The Botany Division

Historical Notes - Page 2

After Quisumbing's retirement in 1961, Demetrio R. Mendoza was appointed Officer-In-Charge of the National Museum, until the appointment of Professor Galo B. Ocampo as Director the following year. At this time, activities of the Botany Division were focused mainly on the classification and identification of plants (taxonomy). Additionally, an experimental public exhibition on "The Role of Plants in Our Everyday Life" was presented in layman's language and attended by over 30,000 visitors. The permanent exhibition of Philippine Flora in colorful dioramas in 1985 is also worth citing.

Meanwhile, botanical explorations mostly initiated by Mendoza and the triumvirate team of Museum Researchers Romualdo M. del Rosario, Paciente Cordero, Jr. and Hermes Gutierrez were sustained around the country. The most notable of these postwar expeditions were the field work at Batan and Sabtang Islands in the Batanes province, the first ever known effort since pre-war years; the field work at Dalton Pass, an area never before represented in PNH, which proved that this area is an excellent collecting ground despite its rough topography; the iield work at Mt. Victoria, Palawan where collections were undertaken at an elevation of more than 3,000 feet, a point never explored before; and a multi-divisional exploration work at Mt. Concord and Mt. Apoy in Southern Samar, wherein duplicates of the collected specimens were sent to foreign herbaria such as the Rijksherbarium, the United States National Museum, Kew Herbarium, Harvard University Herbarium, to name a few. Such successful expeditions eventually led to the addition of 96,000 specimens to the PNH, of which 60,000 are of foreign origin.

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