Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Terrible Quest for a Name!

The first Hoya I have is given by my Hoya scientist-friend, who crossed the spirit world last December, after a long battle with the big C. Being the new authority on Hoya in the country, she found a nameless species in our Hoya-rich plant kingdom, and authorities in Hoya-world honored the species with her name, Hoya siariae Kloppenburg. Unfortunately, I still do not have her namesake in my Hoya kingdom. But it is already in my wish list. 

Hoya diversifolia, half umbel already opened

 This is Hoya diversifolia, already with me for two years. It is difficult to care for plants in the condominium units in the big city, so i entrusted it to the building gardener to give it the much needed watering and an open space better than my room. Hoya is epiphytic, so it is very difficult to kill. They are designed to be exposed to harsh environmental conditions.
more flowers in the umbel already opened, flowers opened in 3 batches

Another hoya which I acquired long ago was nameless. I just put it in a driftwood near our house together with another self supporting orchid. Last year's severe dry season almost killed it, but produced stems again coming rainy season. Since it was exposed to full sun, i got a cutting from the mother plant last Feb and put it in partially shaded area to root, with coconut husks to maintain moisture. Maybe it wants to teach me a strong lesson! There was no apparent roots yet being less than two months from cutting, but it produced the peduncle where flowers arise. 
the immature, unopened flowers showing two different apical sites

Now i think i am hooked. When the flowers opened, the scent is citrusy sweet that is really lovely, not loud but just soft which you will smell repeatedly. This is the start of my quest for identifying it. I shortlisted all the names nearest in morphology to mine, including the leaves and other plant parts. My friend who got Siar's book also emailed me a shortlist and some descriptions. I got nine shortlisted names. Even with a stronger background on plants, i still found it very difficult. I realized Hoyas have different flower forms even within a single name. I eventually reached just 2, but the leaf shapes did not fit mine, so i change one to another, which turned out to have short internodes, opposite of mine. GRRR, i am almost at my limit!

Hoya crassicaulis

But there are serendipitous knowledge on the side. I found that our country is very rich in Hoya endemics, more than 50 species at the latest count. I learned that it is expensive online in other countries, and there are already very systematic online nurseries also here in the country, where i can get what i want. I also realized that many species are named after persons i know in the university and plant industry. Two even have the names of my batchmates in college. At the moment, I feel like just leaving the office and go to the mountains, forests and the woods to also find one which might not have been baptized yet!!! 


After settling on the 2 shortlist among the shortlists, I still don't know its name, I am still lost and not convinced. I am so disappointed to be going home with something hanging in my mind! So the last resort is to search for the next hoya authority name whom I personally know and ask! After a long night of waiting, his reply is already in my inbox this morning.  EUREKA! My now very very expensive plant, because of the difficulties it has given me, is now baptized Hoya crassicaulis. WHEW!


My gratitude to Mr Fernando Aurigue for ending my search. 


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39 comments:

  1. Wow..
    What a nice collection of hoya you got there and really a nice story to tell for each of them.
    Glad that you have kept them so well.
    You inspire me to get Hoya's for my next garden plants.

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    1. Thank you James, i am sure there are also lots of hoya in Malaysia, and some are also native to your country.

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  2. These are great plants. I have tried my hand at them but I seem to kill them. I had one once and tried to grow it as a house plant. No can do:) The smells alone are worth, but I know what you mean when you say that you hate a mystery over your head on a plant. That's happened to me several times....some questions are still left unanswered:)!!! Oh well.....

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    1. I cannot imagine how a hoya can die, unless you don't give it light and water!

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  3. Great pictures you show of a Hoya - Wax flower.
    Wishing you a good day.
    Hanne Bente / hbt.finus.dk

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  4. The hoya are sweet and pretty. I wouldn't have been able to name any one of them though.

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  5. Beautiful flowers. So sorry to read about your friend the scientist.

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    1. Thank you Leora, i lost 1 male and 2 female friends in 6 months last year, from cancer!

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  6. What beautiful plants and a great tribute to your friend that one has been named after her.

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  7. Hoyas are exquisite. My mother had a Hoya in the province and it looked like the one in the second photo, with a tinge of lavender. To be named after this gorgeous flower--what a great tribute to a friend.

    Morning Glory

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    1. Oh that is good, which province is your mother living, maybe i can ask for 1 or 2 cuttings! haha!

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  8. I find that fragrance is sometimes more important than the flowers. Especially in plants like herbs. Your Hoya is very pretty though and glad you got the name.

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    1. Hi Donna, hoyas are mainly raised for its aesthetic value but its scent is a most sought after characteristics as well! Of course herbs are raised and commercialized most especially for their fragrance.

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  9. Beautiful flowers with these Hoyas. Congrats with your own Hoya!
    Read your "About Me" section - glad you made the changes. We also have to live, and we only do once, here on earth:):)

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    1. Hi Emille, thank you. Now you prodded me to go back and see again what i wrote in "about me", it's been a long time and i already forgot what i put there! I am now very curious!

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  10. incredible story. this is why i love hanging around scientists. not only do i learn so much from them, i also wish their indefatigable thirst for knowledge would rub off on moi.

    have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. ...when the 'indefatigable thirst for knowledge' is always hanging inside your own head, it is not always fun! Now I always physically want to hang around photographers!

