Friday, May 27, 2016

In Focus: Hoya madulidii

Hoya madulidii is the 3rd hoya discussed here at In Focus. The first is Hoya siariae and 2nd is Hoya obscura, all endemic to the Philippines. H. madulidii is named after the botany head of our National Museum, an author of many books on plants, Dr. Domingo A. Madulid. It is formerly known as Hoya ciliata but the synonymy is not yet resolved. According to Burton, C., PS The Hoyan, Vol 9 #4, the correct name is Hoya ciliata as it was the previously published name. There is also a name called Eriostemma madulidii, but nobody is resolving the complications yet. The more commonly used name however, is Hoya madulidii.  

My plant has been with me for 3 years before it ultimately flowered. I have 3 plants and the 2 simultaneously bloomed this dry season. I read that it likes sunlight so i placed it in an open area with direct sun from noon to sunset, in the morning it is partially shaded by other hoyas. The media is also very porous that water thoroughly drain at once. Temperatures with range of 30 to 36°C this year from January to May was favorable for it, i suppose.

My flowers were favorably colored black, but eventually turn lighter as the flowers age. They remain open for about 2 weeks, then wilted. Other plants i saw in the net are of different lighter color variations.

These are the already wilted flowers, which curled backwards mostly on the tips. Color lightens too. The flowers are bigger than many of the hoyas endemic here in the country.  Oh i do not think it has a scent common with other hoyas.

about to open buds

 Each flower at different stages of maturity grows from a common stem,  unlike most hoyas that emerge to be an umbel in a common peduncle. It has a milky white sap that is very sticky and crumbles when dried.

The leaves of H madulidii are very pubescent or hirsute with the edges curling backwards. An authority told me that the curling is the obvious difference between Hoya ciliata, whole leaves remain flat. The vines continue to grow long and drooping to maturity before flowering. Maybe they droop because i continue to remove the upward twining vines, forced them to make a loop and hang. 

The very young shoot and leaf of Hoya madulidii showing the lovely pubescence. It could probably endure direct sunlight because of this hairy leaf surfaces. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Transient Sky Garden

Most of you who follow my blogposts are familiar with my sunset views, direct from my west window.  They are most lovely during our dry season, as the skies are clear, and the clouds just sometimes provide dramatic backdrop to the one single prominent structure in my horizon, the Iglesia ni Kristo church. In the big city where i stay most of the weekdays and only a few weekends of the year, i live in a condominium unit at the 5th Floor Window. That is the reason most of my sunset labels are 5th Flr Window.

When you are a gardener living at the 5th Floor, there is no way you can have a space for a garden. Besides, it is not allowed for us to hang anything out of the window or the common areas. Even at the 8th floor which is used for hanging laundry, other things not used for laundry are banned. Being as hard headed as I admit to be, i put a small snake plant in my laundry hanger cubicle, the only plant seen in that area.

 Lo and behold, i have plants outside the 5th Floor window. It faces west so the guards are not asking me to throw my plants, I keep them there and they are not complaining. It has been bare this dry season, nothing can withstand the heat from the sun plus generated heat by the cement wall. So i uprooted the bulbs from the province and brought some here for flower forcing. I used empty bottles with mouths just fitting the bulbs, put them there at the height of the dry season, 1 May-Labor Day.

 I have 2 species, and the above shows them with the first shooting up scapes. Left is white and at right is the pinkish Hippeastrum roseum. Other bulbs are not yet sending up the scapes.

 The white is NOID, i forgot where i got it from. H roseum is from Malaysia, from an exchange.

 It was already like this third week from planting, 21 May. By the way, when the scape is already up, i put it inside the closed window in the morning before i leave for the office, as it might topple down when i am not home. That was just to assure its presence when i return at night.

 I purposely did not go home this weekend to watch them bloom fully, and of course to take their photos. It is the first bloom of the white so i have to watch it clearly, and document it.

 I appreciate the 2 flowers blooming at almost the same time, forming a cross. Hmmm, i envision a cross super-imposed to the distant church.

 The anthers open to the golden pollen on the second day from opening of the petals.

Are you not curious why this shot is devoid of the anthers and pollen grains? I actually emasculated this flower, saved the pollen in the refrigerator hoping to pollinate the H roseum that is not yet open at the moment. I hope the above stigma will be able to stay longer for the pollen of the nearby H roseum. I want to play with them, and i will also save some pollen for the H puniceum that are still dormant at home. 

So this is my final post, its background is the already cloudy sky signally the not so far rainy season. And the blurred horizon is the structure of the church, my flowers tower among them, so i am satisfied, in fact delighted. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Blooms at the Peak of Heat

We are at the peak of our dry season, out Heat Index is way above 40°C sometimes even 42°C. WE cannot go out of the building as our head feels like exploding. It might sound like an extreme feeling, but at least to us who normally stay inside airconditioned rooms during the day, that is the predominant feeling. But we can still see the construction workers on top of buildings, the jeepney drivers still roaming the streets even at noon. We feel sorry for them, but maybe they are at least acclimatized already with the heat.

