Hoyas are evergreen climbing vines or shrubs growing to 1-10 m (or more with suitable support intrees). They have simple opposite leaves 5-30 cm long that are typically succulent, and in manyspecies are flecked with irregular small silvery spots.The flowers appear in axillary umbellate clusters at the apex of 2-3 cm peduncles, with repeatedclusters of flowers developing sequentially on each peduncle. The flowering peduncles get 2-3mm longer with each flowering, and can eventually reach 7 cm or more long; the base of thepeduncle is smooth, with growth subsequent to the first flowering of the peduncle is rough withnumerous tiny bracts. Each flower is about 1 cm diameter, with five thick, waxy, triangular petals;colors range from white to pink or yellow. They are sweetly scented and produce abundantnectar.
Cultivation and uses
Many species of
are popular houseplants in temperate areas (especially
), grownfor their attractive foliage and strongly scented flowers. Numerous cultivars have been selectedfor garden use. Hoyas grow well indoors, preferring bright but not direct sunlight, but will toleratefairly low light levels at the expense of rapid growth and blooming. Hoyas commonly sold innurseries as houseplants include cultivars of
(Krimson Queen, Hindu Rope
(often mislabeled as carnosa), and
. Hoyas are easy to purchaseon the internet, and are commonly sold as cuttings, either rooted or unrooted.
Hoya leaves vary in size, texture, color and venation. In size, leaves range from as small ascentimetre in length and from two to four millimetres in width (
Hosseus) to aslarge as 25 cm. by 25 cm. (
Blume, has been reported haveleaves as long as two feet in length. One of the most succulent,
Craib, has valentineshaped leaves, with notches at the apexes of the leaves instead of at the bases. H. kerrii has twoforms, one with glabrous leaves and one with suede textured leaves. There are hoyas with almostperfectly round leaves and others with linear leaves (Hoya linearis Wall. ex. D. Don and
Griff. ex Hook. f.). One popular species,
Short ex Hook. has leavesthat resemble string beans hanging in bunches from their stalks.
Wall. ex D. Don iscovered with fine downy hair and greatly resembles masses of Spanish Moss (
) hanging from trees in its native habitat. Some Hoya leaves are smooth and shiny;some are covered with hairs. Some Hoya leaves appear to be veinless while others have veryconspicuous veins of a lighter or darker colour than the rest of the leaves. Some have leaves thatare mottled with speckles of silvery white (
). Some hoyashave leaves that are thin and translucent (
Blume); some are so thick andsucculent that they look more like
than hoyas (
from Australia and
Hoya flowers are just as varied as the leaves, despite the fact that all are shaped like five pointedstars. They grow in umbels, usually with many flowers per umbel. Individual flowers range in sizefrom as small as four to five millimetres in diameter (Hoya bilobata Schltr.) to well over threeinches in diameter (
F. M. Bailey). The number of flowers per umbel varies from one (
Wight.) to 55 or even more.
Blume has been known to have as many as 70, each measuring nearly 2 centimetres in diameter.The single flowered Hoya pauciflora Wight makes up for its paucity by its flower size of nearly aninch and a half in diameter.Hoya flowers vary in textures as well as size, some being glabrous and shiny and some beingquite hairy. They also vary in color. They come in the purest white, varying shades of pink fromalmost white to rubber-doll or bubble-gum pink, yellowish-pink, yellow, green, purple, brownish-