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  11. I'm so glad that you got an answer! These are so exotic and beautiful...thank you for sharing with the rest of us :)

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  12. Your hoya are really lovely, Andrea. I once had one as a houseplant. It had tri-color leaves (pink, white, and green). I don't remember that it ever bloomed. Your hoya blooms are fascinating!
    Beth

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    1. Thanks Beth for visiting. I am just learning about hoyas because of this last name search, and i read that some hoyas have pretty leaves, which look very ornamental even without the flowers. Maybe you were not able to see the flowers, because sometimes they are small and not as conspicuous as the leaves.

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  13. Your post reminds me of the first time the Hoya in my mothers house bloomed. We were just kids, and we had small dogs. One of the dogs was a male and he was notorious for "lifting his leg" in the house if we didn't watch him like a hawk. My mom was a meticulous house keeper so this was a definite issue...one day she was frantically cleaning and sniffing all over in the living room...desperately looking for the location of the dog's latest "accident". she swore she could smell urine...and wanted it cleaned up! She was chastising the dog, who was "helping" her look for his "spot"...lol...it took her all day to figure out that the smell was coming from the hoya blooms just above the chair in the corner..every now and then they seemed to send a little whiff of fragrance...and she would catch that whiff and freak out! hahahaha!
    thanks so much for reminding me of that...it was a funny story that I did not think about for years!
    I also thank you so much for linking in this week. It is an honor to host Friday's Flaunt and meet new friends and visit the regulars (who are like old friends) who share. I always feel so privelaged to know that inspiration is just a click away when need a bit of a boost for my spirits! It is a pleasure to tour and see all the gorgeous blooms...landscaping and ideas that all the participants share, and I appreciate each and every link and comment! I have shared your post today with my facebook page for Tootsie Time. I hope you will link in again soon!
    (¯`v´¯)
    `*.¸.*´Glenda/Tootsie
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

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    1. Thank you so much also Glenda for hosting FF even if you really are in those "not very joyful moments" and even if you're too busy you still can be with us and hospitable with us. I also love what you're doing and honestly you are an inspiration. Regarding that funny memory of your hoya with your dog and mother, i laughed a lot in this story. Yes i read that some hoyas have not so pleasing scents, it intrigued me more! I wonder what species it could be. I am glad both my two hoyas have very pleasing scents. But i can say all hoyas have beautiful flowers, at least. haha.

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  14. Omg I am so jealous! Years ago I had a Hoya Carnosa. oH the scent it would send out when it bloomed...heavenly. You have a great collection! Those little star shaoped blooms always melt my heart
    *hugs* deb

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    1. Hello Deb, thanks for coming here. I visited your site but i think it is not a garden site as most of us have. Yes Hoya carnosa is one with the best scents among the species, so well sought by collectors. I don't think i have a great collection yet because i got only two, haha! Later on i will have more, promise! I wonder what happened to your H carnosa?

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  15. It must be very exotic. I love the texture of the hoya. And the flower on top of the star shaped is quite an addition to it.

    And honestly, my first time to learn about this bloom.

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    1. A lot of species are endemic to the Philippines, and i just learned it thrived in many countries even in temperate climes. Maybe that's the reason it has caught the attention of local plant and nursery enthusiasts. Before everything goes to foreign collectors and it's depleted from our mountains, it could be better if our countrymen will profit from them. It also commands a high price in foreign countries, so online local enterprising nurseries are now doing the selling.

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  16. a very beautiful plant and I know the perfume is divine

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  17. It's the first time for me to see Hoya flowers. They are very beautiful. I like them very much.

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  18. Wow! What beautiful little flowers.

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  19. You do have beautiful Hoyas and I'm so glad to see you finally got your ID. I only have two Hoyas. The one I bought two and a half years ago took ages to bloom, but I finally had a show of its brilliant flowers last year. My new little one is a very recent purchase, and I will have to wait to see any blooms on it.

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  20. They have such delicate and lovely blooms! Glad you found the name, as I did for my post.

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  21. These are very beautiful flowers, Andrea, and it is exciting to learn that some of these are new species discovered by people you know. I wish you the best in your search for your very own Hoya. We have a couple o f hoyas growing in pots and not only are they beautiful, but also fragrant.

    Thank you for participating in Floral Friday Fotos!

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  22. I love this plant. It is a very easy to grow houseplant. Unfortunately I never get a chance to smell the flowers because my husband claims he is allergic to them. He pulls them off and throws them away as son as he notices them forming. I'm glad you found teh species name of your hoya. I have no idea what the species name of mine is.

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  23. Beautiful blooms! How sweet that one was named after your dear friend.
    Hugs,
    Jann

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  24. I have never kept an Hoya and I find its blooms absolutely amazing. I have to learn more about this plant.

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  25. I've struggled with this as a houseplant but the smell from the flowers is incredible.

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  26. Wow! I need a plant like this in my apartment. It is difficult to grow things due to cold and lack of direct sunlight.

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  27. What a lovely plant to have so many of....love the name...

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