Hoya pubifera

Family : Apocynaceae

Text © Pietro Puccio

 

English translation by Mario Beltramini

 

 

The species is native to Philippines (Luzon) where it lives in the humid forests at low and medium altitudes.

The genus is dedicated to Thomas Hoy (ca. 1750-1822), botanist and curator of the gardens of the duke of Northumberland; the specific name is the combination of the Latin substantive “pubes, eris” = down and of the verb “fero” = to carry, with reference to the pubescence present on various parts of the plant.

The Hoya pubifera Elmer (1938) is an evergreen climbing species, ramified and lignified at the base, with young and thin and herbaceous stems provided of adventitious roots for the anchorage on the supports. The leaves, on a 1-3 cm long petiole, are simple, opposite, oblong to oblanceolate with obtuse to subacute apex and entire margin, coriaceous, slightly pubescent above, papillose below, of pale green colour, 6-12 cm long and 2-3 cm broad.

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Climber with adventitious roots, the Hoya pubidera climbs, ramifying, the trees of the humid Filipino forests © Giuseppe Mazza

Umbelliform axillar inflorescences, on a long peduncle, bearing up to 30 red flowers with corolla having 5 pubescent lobes totally retroflexed. The fruits are fusiform follicles containing numerous seeds provided at one extremity with a tuft of silky hairs (pappus) that favours their dispersion through the wind.

It reproduces by seed, placed superficially in particularly draining loam maintained humid at the temperature of 24-26 °C, by cutting, with 2-3 nodes, and by air-layering.

Species discussed from the point of view of the nomenclature, as there is no agreement among the scholars whether to consider it as a species or as a synonym. Fairly rare in cultivation, requires a humid warm climate, suitable therefore to be cultivated in open air in the tropical and humid subtropical climate regions, in a very luminous position, also with some hours of direct sun in the morning.

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Rare in cultivation, it may have even 30 small unusual corollas merged in pyrotechnic ubelliform inflorescences © Giuseppe Mazza

In the less favourable climates is to be cultivated in pot, guided on appropriate supports, to be sheltered in winter in a very luminous ambient with lowest temperatures not under the 15 °C. It requires a particularly aerated and draining substratum, rich of organic substance, neutral or slightly acidic, and regular waterings in summer, but without stagnations and allowing the substratum to dry up before giving water again, more spaced in winter, in order to keep it just humid; in presence of dry air and high temperatures are useful the nebulizations with non calcareous water at ambient temperature, also for avoiding unaestethic spots on the leaves. For the fertilizations, in spring-summer, can be suggested, on a monthly basis, hydrosoluble balanced products, with microelements, at 1/3 the dosage suggested by the producer. The substratum is to be renewed when gives signs of deterioration, preferably in late spring-early summer, paying attention, after the repotting, to leave the plant dry until when signs of vegetative regrowth do appear.

 

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The photographic file of Giuseppe Mazza

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