PS-The Hoyan

Vol. 3,  #3


(Back to the Cover Page)



Unidentified Hoya species DK-81036 (syn. Hoya plicata Kloppenb. not King & Gamble)

Photograph by Christine M. Burton


In the above photograph, please note the uneven leaf surface and the rather conspicuous veins.

The umbel on the left is fully opened, while the umbel on the right is still opening.



Letter #1: I have read your statements in The Hoyan saying that Hoya plicata is a synonymous name for Hoya micrantha but I found it pictured in World of Hoyas by Dale Kloppenburg and he said that  Hoya plicata has been confused with Hoya micrantha even by the professional botanists. Complex chemical analysis shows the two to be distinct, however.  Our plant also fits the original description.”    Sounds like he has proved you wrong. … Too many readers to name.

Reply: This is just another case of that author’s lying to you.  I’m sure he figures that you will not have easy access to the publications he referred to, or if you do, that you don’t know where to look to find them so he tells you that they say what he wants you to believe instead of what they actually say.


Here are the true facts:


1). Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a couple of researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands conducted a series of studies on hoya terpenes.  They published numerous papers in various scientific journals reporting the results.  These two gentlemen  provided me with copies of all of the papers.  Each paper stated emphatically, right up front, that the material tested in their study was supplied by hoya growers and that none of the names given them had been authenticated.  In other words, when/if Mr. Kloppenburg sent cuttings to them labeled Hoya micrantha and Hoya plicata, they made no effort to learn if Mr. Kloppenburg’s cuttings were correctly identified.   I know that I  sent cuttings of the two hoyas in question to them. My material  was labeled Hoya micrantha  and sp. #81036.  I obtained the latter from Mr. Kloppenburg.  The tests done on those two hoya species did not prove either of them to be Hoya micrantha or Hoya plicata.  That has never yet been determined.  THOSE TESTS PROVED ONLY ONE THING. THAT THING IS THAT THE TWO CUTTINGS WERE TWO DIFFERENT SPECIES.


2).  Mr. Kloppenburg’s assertion that “Our plant also fits the original description” is “whole cloth and a yard wide.”  In case you are interested in looking up the “original description” yourself, you can find it in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Bengal Branch vol. 74 #2 on page 578.  I found copies in the Science library at Smithsonian, in the library at NY Botanical Garden, and at Harvard University.  It is not in the Science library at University of Georgia but, instead, in the regular university library.  If you can’t find a copy, request a copy be made for you by interlibrary loan.  Ask for the entire paper by King and Gamble found in it.  It’s title is Flora of the Malayan Peninsula.  This publication is in English so Americans should have no trouble reading it.  It proves that Mr. Kloppenburg hasn’t a clue as to what the “original description” says.


Here’s a short comparison of King & Gambles’ Hoya plicata to Mr. Kloppenburg’s phony (hereafter referred to as  DK-81036 the number he used before declaring it to Hoya plicata):


Leaves as described by King & Gamble:  “smooth and glabrous on both surfaces.”


Leaves of DK-81036:  Upper surface very rough and uneven, due mostly to the raised veins that  makes Mr. Kloppenburg’s description of “lacunose leaves” correct, but makes a lie of his statement that this fits the original description.  Even the spaces between the raised veins on this species are rough and uneven to the touch.  That is not “smooth” and the original description said “smooth.”


Leaf veins as described by King & Gamble:  “Midrib very faint and then only when dry; remaining nerves invisible.”

Leaf veins of DK-81036:  You can easily see the midrib. Also, those raised veins that make the leaf lacunose are extremely visible – and what’s more, Mr. Kloppenburg’s leaves were not dried; they were obviously very fresh and green when he made that photo. Veining on dried leaves is even more conspicuous. So the leaf veins do not fit the “original description” as Mr. Kloppenburg claims.


Flower buds as described by King & Gamble: “buds 5-angled, flattened.”

Flower buds of DK-81036.  Mr. Kloppenburg hasn’t published his pictures of the flower buds but I’ve bloomed that plant many times and drew pictures of the buds. Also, Mr. Kloppenburg gave me some pictures of his plant in bud stage.  Those buds are the very opposite of flat.   See below:



Unidentified Hoya species DK-81036

Photographed by Dale Kloppenburg; used here without permission for instructional purposes, which copyright law considers to be “fair use.”

