Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My ancient hoya

This hoya plant began blooming about a month ago and has been covered with these lovely clusters, far more so than in recent years where it would throw only three or four sets of blooms. It is 35 plus years old and grew from a cutting that a neighbour's mother gave me when I first lived in Beaver Valley.

Hoya is a long-lived plant named in honour of Thomas Hoy a gardener for the Duke of Northumberland and was introduced into England around 1850. It is also commonly called wax vine or wax vine because the flowers are very stiff and look as if they are made out of wax and not real.

My plant is very forgiving since I have followed none of the directions I just found in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of House Plants.  It says that the plant is a member of the milkweed family of which there are about 200 species. It is native to south China and India and found also in the islands down towards Australia.

The perfume from this plant is very sweet and cloying. I'm glad I decided to hang it outside on a tree limb this year where it apparently is very happy and will stay until we start looking at winter - a long way off I hope.

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