PS-The Hoyan

Vol. 6, #2

May 2007


Hoya longifolia Wall. ex Wight et Arn.,   (IML-906) – Photo by Christine M. Burton (syn. Hoya stoneiana D.K. Kloppenb.).


Mr. Kloppenburg is at it again.  After nearly a year of  silence in issues of Fraterna, I was beginning to hope  the voodoo curses I’d put on him had worked and that he had gotten another hobby but, I guess that was too much to hope for.

Volume 19, #4 (2006), which is the third to last issue, arrived here near the end of March, 2007. In it, Kloppenburg was in overdrive.  He published at least 5 new species names and what appears to be an aborted attempt to publish still another one.

This is by far the worst set of publications I have ever seen.  It contains page after page, after page, after page, etc. of the poorest quality pictures one could ever hope not to see, most of which aren’t even recognizable as hoyas or even as hoya flower parts.  This, combined with his pigeon-toed-pig-Latin (my name for Latin words that either don’t exist or are spelled wrong so that I can’t find them in my numerous Latin dictionaries), gives one few clues as to just what many of his species are.

His claim that the dried parts were restored by his “Kew Solution” is utter rot.  I have the formula for the Kew Solution (which the people at Kew had never heard of until Kloppenburg started “tooting” it as the great restorer of dried flowers).  It was given to me for use in preserving fresh flowers without removing colour.  It does a pretty good job of preserving but it removes the colour and it surely doesn’t restore dried flowers to their original state (nor anywhere close to it).  Proof can be seen on the 13 pages of pictures,   which no one is ever going to recognize, if anyone is ever optimistic enough to think a living species could be identified by a comparison with these pictures.  All Kloppenburg and Wayman, his most devoted disciple, have accomplished is to waste dues money.  I can’t believe that anyone would not have a complaint about paying dues for this issue.


A New Name for Old Hoya


In this issue, Kloppenburg named a hoya for a person I call, “Arpita,” who has never contributed anything but confusion to the world of hoyas and aggravation to those trying to do anything constructive.  I find Kloppenburg’s choices of people to name hoyas for, extremely distasteful.  It seems to me that if he can’t name them for the people who made the original collections that the least he could do is name them to honor people who have contributed something to the knowledge of the species.  I’d like to see one named for David Liddle, Paul Forster, Michael Miyashiro, Chanin Thorut, David Goyder, Obchant Thaithong, --- just to name a few but, Lord forbid that D.K. Kloppenburg do the naming because  I’d like those people honored with a name that isn’t going to be sunk before the ink is dry on the publication.

Kloppenburg says (page 19) that the origin of this species is unknown.  I find that strange because I found it in David Liddle’s Accession catalog (dated 10 June 1991), listed as IML-906 and it says it is from “Nepal” via D. Cumming.  The Liddles have sold this as a pubescent clone of Hoya longifolia for sixteen years. I believe that identification is correct.

Let’s use Kloppenburg’s own pictures to show why I believe that IML-906 is Hoya longifolia.  Here is one he, himself, took of the underside of a corolla lobe:



Above Left:  This is the picture of the underside of a corolla lobe, used by Kloppenburg on page 20 of this new publication.

Above Right: is a picture taken by Kloppenburg of a glabrous, long, narrow leafed Hoya longifolia corolla lobe. It was sent to me by Kloppenburg in 1988.  The date the film processor stamped on the back of the picture says “Aug. 1988.”  Kloppenburg labeled it Hoya longifolia “Roll #32.” Difference in colour is due to film print’s age.



Above Left:  From Fraterna, Kloppenburg’s picture of the underside of a corolla “sinus.”

Above Right:  Kloppenburg’s 1988 photo of a Hoya longifolia corolla sinus.  Also shows the center of the flower which looks to me to be an exact match of the underside’s center found on page 20 of the publication.  I think this close enough to say that they are the same species.




Above Left:  Kloppenburg’s 1988 picture of Hoya longifolia.

