Vol. 11, #8

DECEMBER 1, 2011



Michael Miyashiro’s own picture of his  Hoya cultivar Golden Eye

This picture was first published in TheHoyan 17(3): 1996.  The colour in the original picture has held up pretty well but the yellow pollinia that show up quite conspicuously in the center of the flowers in the original don’t look so yellow when scanned.  It is that yellow, plus the popularity of a James Bond TV character that appealed to the judges in the “Name the Cultivar” contest (see below).




The picture of Hoya oreogena in the last issue that I credited to Sutthisak Sangkhakorn does belong to him but it was photographed for him by  Dr. Piyakaset Suksatan of the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden.  He wanted me to be sure and give her credit.  I apologize for overlooking his communication when I published the picture earlier.





I’ve been saving them so here goes:


Question:   Is there such a hoya as one named Golden Eye?   I saw the name mentioned on a forum I lurk on from time to time and someone said that there is no such hoya.  --- Margaret Mercer

Answer:    Indeed, there is.  It is a Michael Miyashiro cultivar (Hoya vitellinoides X Hoya incrassata).  In January of 1996, he held a “Name the Cultivar Contest” with a generous cutting of it going to the person whose suggested name the judges thought most suitable.  Most major botanical garden libraries have copies of The Hoyan.  You’ll find the contest announcement in vol. 17, #3,  page 39.   The prize went to Eva-Karin Wiberg of Sweden. Eva-Karin now has a hoya species named for her..  The awarding of the prize and announcement of the cultivar name can be found in The Hoyan, vol. 17, #4, page 66.


Question:   Is there such a hoya as Hoya vetilina?   I don’t recall where I saw that name.  I’ve tried to find out more about it but no one seems to have heard of it.  --- Margaret Mercer

Answer:    No, there isn’t but I think I know where you saw that name.  I checked my notes from at least a year ago and found it.  I’m betting you saw it the same place I did.  It was a hoya advertised on eBay by someone called “begonia,” aka Vicki Graves.  Her picture looked very like Hoya vitellina.


I believe that, eventually,  a lot of dummies who rely almost entirely on the Internet for  just about everything, from finding a plumber or a wife; curing a case of cooties;  or ordering a pizza from a restaurant just down the street, are going to be forced to learn to spell. If they don’t,  life is going to pass by them in a great big hurry because computers are dumb.  Close doesn’t cut it with them.  If the thing you’re looking for isn’t spelled exactly, 100% correctly, you aren’t going to find it.  I’ve been compiling a list of misspelled hoya names that I’ve found on eBay, in magazine articles, in dealer catalogs and in personal correspondence.  Here are some of them:  

                         Hoya benquetensis… Guess who misspelled that one in her catalog?    Me, that’s who!  And guess who caught it

and corrected me?  I won’t name names but it was the dumbest female I ever met…. But she could spell Hoya benguetensis!

                        Hoya chlorantha var. tuituilensis…. A seller’s catalog.  The correct spelling is chlorantha var. tutuilensis.

Hoya carnosa compakta   … in a seller’s on line catalog.   Of course this is not Hoya carnosa.  It is Hoya compacta.  There is no k in that name.             

Hoya dekei  .. This was found in a seller’s catalog.   The correct spelling is deykeae.

Hoya dolosparteAn eBay auction.   I suspect that this was meant to be Hoya dolichosparte but the pictured plant  didn’t look much like it.

                        Hoya dolicosparteA seller’s catalog.  Same species as above but different wrong spelling.

                        Hoya doliocosparte.. An eBay auction.    Same species as the two previous ones with still another spelling.

                        Hoya fischeria ….  A seller’s on line catalog.  Of course, the spelling should be fischeriana.

Hoya ficheriana … A seller’s catalog.  Just another way the same seller spelled the name on a different page of his catalog.

Hoya lacunosa palidaflora ..  In a forum letter, a copy of which was mailed to me anonymously.  Surely, lacunosa pallidiflora was what was meant.

Hoya obettiae ..  The correct way to spell that is odetteae.  The correct name for this one is Hoya tsangii C. M. Burton

Hoya paletta … I found this wrong spelling for Hoya patella in my own greenhouse inventory.  Fortunately, it is something I only got about a week before and it only a small cutting so I never had time to distribute it with that misspelled name on it.  

Hoya paziac ... in seller’s on line catalog.  Sounds sort of like a town in New Jersey!  If it were the intended species (which it wasn’t), the correct spelling would be Hoya paziae.  Just one letter wrong but, as far as a computer is concerned all six letters in the name could be wrong. It wouldn’t be recognized in any search for it. I am of the opinion that this species is not in circulation.

