The JC's Vine, which has only been recorded in four locations in the Philippines and in the world, is now in bloom at the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal.
Masungi Georeserve said its flowering season is between March and May.
"The first batch has already flowered, and more will bloom next month," it added, noting the rare vine can be spotted along the Discovery Trail and Legacy Trail inside the Masungi Geopark Project rewilding initiative.
The JC’s Vine (Strongylodon juangonzalezii) was discovered by Annalee S. Hadsall, Michelle D.R. Alejado, Ariel R. Larona, and Ivy Amor F. Lambio in 2015. They named it after Juan Carlos Tecson Gonzales, a zoology professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
The name of the genus was derived from the Greek words "strongylos" (round) and "odontos" (toothlike), alluding to its "spherical teeth."
The endemic species is notable for its "plagiotropic dense inflorescence with 27 to 31 flowers per cluster on a lateral branch," Masungi noted.
Its flowers are lilac when young, but progressively turn blue with age.
The woody vine may grow up to 18 meters long and thrives in a disturbed secondary-growth forest at 295 meters in altitude, climbing atop a huge tree.
Masungi warned that JC's Vine is being threatened by destructive activities and developments inside the georeserve.
"The Masungi Georeserve Foundation continues to call on decision-makers and the public to help protect the ecologically important landscape," it said.