Above Right: A George Slusser picture of IML-906.  The flowers were dyed so that parts could be seen as the flowers had lost their colour due to being preserved in alcohol.




Above Left:  Kloppenburg’s 1988 picture of a corona’s lower surface.

Above Right:  IML-906’s corona, lower surface.


Kloppenburg did not furnish me a picture of his Hoya longifolia pollinarium, so I am unable to compare one of them with this species.  I can, however, compare a true IML-906 pollinarium with Kloppenburg’s mislabeled pollinarium.  Here it is:   (Oh, I can also show you pictures of the same pollinarium with the retinaculum tilted forward and with it tilted back.  In the forward position it looks shorter; in the backward position it looks longer but in no position does it look sharply pointed at the top as the one in Kloppenburg’s picture looks.



         1                                        2                                3                                        4


1). The pollinarium that Kloppenburg placed on both pages 21 & 22, as this species, is mislabeled.  I call it a waste of dues payers’ money to post a single picture two times in the same issue, especially a mislabeled one.

2). This is a pollinarium of IML-906.  The retinaculum in this one is tilted just slightly forward..

3). This is a pollinarium of IML-906.  The retinaculum in this one is tilted forward so far that the tip is obscured..

4). This is a pollinarium of IML-906.  The retinaculum in this one is in its natural state, neither forward nor back.

  Note, in picture #1, the different retinaculum shape, different height; the much broader boarders on the outer margins of the pollinia and the different shape of the pollinia tops.

 Other errors made by Kloppenburg in this name publication:  (1).  He said (in 2nd paragraph) “Hoya longifolia Decaisne 1834 Contributions to the Botany of India 36.”  Friends, Decaisne had

absolutely nothing to do with the publication of Hoya longifolia  nor anything else that was published in Contributions to the Botany of India.   That publication was Robert Wight’s. The correct name for the plant cited is Hoya longifolia Wallich ex Wight et Arnott.  And yes, that was in Contributions to the Botany of India (2).  In 3rd paragraph Kloppenburg again referred to Hoya longifolia Decaisne. He was just as wrong the second time!

Kloppenburg argues that the flowers are the wrong size to be Hoya longifolia. It is important in describing  plants to cite approximate measurements but equally important that we recognize  that those measurements are not exact.  Only Kloppenburg will tell you that those measurements are critical.  Everyone else knows better. The reason it is important to cite them is because pictures LIE.  For example, in a picture it is easy to mistake Hoya calycina for Hoya australis and Hoya coronaria.  In the 1970s and 1980s the two “biggie” hoya sellers in US sold Hoya calycina mislabeled as Hoya coronaria.  That’s because they looked at pictures and drawings sans measurement.  Measurements are good to know, as long as we know that they are only approximates.

I’d like to add too that unless Kloppenburg has spent a fortune adding very sophisticated equipment to his microscope since I saw his set up, “ain’t” no way he could take some of the measurements he cites. I’d like to add, too, that he needs to learn how to write the measurements he cites. It is very apparent in reading some of his measurements that he often puts too many or too few zeros after the decimal point.

Still more arguments:  Kloppenburg said that this couldn’t be Hoya longifolia because the leaves of it were rounded at their bases instead of attenuate, but he illustrated it with a picture of a plant that clearly shows that a very large proportion of its leaves quite narrow at their bases.  I have in front of me a picture of the type specimen of Hoya longifolia.  There are leaves of varying shapes but there is a branch up near the left hand side at the top of the specimen, with leaves that appear identical to those of IML-906 and they match, exactly, the leaves in Kloppenburg’s picture on page 23 of this Fraterna.

He did not come out and flatly say that the number of flowers per umbel were less than those of Hoya longifolia but I think he implied that by saying, “Mostly 5-8 flowers per peduncle.”