Please note that the flower buds in the above picture are not flat and that King & Gamble said Hoya plicata’s are.



Corolla, as described by King & Gamble, “puberulous on both surfaces.”

Corolla of DK-81036 – Glabrous except for a broad villous ring covering the undivided part of the corolla.


Here is where I agree with Mr. Kloppenburg.: King & Gamble’s description doesn’t fit  J. D. Hooker’s description of Hoya micrantha and he may be correct that Hoya plicata is not synonymous, as every taxonomist I know has claimed, however, it is obvious that King & Gamble’s “original description”  proves that DK-81036 is not Hoya plicata. 


What is really proved here is that R. D. Kloppenburg lied, one presumes, to convince his “clack” that he knows that of which he speaks.  As an anonymous (at least to me) sage of long ago said, “You can fool some people some of the time; you can fool some people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”  .


There appears to be no holotype specimen of Hoya plicata.  A drawing has been designated lectotype to replace an actual specimen.  With no plant material to match and everyone claiming that the two are synonymous, I intend to accept it until it is proven wrong.  Mr. Kloppenburg has proven only that he has never read the “original description” and/or that he just flat out doesn’t understand English!.


Letter 2:  In your last issue, your illustration of CMF-8 has more or less “palmate” leaf veins but Ms. Wayman in Fraterna says they are “penninerved.”  Are you sure you and she are talking about the same species?  --- V. Jackson.

     Reply:  We are talking about the same species.  It is obvious that Ms. Wayman simply doesn’t know the meaning of “penninerved,” which is, “pinnately nerved.” Pinnate means having parts or branches arranged on each side of a common axis so as to resemble a feather.”


Letter 3: What about Mr. Kloppenburg’s piece on Hoya revoluta in the same publication?  --- Me.

     Reply:  I see little right about it.  In the first place, I believe he illustrated it with pictures of more than one species.  There is no way that the flower on page 2 could be the same species as the one on page 7.  There is no way on earth that the corona scale in the middle picture on page 5 could belong to the same species as the two coronas on page 4.  And why he needed to waste his members’ dues money by publishing two identical pictures on a single page (as on page 4) I can’t fathom.  As I’ve aged, my memory has suffered some but, by golly it’s a whole lot longer than a few lines on a piece of paper.  But then, I wonder why any of the pictures representing Mr. Kloppenburg’s version of this species were allowed.  The quality is horrible.  The cover picture is especially bad.   He could have put a picture of a “Skunk Cabbage” (maybe, even a skunk) there and labeled it Hoya revoluta and no one would be the wiser.  Yes, we recognize the labels but the pictures are not distinguishable as much of anything. Slick, expensive paper does not compensate for the out of focus pictures. And, “good golly, Molly,” why would anyone want to grow such an ugly hoya as that ink smeared picture on the cover?


I could almost write a book on what I see wrong with Mr. Kloppenburg’s Hoya revoluta publication.  Here are a few things that hit me a bit left of center:


1.      He made such grammatical errors as “A genera hoya.”  Genera is plural and when referring to the genus, Hoya is supposed to be upper cased.  It is correct to say,  “my hoyas,”  “hoyas are,” or “that hoya is ,” but when speaking of the genus or when a specific species name is attached, upper case is mandatory. But while on the subject of that grammatical error, could someone tell me what the heck the entire sentence means, i. e., “A genera hoya can be divided into Sections as one division?”  -- And why was “Sections” uppercased and “hoyas” not? This from a college graduate?

2.      I thought it redundant of him to say, “Species are biological entities.” I hate being talked “down to.”

3.      He described this species (and Otostemmas) as having a “veil-like skirt.”  Mr. Kloppenburg appears to have been the one to have invented the use of the word “skirt” in describing hoya parts.  I think I know what he means by a “skirt” on Otostemmas, but see absolutely nothing in his pictures in this piece that looks even remotely like the corresponding part in Otostemma hoyas.  Furthermore, there is nothing ‘veil-like” on any of them

4.      By far the greatest error I found in the piece was his statement in the 4th paragraph on page 1.  He said, “This material is like that of Dr. Rintz and matches his drawing perfectly.”  That, my friends, is an out and out lie!  He has insulted the intelligence of any thinking individual among his readers.  In the following chart, I have copied various parts found in the R. Rintz publication of Hoya revoluta and the various parts that Mr. Kloppenburg says “match them perfectly.” 



