Vol. 11, #7
Hoya elliptica Hook. f.
above photo was sent to me by Chanin Thorut of
This species has been a difficult one to pin down. Chanin sent cuttings to me a long time ago………. Since that time I’ve had trouble obtaining a true Hoya elliptica. Also, I had doubts that any of us really knew which hoya was it. I wrote to David Liddle and sent him pictures or two different hoyas circulating as this species. I asked his opinion. My question to him referred to a hoya picture posted on the HoyasRUs Forum as Hoya elliptica. I hadn’t thought that it was that species. I told David, “My speculation that a hoya picture posted by Antone might be one of two different hoyas on your list. You might be able to set me straight on this.” David replied, “I don’t know this plant at all. It is nothing I have.”
elliptica. While there are some
visual similarities between the two plants, the
(1). While the nerves in the leaf are visually obvious, the term used in the type description is, “nerves very prominent,” this is a physical description, not a visual one.
(2). The corolla is described as, “glabrous without, puberulous
within.” The Philippine plant is pilose,
with long woolly indumentum on the upper corolla surface. The description of Hoya elliptica lobe shape
is, “obcordate” which best describes the broad lobes
(3). The shape of the corona lobes are described as,
“ovate-oblong, obtuse.” The
There is one
thing I’d like to add. When I started
the first hoya society in 1978, most of us could be fairly certain that if we
got a hoya from
I believe that
many of the hoyas in the Apodagis collection are things that Chanin Thorut
obtained from Ted Green and from me. The
reason I believe that is that I believe Sutthisak Sangkhakorn and Chanin are
friends. I say that because about 20 years
ago, Chanin sent me a picture of Sutthisak, holding one of his prized hoyas. So, just because you got a hoya from
Apodagis, doesn’t mean it is a native of
because you got a hoya from David Beardsell, Andrew Savio, Peter Tsang, Robin
Beavis, York Meredith or David Liddle, doesn’t mean it is a native of
example of a hoya being thought to be native of a place foreign to it is the
one that D. A. Kloppenburg published as Hoya memoria. He was convinced that it was a Philippine
native because he found it growing on Dexter Heuschkel’s cemetery fence. Kloppenburg was really a late comer when it
came to collecting and learning about hoyas.
Dexter Heuschkel and Peter Tsang were close friends. Peter Tsang and I were close friends.* Dexter traveled
How close were Peter and I? Well, it was this way. I received a phone call one evening about
It was Peter Tsang. He had
enrolled his daughter, Tiki, in the Atlanta School of Ballet. He told me that he had an appointment in
about an hour with his attorney, who had drawn up papers which he would sign
giving me legal custody of Tiki (the most precious thing in his life) for the
duration of her stay in Atlanta, GA.
Tiki was a talented dancer and Peter wanted to get her away from her
mother and her mother’s abusive boy friend, in addition to wanting to give Tiki
the best training a dancer could obtain.
Atlanta Ballet had the reputation of being the best the
Hoyas get moved about these days so that it is becoming more and more difficult to know where they originated, especially when there are so many people who don’t care and throw away the labels as soon as they get their plants. Some people even don’t like it that other people label their plants. Proof of that came home to me when we had an HSI meeting in Atlanta and I invited those attending to my house for lunch and let them roam through my greenhouse at will. The husband of that narrow minded female I wrote about in the last issue of PS-TheHoyan, went in the greenhouse and when he came out, he handed me a couple of hundred name tags, which he’d removed from my plants. He claimed that the labels made an otherwise beautiful display look cheap. I had a row of iris seedlings in my garden that I’d hybridized and wanted to introduce. When all were gone, I discovered that my labels on those were also gone. You can bet your first born (and not lose) that man didn’t dare touch one of his wife’s plant labels. I was able to put the labels back in their proper places only because I kept an inventory of my greenhouse plants showing where each was located in the greenhouse.
What Species is IML-1513?
One thing is for certain. It is not Hoya oreogena Kerr. I believe it will prove to be Hoya graveolens Kerr. My reasons for thinking that follow:
1). Kerr cited his own specimen #10857 as holotype of Hoya oreogena. The entire specimen is too large to post here but here is a picture of a portion of it, showing three of its leaves (all the other leaves on the specimen are about the same size and shape).