The above pictures are of the clone Kloppenburg considers to be “the” Hoya longifolia.  Same number of flowers.  Kloppenburg’s picture of the same clone has many more but that doesn’t make it a different species.  Hoyas simply do not always have the same number of flowers in their umbels.  

Fact:  The type specimen more closely matches IML-906.  I would like to post a copy of it here but to do so would violate the agreement between Kew and me.  It specifies that I may use the reproduction but I may not copy and publish it.  It’s foliage exactly matches IML-906 in size and shape.  I’d like to add also that IML-906 isn’t always pubescent.


Another New Name


Kloppenburg used up 8 pages to describe a plant found on a dried herbarium specimen.  He gave the plant the name of Hoya linavergariae.  I believe that this one will be quickly sunk into synonymy with a species in another genus as soon as someone working with that genus becomes aware of Kloppenburg’s new publication.  Or, on the other hand, someone may decide to move that other genus to the hoya genus.  Either way, I’m betting on a sinking!   The pictures he used to illustrate it aren’t much better than any of the others in this issue but they are enough better that I could see a very strong resemblance of the flowers to those of the Treutlera genus.  The corona resembles that of Cathetostemma laurifolium  and Stephanotis floribunda.


Schlechter wrote that he thought that in time, Treutlera might be made a section of the Hoya genus.  So far no one has acted on that so it remains a genus in its own right.  However, I think it very likely that this particular species was previously published as a Treutlera. If so, whatever name it has in that genus would prevail if it were moved to Hoya, unless it duplicates an existing hoya name.

There is one thing I find extremely distasteful in the name Kloppenburg chose for this plant.  I feel (and I think a lot of other people feel the same way) that if you name a hoya for a person, that person ought to be the person who collected the type specimen or someone who contributed greatly to hoya research projects, especially in the scientific sense.  Per Kloppenburg, this hoya was collected by a man named Andres Golamco, Jr., who sent it to a man named Ben Vergara.  So Kloppenburg named it for Ben Vergara’s wife, Lina Vergara, who (per Kloppenburg) is the librarian for the International Rice Research Institute and is responsible for establishing the world’s most comprehensive collection of rice literature. PARDON MY FRENCH BUT, WHAT IN HELL DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH HOYAS???  I’m sure that she is a very nice lady with an above average I. Q. (She was, it says here, a Fullbright scholar)!  She apparently has done work that will benefit a lot of hungry people. BUT she hasn’t been shown to have contributed anything to the understanding of the genus HOYA! If he wants to honor the lady because she is a friend, let him name a new strain of rice for her!  If she is as intelligent as I think she’d have to be to have accomplished what Kloppenburg says she has, I’m betting that she finds this publication very embarrassing. If he were bound and determined to name it for someone, why not name it for the person who discovered it?  Hoya golamcoi hasn’t been used and would have been a lot more appropriate.  AND WHILE I’M AT IT --- Kloppenburg’s habit of using first and last names SUCKS!




This one he called Hoya lucyae. This was named for the “nickname” of Luzviminda Bicknell, which is Lucy. Well, at least he refrained from calling it luzvimindabicknelliae.  I wonder why?  It’s so unlike him to use a small easy to pronounce name when a long unpronounceable one will do!!

The thing that amazes me about this one is that he said he’d been sent an umbel of flowers to study.  A picture of the umbel, containing about 25 flowers, is found on page 8 of this issue.  With all those flowers to work with, he didn’t reproduce a single picture of a whole flower nor even a picture of an entire flower part – just 6 pictures of bits and pieces that could never be used to identify any species, although, anyone familiar with Kloppenburg’s work could identify it as his.  It was also illustrated with a non-blooming plant picture that appears for the world to be the same species as the one pictured as Hoya stoneiana – maybe even the opposite side of the same plant. It’s not like he never did that before.  If you recall, he used the same identical branch of the same identical plant to illustrate what he called different species in his World of Hoyas book. They say a leopard doesn’t change its spots!


The last sentence on page 8 is incomplete.  One wonders what was meant to follow it??????


