered as a tropical ornamental plant as well as a forestry tree. It belongs to the family of Euphorbiaceae but is also known by its common names such as Pengua and Bingabing. It is native to the Philippines, but is also cultivated in tropical regions all across the globe.
The Bingabing tree can grow up to 33 feet or 10 meters tall, but most of the time they grow shorter. What makes the plant stand out are its very large, green leaves that can grow up to 3 feet long. They are peltate, which means that they are more or less circular in shape, and have their stalks connected at a point on the underside.
The petal-less flowers, or red bracts, grow in 15 to 20 centimeters long panicles along the main stem of the Bingabing. They can either be pink or pinkish red and are small, especially when compared to the leaves, that is why they are usually found hidden under the leaves.
The flowers develop seed capsules, which are 2 to 3 celled and around 8 to 10 millimeters long. The capsules are glabrous and smooth, with each valve readied with 2 processes that are spine-like.
Bingabing is poisonous, so any part of the plant should not be ingested. Aside from being toxic, another problem that it causes is that it can create a dense growth because of its large leaf structure. As a result, numerous Bingabing trees can crowd out other vegetation like forest trees and shrubs.