a.    Rintz ‘ drawing of a single Hoya revoluta flower.

aa.  DK’s flower that he says, “matches Rintz’ drawings perfectly.”

b.      Rintz’ drawing of a corona, underside.

bb. DK’s picture of a corona underside, that he says, “matches Rintz’ drawings perfectly”

c.       Rintz’ drawing of a pollinarium of this alleged species.

cc.    DK’s picture of a pollinarium that he says, “matches Rintz’ drawing perfectly.”

d.      Three leaves of this alleged species drawn by Rintz.  Note that Rintz drew the midrib in rather irregular strokes which I suspect indicates faintness.  Note that Rintz drew no other veins or reticulations.  The only thing he drew were lines representing revolute leaf margins.  Note also that the leaf tips are acute but not acuminate.

dd.   Note the prominent costa and the very prominent lateral nerves and the rough leaf texture.  It is difficult to believe that those leaves did not come from DK-81036 but he says not. After all the other lies I’ve read in his writing, I don’t feel inclined to believe him.


One last thing I found strange about DK’s Hoya revoluta in Fraterna 17 #1, is his use of the two sets of sketches copied from the Maingay specimen #1127, which he cited as “Syntype.”  He said that those sketches were made by Maingay.  He obviously did not read the notation or he’d have known that a man named Wray drew the large corolla on the illustration top left and the corona in the illustration on the right.  In that Illustration on the left there is a note that reads, “Corolla not revolute, not villous within – it hardly suits Hoya revoluta.”  That was signed, “Wray, 1902.”

The rest of  those “chicken scratchings” were drawn  by  James Sykes Gamble and signed by him (It’s right there on that page for the world to see..  The sketches were signed, “J. S. Gamble and dated  “Nov. 1906.”  The only other writing on the specimen I can read is the name “H. revoluta Wight” and the first two words of a sentence that reads, “Corolla pink.”


While it is true that J. D. Hooker did cite the Maingay specimen #1127 as one he studied in preparing his publication of  the name Hoya revoluta Wight ex Hook. f., it was only one of several that he cited and I see cause to think it was not this one.  The type, of course, is Wallich #8160B, which dates to sometime prior to 1834 when Wight first mentioned the name. 


I am very skeptical about the authenticity of the Maingay specimen . My reason is because the specimen contains two different collection numbers attached to it.  One of them (bottom left) says Maingay #3101 (It could be 3107 or 3109 – last number is hard to decipher).  The other card (lower right) identifies the specimen as “Maingay # 1127.”  This makes me wonder which number is correct and if perhaps Maingay’s   heirs (he died in 1869) may have mixed labels and found themselves with a spare  #1127 label and no other place to put it. Could there be another specimen that was correctly labeled #1127 back in 1883 when Hooker f. published that has since become separated from it?  Could that lost specimen (if one was lost) be the one Hooker f. studied or does it matter? Wray’s note tends to support my theory that the specimen in question is not Maingay’s #1127 because it is not as Hooker f. described this species.


Another thing puzzles me.  Mr. Kloppenburg said that Maingay was a medical doctor.  He may have been. I don’t know but, if so, I think it very strange that the brief bio of him in Index Herbariorum, Regni Vegetabile  vol. 93, part 2 #4, page 493, made no mention of that. He only lived to the age of 33 and judging from this bio, he spent most of his adult life in the jungle collecting plants.  He’d have had little to no time for doctoring.


Whether Mr. Kloppenburg’s featured plant is or is not Hoya revoluta, I do not know.  I do not believe anyone could tell by looking at any of the very lousy illustrations he displayed and no one could ever come close to guessing by accepting any of the fiction Kloppenburg wrote claiming that this plant was a perfect match to either the original publication or to  the Rintz publication.  These publications speak for themselves and they don’t say what Mr. Kloppenburg has told his readers they say!


If Fraterna ever wants to become the serious publication it obviously wants to become, it is going to have to ban anything written by either Kloppenburg or Wayman.  They don’t know; they don’t know that they don’t know and every word they write multiplies the confusion a thousand times or more!