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.