Philippine Standard Time
(L) Ms. Mescel Ascola, CMU project staff, showcasing CEBREM’s Fern Laboratory which is composed of hundreds of collected spores in the field; (R) Ferns outplanted from the laboratory and is located in CMU Fernery. (Image Credit: FERD, DOST-PCAARRD)

DOST-PCAARRD through CMU furthers R&D on Philippine ferns

After establishing the first and only spore bank in the Philippines in 2017, Central Mindanao University (CMU) continues r advocacy for ferns and lycophytes through economic strides both in and outside the laboratory.

CMU, with support and funding from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), has been spearheading research and development (R&D) on ferns and lycophytes.

The recently approved project, “Spore Morphology, Ex-Situ Conservation and Utilization of Mindanao Pteridophytes,” led by Dr. Fulgent P. Coritico is part of the university’s continued efforts to conserve threatened, endemic, rare, and indigenous fern species.

2015 and 2017 projects led by University Professor Emeritus Victor B. Amoroso, who is also involved in this new project, focused more on examining their morpho-anatomy and searching for best propagation strategies. Now, their efforts are shifting to ferns’ horticultural, food, and handicraft purposes.

However, their advocacy does not stop in the university. Dr. Amoroso recently established 3Fern Cafe and Learning Center, a quaint spot in Maramag, Bukidnon that puts ferns front and center with their novel take on edible ferns. The cafe serves ferndesal - a fern-fortified pandesal, pasta, salad, meat dishes, and cake incorporated with ferns.

Apart from being a cafe, it is also a learning center for individuals who want to learn more about these ancient plants. Similar to the current project, Dr. Amoroso has extended his love for ferns into economic promotion.

With dedication to the new project at hand, the team is expected to, once again, lead the research on Philippine ferns into a new realm.