Above: Three leaves of Kerr #10857
Above: A typical leaf of IML-1513, which is sold by the Liddle Nursery as Hoya oreogena.
There is no way, even if one dried this leaf, that it could be recognized as belonging to the same species as the species on Kerr #10857. The Code says that the Holotype is the “One specimen or other element used by the author or designated by him as the nomenclatural type.” It also says, “It may not be rejected.”
Above: Flowers of Kerr #10857, which is the Hoya oreogena holotype.
Note the extremely acute outer tips of the corona scales and the raised ridge running down the center of the scales.
Now, let us take a closer look at the flowers of IML-1513:
Above: The picture was given to me by Chanin Thorut. It was labeled Hoya graveolens. Its foliage matches that of IML-1513. Compare the flowers, especially the outer tips of the corona lobes, with those on the Hoya oreogena Holotype. They simply don’t match.
HER SLIP IS SHOWING
It’s hanging so low it’s almost dragging in the dirt! I refer to a la--- errr a female. I started to say lady but, in my opinion she’s no lady! She is just an ignorant excuse for a human being, in my opinion. Just count the number of people on the mainland that she has visited or had visit her and ask yourself, “How many of these people did she turn into enemies? The answer is, “Most of Them!”
I just received two copies of a letter Wannabe posted on
a forum called Cubits. I do not know who sent one of them. It was from an address I do not recognize. The
other copy came from a pin pal who lives in
The first untruth written in that thread was about a book that some Russian is said to have written about hoyas. The statement was made that Chris Burton had bought a copy and would be reviewing it on line. The fact is that I had never heard of the book until then and I certainly did not buy a copy. I don’t intend to. If someone wants me to review it, I will, but only if they will lend me a copy. If after seeing it, if I think it is worth anything, I will then buy it, if copies are still available.
Next this dumb broad said, “Let’s say the book deals with H. pimenteliana and uses the last word I hear and that the Hoya pimenteliana I got 6 years ago is realy (sic) H. cagayanensis … per David Liddle). Chris Burton will disagree with all of it, so we won’t talk about her.”
Well the dumb broad brought up my name so she already talked about me. Do I disagree with David Liddle’s assessment, that Hoya pimenteliana is a synonymous name for Hoya cagayanensis? NO, I DON’T !!! I wonder just where she thinks David Liddle got the idea that it was Hoya cagayanensis in the first place. From me, that’s who!!!! When I first suggested it, he was doubtful but after I suggested he dry a specimen and then compare it with the type and original publication, he wrote back and told me that he agreed with me. Also, Torill Nyhuus acknowledged the name Hoya cagayanensis was the correct name for the Hoya published by Kloppenburg as Hoya pimenteliana. Hoya cagayanensis is correct because it was the first name given it in a valid publication. She also quoted something about Emilio’s cultivars as presented in Anders Wennstrőm’s book, The Genus Hoya. I think she must have that book or have seen it so she must know that Anders also agrees that Hoya cagayanensis is the correct name for the one Kloppenburg republished as Hoya pimenteliana..
Wannabe didn’t go to college so maybe she can be forgiven for not being able to spell. Someone should tell her that there is no such person as Torill Hyhuss… The lady’s name is Torill Nyhuus.
UNTRUTH #4: It was said there
that the writer from Rainforest was really Chris Burton. What a laugh to think that someone who lives
in the state of
You have surely heard the expression saying that you only have one
chance to make a first impression.
Wannabe is very talented at making very good first impressions so when I
first heard from her, I was favorably impressed so when she asked me to copy my
hoya research papers for her, though I was unwilling to do that (too time
consuming), my reply was that I didn’t have time but that if she wanted to make
copies that she was welcome to come here and stand at my copy machine for as
long as it took and make the copies herself, provided she bought the toner and
the paper. I was surprised when she
agreed. What I didn’t expect was that
she’d invite someone else to come and visit me too. That lady wrote and told me that Wannabe had
invited her to visit and she wanted to know if I was okay with it. I was shocked that anyone had the gall to
invite a stranger to another person’s home.