Hoya sarweenica… The identity of this was wrong  but had it been correct, the spelling should be salweenica.




CRITIQUE,  The Hoyas of Singapore Then and Now

By K. F. Yap in Nature Watch, Official Magazine of Nature Society (Singapore).


            The article starts off saying, “Here K. F. Yap accounts for all the 11 species  recorded from Singapore.”   He illustrated his article with pictures of hoya flowers, apparently using Ted Green as his authority.  I say that because the names he attaches to his pictures are those Mr. Green uses and some of them are  wrong.  I was amazed to see that some of them are correct.   

            The 11 species featured by Yap are:

1.      This is labeled Hoya verticillata.  He says it is “extant.”  Whatever it is, I am sure he is right in saying it is extant but I am 99 and 99% sure it is not Hoya verticillata..

2.      Next he pictured Hoya diversifolia and said that it is ”extant.”  The picture is small and detail lacking but I believe it is correctly labeled.

3.      Picture three is labeled Hoya latifolia and he says that it is “extant.”  I am 100% certain that the hoya pictured is NOT Hoya latifolia.  It is the one that Ted Green erroneously distributes as Hoya latifolia, completely ignoring the proof contained on the holotype specimen containing both a flower and a drawing of same.  The flowers of Hoya latifolia are nearly 3 times larger and the corona lobes are a different shape.  The plant pictured  by Mr. Yap is either Hoya clandestina, Hoya macrophylla or Hoya tjadasmalangensis.

4.      Picture #4 is Hoya coronaria which he said was “rediscovered” in Singapore.  This appears to be correctly labeled.

5.      Also said to be “rediscovered” is one labeled Hoya lacunosa.  It doesn’t look like any Hoya lacunosa I ever saw before.  It appears to me to be more like Hoya walliniana, but I’d hesitate attempting to identify it without actual flowers or good pictures of the flower parts.

6.      Pictured and listed as “extinct” is Hoya coriacea.  He is correct. It is Hoya coriacea that is pictured.

7.      Pictured next is one labeled as Hoya campanulata  and he says it is extinct.  I believe that the one pictured is Hoya danumensis. I could be wrong about that.

8.      Flowers labeled Hoya finlaysonii are pictured here and said to be “extinct.” There are many closely related species or subspecies and most so listed are not Hoya finlaysonii.  Before saying what I think this one is, I’d want to have actual flowers and a section of stem with foliage to study.  No foliage shows in Yap’s illustration.  Hoya finlaysonii foliage is extremely plain (almost ugly) and much smaller than most of those I have encountered with that label on seller’s lists.

9.      Picture nine looks like what it is labeled which is Hoya revoluta and he says this is also “extinct.”

10.  A rather pale looking clone of what may be Hoya obtusifolia is pictured here and it too is said to be “extinct.”

11.   The last pictured is called a “New Record” and it is labeled Hoya scortechinii. I am not yet familiar enough with this species to know if this picture is that species or not.


Please note that the words, extant and extinct, when referring to the named species only apply to hoyas that at one time or another were recorded to grow in Singapore.  All (or none) could  (and probably do) still exist in other places. Likewise some that once grew in other places could be extinct in those places an still be extant in Singapore.





The Magazine of the Singapore Botanic Gardens volume 37, July 2011


I found very little wrong with this article but I disagree with a few things.  The only species identification that I question is the picture on page 21, labeled Hoya finlaysonii.  Its caption reads, “Hoya finlaysonii, short lived flowers but beautiful foliage.”  It is true that Hoya finlaysonii flowers are short lived.  When mine bloomed the flowers didn’t even last 24 hours.  I’ve often joked that had I sneezed when they opened I’d have missed them.  I will not say that the plant pictured is not a varietas or a subspecies of Hoya finlaysonii but it certainly is not Hoya finlaysonii var. finlaysonii.  The leaves of that one are not beautiful (nothing like the partial leaf shown in the picture on page 21 of this issue).  They are very plain and finely serrated.  Their veins are barely visible.

There is one statement in the article that I know is wrong.”   The author said, “The fruits of Hoya are follicles, produced singly from each flower.”  This is wrong.  I put my Hoya subquintuplinervis  plant outside several years ago and several months later I found  six pedicels bearing eight follicles on my plant.  Each of those pedicels  represented a single flower.  It was apparent that at least two of those flowers produced two follicles, which proves that follicles are not always produced singly for each flower. 

Two other hoyas of mine produced two follicles on a single pedicel the same year as the one above.  They were Hoya padangensis and Hoya parvifolia. 

