The Doña Aurora Greening Project is a project of Baler Aurora Ngayon Angkan at Kasaysayan (BANAK), Inc. in partnership with the Provincial Government of Aurora. The project involves planting of the shrub named after the former First Lady Aurora A. Quezon within the grounds of government offices, parks and areas open to the public, resorts and leisure spots, roadside planter boxes, private residences and establishments that use “Aurora” in their business names. The idea is to make the shrub prevalent in the province, and make it the symbol of Aurora’s distinctly unique charm. A ceremonial tree planting next to the monument of Mrs. Quezon at the provincial capitol took place during the Aurora Foundation Day Commemorative Program on February 19, 2015.
White mussaenda, also known as tropical dogwood or virgin tree, or kahoy-dalaga, is native to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. It is a shrub or small tree, 3 to 5 meters high, with blooms that consist of multiple white pointed sepals and yellowish orange flowers. It was first found in 1915 in the vicinity of Mt. Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna in 1915 by Calixto Mabesa, and later cultivated by Hugh Curran and Mamerto Sulit at the College of Forestry grounds at the University of the Philippines Los Banos in 1930. It was named after First Lady Aurora A. Quezon in 1938. Mussaenda Aurorae, or Doña Aurora, has since been utilized as the parent in the development of mussaenda hybrids.