I asked around and found someone who knew this person and learned she
was okay. I met Wannabe at the airport
and the first thing out of her mouth was, “I hope you are having artichokes for
dinner because I adore them but they are too expensive in
Bed time came and you should have heard the ruckus when Wannabe found that the window frames had swollen in the hot humid weather and she couldn’t open the bedroom windows. I told her that I didn’t have whole house air conditioning so that I could cool the whole outdoors and that I wanted the windows closed to save on cooling and to keep ragweed pollen from making me sick. She carried on for what seemed like an eternity saying that she must be able to open the windows and breathe in fresh air. I never would and I never knew anyone else who’d go into someone else’s home and make such demands. It just isn’t done by people with proper upbringing.
The purpose of this visit was supposed to be that Wannabe would make
copies of all
the original Hoya name publications that I had collected. Well, once here, I couldn’t get her near that
copy machine. First day, I drove to
Office Depot so she could get a toner cartridge and some paper. She spied Home Depot next to it and its
nursery department and headed straight there, where she spent most of the
morning buying bulbs of species that will not grow in
We then went to several other nurseries as that’s what Wannabe wanted
to do. I couldn’t get her nearer to Office
Depot than the closest Home Depot and I couldn’t get her to stay at home and
make those copies that were her excuse for visiting me in the first place. In all the nurseries she visited, she bought
more and more of those temperate zone bulbs to plant in her yard in
Not once did Wannabe even open one of my file drawers and look at a
single one of my hoya papers. The only
time she even entered my office was to use the telephone there. I would not have known what or who she was
phoning except that she put speaker phone on and I could hear both sides of the
conversation. The phone call was to her
sister-in-law who lived somewhere out west (
One thing I totally agree with that Wannabe said in that anonymous e-mail I got. “She said, “Sorry…but I have no respect for someone who publishes obviously wrong data.” I agree with that statement and, because I do, I have absolutely no respect for Wannabe.”
Wannabe decided to go home after 4 days, not having copied a single page of Hoya research, which included copies of all original hoya publications, up to that date (they occupied 14 file cabinet drawers, plus 5 three ft. long shelves and several boxes filled to their brims). I can understand why she’d be overwhelmed by so much data. She packed her bags but, having bought so many bulbs and foundation garments, she didn’t have room for all. She tossed her old foundation garments and a pair of garden clogs in a pile and told me I could have them. I didn’t want them, especially those clogs (I’d have broken every bone in my body trying to walk in them). I suggested she put them in a shopping bag and take them on board with her. “ No,” she said, “I don’t want them.” So, as soon as she left, I put them in a shopping bag and took them to the local Salvation Army Store. A few days later, I got a letter from her asking me to mail those items to her and also, she asked me to give her the collection of tea that her guest had brought to me as a gift. I’m not much of a tea drinker, myself so that tea had also gone to the Salvation Army Store. I was shocked that anyone had the gall to ask someone to give them a gift someone else had given them.
A TRUTH QUOTED OUT OF CONTEXT BY WANNABE:
The anonymous letter writer also said that Wannabe claimed Chris Burton was wrong in saying that certain hoyas pictured on eBay and in some other people’s catalogs were not labeled correctly because Chris Burton herself said that “Pictures lie,” so she can’t identify a hoya by a picture.”
FACTS: Pictures do lie but statements taken out of context, as that statement was, lie even more.
Fact #1: If you show me a picture of Hoya australis subsp. tenuipes and a picture of Hoya calycina without any scale showing flower size and without any leaves showing in either picture, I will not be able to tell you with 100% certainty which is which. I know people who, at one time sold Hoya calycina mislabeled as Hoya australis. That’s because they “identified” it from a picture found in a library book. That picture lied.
Fact #2: There are some hoyas that I can identify easily with or without flowers, in pictures or in life. I think just about any hoya hobby grower can look at Hoya polyneura and tell you right off exactly what it is. I think anyone can look at a picture of Hoya linearis and tell you which species it is but not which of the two published varieties it is, unless close ups of the flowers are also pictured. Hoya serpens and Hoya engleriana are two others that I can easily identify in a picture, provided both foliage and flowers are pictured.
Fact #3: When someone has grown as many hoyas as I have for as many years as I have, one learns to recognize a few that have been in circulation for the same length of time and no picture is going to fool her. For example, the first hoya I ever saw was Hoya kerrii. It was in the sunroom of the house next door to me. The lady who owned it didn’t know what it was and she was a stingy old biddy. I was only 5 or 6 years old and begged for a piece of it as I already had the plant growing disease at that tender age. I caught it from my Aunt Alma. That neighbor wouldn’t part with even a leaf. I drew a picture of it and kept it until I finally found another one like it about 25 years later. Ain’t no way that a picture of Hoya kerrii could lie to me. I’d recognize it in a NY minute.