It is possible for hoya follicles to be produced in greater numbers than two but, so far, I haven’t seen it happen, but I have seen a herbarium specimen with a pedicel bearing a lot more follicles. 






Every now and then, when I get a letter from someone telling me of some questionable “fact” they read on one of the forums I’ve been booted from, for knowing more on the subject than some other egomaniac grower knows, I go on those forums and lurk just to see what my correspondents are writing about.

The letter writer said,  Someone on Garden Web asked a question about a cultivar named Grey Ghost.  Someone named Mike from London, Ontario, Canada replied, saying, “I don’t think there is a variety with the name you mentioned but then again there is no hybrid registry or clonal name registry when it comes to Hoyas either.” 

My correspondent added,  “ It seems to me that I recall you publishing an official Code for Cultivated Plants,  in the Hoyan years ago, and if my memory serves me, you said that the registry was maintained at Colgate University.”   

            Your memory is right, I think.  Unfortunately the  HSI  person who volunteered to index all issues of  The Hoyan didn’t do a really good job of it.  He listed only the names of hoyas in the index so I need to hunt down the volumes and page numbers where that info is or I need to read through 20 years of correspondence with the late Hon. Douglas H. Kent who was the one who supplied me with the information about the Registry of cultivated plants.  There is a Code for Cultivated Plants.  I have a copy of it (sent to me by Douglas Kent) and I found a copy on line.  The copy I found on line had a few additions. Location may have changed over the years.  I haven’t kept track.

            By the way, a cultivar named Grey Ghost was introduced back in the late 1960s or early 1970s.  I used to own one.  It is very like the cultivar Pink Silver except that its leaves look sort of like they’d been painted white and then, before the paint was completely dry, someone had tried to wipe the paint off but some of the paint stuck leaving the leaves looking as if the green were behind a thin grayish film. It doesn’t sound it but it is really quite attractive.  I don’t know if it is a hybrid or a mutation.  Doesn’t matter.  A cultivar can be either.

            The statement in that thread where I lurked that said that a selfed seedling would be identical to its parent is not accurate.  It may be but it is possible that the parent plant could be a natural hybrid or that a plant of another generation was a hybrid.  We don’t have pedigrees of plants collected in the jungle.  The only distinction between species and cultivars (whether mutations or hybrids) is that the species originated naturally, in the jungle, and the cultivar originated in cultivation.

            The problem with information sharing forums is that the KnowNots, who KnowNot that they KnowNot, usually are the first to speak up and they usually have the last word  on any subject.  Anyone who truly knows usually gets bumped for knowing and correcting the KnowNots.  Most of these people don’t want facts.  They just want their egos stroked by having the KnowNots who know that they KnowNot believe that they really know what they’re talking about!




Found on line!  I think it is an eBay Store, but not sure.


            There’s no way I’d take the time to do a line by line correction of all the hoyas listed here.  I think the fellow went on some other amateur’s web site and copied most (but not all) the Hoya names he found there or he copied names from all the Hoya catalogs he could find… most written by poor spellers.  .

            Most of this person’s catalog  is just a list of names (many misspelled) with only a few actually available for sale.   About a fourth of them are illustrated with tiny pictures that you can click on and have a larger picture pop up.  A few of the pictures are quite good but most of them are not.  The colours of many flowers are colours that I can’t even find on the Horticulture Society’s colour charts, nor on my Nickerson colour fan.

            Would I recommend this seller as a source for obtaining hoyas?  NO WAY.  I found, in just a few minutes searching this catalog, 45 hoya pictures that I am 100% sure are not the species or varieties they are labeled.  I found that he had a lot of identical hoyas listed as if they were different species.  A few examples of his mislabeling follow:  1).  Listed is a picture labeled “Hoya sp. Kunming.”  He left the Kina (which I’m told means China) off  but,  since the species from Kunming, Kina is the only one circulating with “Kunming” in its nickname, I am sure it is safe to assume that is the one this seller thinks he has.  I will add that Hoya species from Kunming, Kina and Hoya World’s mislabeled plant could be different varieties of the same species but both of them are not from a place called Kunming.   The one pictured as this in Hoya World is one I got from David Liddle as “IML-1598, from India.”




Hoya sp. IML-1598, from India                                                        Hoya sp. from Kunming, Kina   (China)


Thanks to David Elliott for the use of his picture of Hoya sp. IML-1598, from India.  The Kunming, Kina picture is my own.




Left:  Typical leaf of IML-1598.   Right:  Typical leaf of so. From Kunming, Kina

This on line catalog lists the one on the left as the “Kunming” species.  He is wrong!