And  Still Another – But What’s Its Name????


    The name chosen this time is Hoya viracensis ????  OR WHAT?? That’s the title on the top of the page but the actual publication further down the page says it is Hoya varacensis.. pies)!

This is said to be named for the place it was found, which he said is Catanduanes, Virac Biranga, Kalatang, Philippines. Knowing Kloppenburg’s “KRAZY-MIXED-UP-GEOGRAPHY, I was surprised to find Catanduanes on my Philippine map.  It  is an island east  of  the southern  part  of  Luzon. Virac is its capitol.   The same species is shown in his

Pollinarium book and there he wrote the location as “Catanduanes, Virac Brig. Ketangang.”   Ah well, consistency and accuracy are oh so-oooooo boring!!!!

 I tried translating his Latin diagnosis but what he wrote makes no sense at all. That happens when a man who can’t even spell words in his own language tries to write in a language not his own.  Writing in Latin doesn’t make him a better speller and when his editor is completely clueless, you end up with a mess.  The only part of it that was  translatable is his saying that ift is similar to Hoya greenii but  leaves small 6.5 cm. “longas” (Longas being Latin for “word.”) and somewhat beaked, vs. 15 -20 cm. “longas;”  calyx lobes rounded, ciliate similar to Hoya kerrii.”  And by the way, his picture of the type  specimen proves that there is no resemblance to Hoya greenii.



Left:  Kloppenburg’s picture of what he says is a calyx of this species.  In his English text he says that the sepals overlap at base about ¾ of their entire length.  The picture is so poor that about all it can do is occupy space.

Right: My own tracing  of a photomicroscopic picture of a Hoya kerrii calyx.  Do you see any resemblance?  I don’t!  The sepals barely overlap at all, certainly not ¾ their length.


Another One – or is it just more of the above?


Page 7 of this issue of Fraterna is labeled Flowers from Herbarium Sheet CAHUP 5973. There are 5 extremely fuzzy pictures.  All are labeled as pictures of a calyx with carpels attached.  None could possibly be recognizable as hoya parts or anything else.  How can anyone justify using dues payers’ money to post 5 out of focus pictures of the same thing when there are so many good pictures or legible text that could occupy that space?  I might remind you that all this crap appeared right after dues were raised.  And also, I’d like to remind you it appeared in a publication that its founders and authors promised it members would be a LAYMAN’S LANGUAGE publication!!!! Surely members are asking, “They raised our dues for THIS????????”  And how can anyone justify 5 pictures of a single calyx occupying a whole page when they’d have fit on the blank half page in this issue (page 3)?  *

This could be just a second specimen of the above species.  He did show two specimens on the preceding page but they are so small that not a single word or number on the lower one can be read even with a large magnifying glass.  What that specimen is, is anybody’s guess.  

One also wonders, “Just how long is it going to take the members of IHA to realize that all Dale Kloppenburg and Ann Wayman are capable of putting into any publication are space fillers (and ugly ones at that)?   As long as those two have anything at all to do with Fraterna, all you’ll ever see is pure unadulterated “stercus” (That’s Latin for what blows across farmers’ fields in a high wind).


* Space in a publication is wasteful.  It contributes to fuel shortages, pollution, drought and global warming.  Paper is made from trees that take one’s lifetime to grow.  Trees transpire and create moisture that results in rain. Trees provide shade that helps keep temperatures lower.  I have read that a tree equals a ton of air conditioning.  Every time one is cut down the temperature goes up.  Every tree that is planted (if it lives to maturity) cools the air beneath it.  It takes fuel to cut down trees because saws are no longer man-powered.  Petroleum is also used in large quantities in the paper manufacturing process.  I was told by my husband (who had a PhD in organic chemistry) that it takes more petroleum to manufacture  paper grocery bags than it does to manufacture plastic ones, which are made from petroleum products. Save our trees.  Demand that space not be wasted in your bulletins!!!!!