Pattaya-Koh Larn Island residents succeed in preserving symbolic plant

Pattaya official, islanders and environmentalist form a chain gang to pass on rocks used for strengthening the roots of the bantigue plant on Koh Larn Island.

Koh Larn residents are making efforts to preserve a flowery shrub in the mangrove family that grows naturally on the tourist island.

Pattaya Deputy Mayor Kiattisak Sriwongchai, other city officials and local environmentalist travelled to Tien Beach, March 9 where the one solitary bantigue is still standing. Together they worked to reinforced the roots with rocks to ensure that the shrub would stand strong and upright for a long time to come.


The plant, whose Latin name is pemphis acidula, has been one of the symbols of Tien Beach but most of them have been stolen or have died due to development and erosion. The plant, while officially “threatened” in the Philippines, is not endangered in Thailand.

The shrub is valued for its wood, which is hard and heavy and resistant to rot and warping. It’s also one of the woods use in the Japanese art form bonsai.
It’s illegal to harvest bantigue without a license, with penalties running up to a year in prison and a 100,000 baht fine.

The Tien (bantigue) plant with its roots exposed was at risk of decay and falling over before the emergency preservation action was taken.

The Tien bantigue proudly stands upright again, its roots strengthened by a solid base of rocks.


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