Fact #4: Then there is a case of varietas and subspecies. I believe I was criticized for saying that a picture of an all greenish-yellow flowered hoya could not be Hoya chlorantha var. tutuilensis. I said it was Hoya chlorantha var. chlorantha. I could tell that from the picture because NOT ALL PICTURES LIE. Some are honest. Others have claimed that the hoya in the picture I critiqued could not be Hoya chlorantha var. chlorantha because Hoya chlorantha var. chlorantha’s corolla was campanulate and the pictured flowers were not. Sometimes, actually growing a species and having it bloom for you educates you to recognize a species a day or two after the flowers open and one knows then that the flowers in the picture you took just an hour or two after the flowers first open don’t look the same as they do 24 or 36 hours later. Also one knows, when one has the author’s original publication in front of one that the flowers of Hoya chlorantha var. tutuilensis are a different colour and that the corona lobes are slightly different in shape. See PS-TheHoyan vol. 11, #6 for pictures of these two.
Wannabe brags that she has grown hoyas for 8 years. I don’t think she’ll live long enough to
match my record. I caught the bug when I
was 5 years old but didn’t get my first hoya until I was 15. I am now 84 years
old. Once I got that first one (Hoya carnosa), I added Hoya
compacta within a year, as I
found it in J.J. Newberry’s when passing the plant section, on my way to meet my friends at the soda
fountain after school one day. I got my
next one from my friend, Ginny Burton (no relation), who brought a variegated Hoya
bella to me from
The lady from Valdosta, on learning I didn’t have any but the Hoya carnosa sent me a copy of Loyce Andrew’s hoya list, which at that time had about 65 hoya names listed. Her list quickly grew to over 200 names, most of them a single species with different labels on them. I know, because I bought every single one of them. I am prepared to say that Loyce Andrews had 7 correctly identified species out of the entire list of over 200 species names. One of those 7 was only partially correct. Her claim was that her hoyas were labeled the same as when she got them and that she got most (not all) of them from Ted Green.
There are scores of hoyas that I cannot tell you the names of without dissecting the flowers and examining the various flower parts microscopically. Then, I’d still need a type specimen to make comparison. Drying the flowers to make them more like the dried herbarium specimen is often necessary. Just looking at a picture in a book (often a book by a horticulturist, with no knowledge of plant taxonomy) is just not the way to identify most hoya species, especially those that are so newly discovered that no one has had time to learn their habits.
Warning to Hoya Forum Members: If you enjoy belonging to a hoya forum and find such a forum useful, for goodness sake, don’t let Wannabe even have a hint that you know more about hoyas than she does. If you do, she’ll get you bumped from the forum. Don’t know how she does it but eliminating the competition so that she can appear to be the final authority is her special talent. So if you want to remain, “Play dumb!”
Hoya villosa Cost.
If there is anyone who reads this that has the hoya in circulation as Hoya villosa (IML-1663?*) and has a picture of his or her plant in bloom, I’ really like to see what the flowers are like. You may have it with a different IML-#. The year I got this one from David Liddle, he sent me three extremely different species, each labeled IML-1663. He was able to identify each of them for me later on but I’ve always been a bit afraid that the number 1663 is jinxed.
Needless to say, my plant hasn’t bloomed and it looks so like Hoya globulosa that I can barely tell them apart. Makes me wonder if it is that species. I’ve just been comparing my plant with the original Hoya villosa publication in Flore Generale de Indo-Chine 4: 137 (1912) and with the illustration in Flore Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae 63: 485 (1977). What I see there doesn’t look much like my plant.
If someone has bloomed a “Hoya villosa” from the Liddle Nursery, I’d appreciate it if you could send me a picture of both flowers and foliage. If you can also send a few flowers wrapped in alcohol soaked paper toweling and packed in a crush proof container, I’d really appreciate it. Maybe I have another hoya that you’d like and will give it to you for your trouble.
First to Guess Correctly What Species Grew this Leaf
and a Start of It is Yours!
Deadline for guessing is
As you may already have guessed, this is a case where a picture lies!