Left; Hoya World’s  hoya mislabeled as Hoya camphorifolia.  Right:  Hoya camphorifolia. Thanks to Cathy Perpich for the picture.


And, how about these (below)?


This man has the one on the left and the one in the center mislabeled Hoya diversifolia.  Anyone with half a brain can look at those two and tell you that both cannot possibly be the same species. 

What are they?   What is Hoya diversifolia like?  See my labels below.




Left:  I do not know what this one is.         Center;  This one is Hoya meliflua.                  Right;  My picture of Hoya diversifolia.


I’ve seen the one on the left (above) pictured other places as Hoya scortechinii.  Whether that is correct or not I don’t yet know.


And how about the two below?  I envy this fellow’s luck with getting a true Hoya flagellata but, for the life of me I can’t understand why something so  accurately depicted in its name publication could be mislabeled as Hoya caudata.




Left:  Hoya flagellata, mislabeled as Hoya caudata.            Right:  My picture of the true Hoya caudata.


Up to this point, I have shown you only four of this man’s mistakes but there are so many errors in this man’s catalog that it would take a very thick book to list all of them.    I found a lot more similar errors in this on line catalog.  I also found at least a half dozen cases where he used identical pictures to illustrate two different species. 


I just can’t resist showing you a fifth of this fiction writer’s pictures.  This one is mislabeled by him as Hoya cv. Golden Eye!  Please compare it with Michael Miyashiro’s own picture (at the top of this page) and tell me what you think this is!



One doesn’t need anything but one’s own eyes to tell what it isn’t and it isn’t cv. Golden Eye.


This seller’s prices are extremely high.  Most of his hoyas are mislabeled and, in spite of having at least 200 to 300 names listed, only a few are for sale. I tried finding out the name of this ignoramus but his name didn’t appear anywhere on the site.  I suspect he is the one who sells as “mywestpalm.”

My personal opinion is that this on line catalog is a perfect example of false advertising and there are laws against that.  I’d like to see this seller put in stocks and sat in a public square where people who’ve been cheated by him can throw mud pies and stinging nettles at him.  Better yet, why not  make him a suit out of  Stapelia flowers smeared with raw hamburger meat before putting him in stocks? Then wait for the buzzards to find him? 

…………………………………………………… Yeah, I know, I’m one mean b-- er witch! 


P. S.  I think I got my answer as to who wrote the mess above.  Also, I believe I made a liar out of myself when I said, in the last issue of PS-TheHoyan that I would not purchase the book written by the Russian that Wannabe had accused me of already having.  I ended up bidding on a book on eBay and it turned out to be a hard copy of what I believe to be a more complete list of species the same man who posted that phony Golden Eye picture.

The book title is Hoya Catalogue and the author’s name is Nikolai Bilenko.  That sounds Russian but the man appears to me to be an American of Russian or some other eastern European descent or else he immigrated to US at some point in his life.  He is definitely a resident of Palm Beach, Florida, per his own statement.  His book states that no part of his book may be reproduced as they are protected by copyright. I haven’t used any part of his book here but probably will in the future.  I used pictures from his on line catalog to illustrate this issue.  Copyright laws allow use of small portions of copyrighted material to be copied and used to illustrate works such as mine.  It’s called “fair use.”

Anyone who uses Mr. Bilenko’s book as a reference will never learn any more than he knows about hoyas and that is “precious little.”  He complained in his book about too little being found in libraries about hoyas.  He was just looking in the wrong libraries.  If you want to find and copy more references than you can carry home in a good sized suitcase (forget the attaché case), take yourself to a land grant university and spend a few days there.  Florida State University and the University of Florida are not too far from Palm Beach.  I did most of my research at Smithsonian and the New York Botanical Garden Libraries.  Also at Harvard in Boston, MA.  Much was supplied by the late Hon. Douglas H. Kent, Fellow at Kew and British Museum in London. I was also able to obtain loans from 9 herbaria.  One doesn’t have to rely on one’s local lending library to obtain authentic data.  One’s local lending library is useful for obtaining an occasional copy of something via interlibrary loan but for most things a university library is best.  NY Botanical Garden Library is the  largest botanical library in the world.  A day or two spent there will give you enough material to keep you busy for months or even years.

You may expect to see more revelations about this horrible book in a future issue of PS-TheHoyan.  I’ve found 30 errors in his listings and I’m still in the names that start with the letter a. I’m almost ready to say, “Forget waiting for buzzards and go for “tar, feathers and a match!”