Hoya names in a tangle

Nick Lloyd from Auckland Domain’s Winter Gardens gave a talk to the Tauranga Orchid Society in March and at the end of the evening had a quiet word asking if I could please change the name of a photo I’d published on this blog.

NOT Hoya fusca, more likely Hoya pubicalyx ‘Red Button’. Whatever it’s name, the flower colour is dramatic! Photo: Sandra Simpson

My image of what I’d labelled Hoya fusca was, he said, not that plant and a grower was using my photo as evidence that they too had H. fusca when, like me, they’ve got something else. Problem is, that grower is supplying plants to a garden centre and so the error is being perpetuated. I’d got my plant from a knowledgeable enthusiast so trusted the label – the problem was most likely, as Nick said, where she’d got it from …

“I’m actually wondering if at some stage someone has had a seed pod and grown them from seed, resulting in a mish-mash of different clones, none of which should ever be labelled with a variety,” Nick emailed me later.

He sent me to the internet to try and find an image that’s close to the colour of my plant’s flowers, suggesting I start with a look at Hoya pubicalyx ‘Pink Silver’.

Nope, definitely not that. But going by the growing and flower description of H. pubicalyx ‘Red Button‘ that sounds far more likely.

Hoya pubicalyx ‘Jungle Garden’ is a more recent addition to my small collection (but the more I have, the more I like them). Photo: Sandra Simpson

Hoyas appear to be having something of a moment – I’ve had a few inquiries lately about where people might find some particular types, and I’m seeing them more often for sale in garden centres.

Here’s a link to the International Hoya Society, and there are some great photos at Vermont Hoyas, an American site.

Hoya serpens is a miniature type. Photo: Sandra Simpson

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