Our rainy season is already at the horizon, expected to be here in June. Now the clouds above our skies are filling more weight to explode as rain. The past 3 days, our late afternoons in the city are visited by a few minutes of drizzles, lessening our heat index. That is a welcome sign. But in the province where my plants are, rains are still not felt in the horizon.

 Cymbidium finlaysonianum

This endemic species blooms normally at the height of our dry season. My clumps of this plant died in the past years, so i am still regrowing this small clump.  At least there are already 2 inflorescence that emerged this season. Mature long clumps produce more number and longer strands.

Pteroceras unguiculatum

Above is another endemic orchid species, but the flowers are open only for one day. 

 terete Vanda

This is only one of the very few vanda orchids that survived my neglect and diseases. It is already a very resistant and tolerant species, so i am sure it will still survive this heat. 

 Adenium obesum

This dessert rose are from seeds i got from the condominium garden in the city.

One of the most heat loving ornamental plants is the bougainvillea, which blooms profusely with the heat and direct sun.

bigger inflorescences emerge when the heat is at the peak

Heliconia rostrata

The above also produce longer and more prolific blooms when it is hot. But i am sure it likes some water too, however we don't have that luxury to give them. It thrives now on very dry grounds, producing longer roots to take advantage of the deep moisture remaining from the rainy season.

 Duranta erecta

Rain or shine, cold or hot, this duranta flowers nicely. But the golden fruits mature during the  dry season. It is a good feeder for butterflies, but lack of available hosts for larvae is the problem. I see only very few butterflies in this heat.

This justicia loves the heat too, producing shorter stems and more flowers.

Hippeastrum puniceum

It normally blooms after the first heavy rains in May, but a slight drizzle was enough to force this clump to flower.  I have hedges of them, which will show up when the rains come.

Look at the ground planted to hippeastrum. The clump on top is under the cycas shade, maybe the cycad leaves gathered moisture from the drizzle dripping to this bulbs forcing it to flower. The hedges below the cycas trunk have some still remaining leaves, but will eventually die. When heavy rains come, this very dry ground will be alive with flowers.

Floral Friday Fotos

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Hoya meliflua is my Ruby Today!

I am looking for any structure for Ruby Tuesday. But my files are all mostly full of my hoyas! I cannot search in my other external drive as i normally leave that old one at home. So a newly photographed Hoya meliflua is handy for this meme. I hope you will enjoy this as not many garden bloggers are familiar with hoyas.

 Hoya meliflua is native to the Philippines, a prolific bloomer and not really very difficult to grow. It normally flowers during our hot dry season, which enduce it to produce lots of umbels. This is the 3rd year that my plant is blooming.

The red color is actually the stain of the nectar flowing on the velvety corolla. Upon opening the color is a bit pale, but immediately produce the red color a few hours after as nectar production is immediate. Of course, insects love sipping the nectar too. The above bee cannot easily leave because of the lure of the nectar. 

I stayed a few minutes taking a lot of shots of the bee. I am not disappointed in my purpose, as i am trying to find an insect with hoya pollinarium carried by their feet. This bee accidentally got the pollinarium because its feet has small hooks that stepped on the spot where the pollinaria are located. There are always 2 pollinaria in one socket, and this bee got one. If ever it injected the pollinarium to the stigma of another flower, cross pollination happens and will produce a natural hybrid. That is a wonderful outcome for a hoya grower if that happens. I hope this bee alights on more flowers of another species, to possibly pollinate them. Oh how i wish, i will say a few prayers! LOL.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Back to my Butterflies

I just tested learning to post photos from Flick to Blogger. I am not really good in understanding these computer things, so am very glad i was able to try it, yehey, it was a success. Am so sorry about these posts, these are actually old photos but they are mine. Black butterfly Papilio romanzuvia

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Would you like my Rubies?

I have not been joining the Ruby Tuesday meme lately, as i always find it late. I only use the meme list at meme-aholics by Gemma Weisman, and the list always elude me. Most hosts open the link the day before the actual day, i am not blaming them, just saying a fact. Ruby Tuesday is listed on Tuesday, but it opens on Monday. Whenever i open it on Tuesday there are already lots of linkers, and maybe nobody will open my post anymore.

That happens also with other memes, that i join normally. I am sorry about that folks, as maybe my memory is not functioning that efficiently anymore! I tend to forget those in the short term memory now, and when there are urgent work in the office i sacrifice blogging. That is not my choice, of course, just the necessity. But i will still try to join and i hope you will still find my post. hehehe

 I hope you will consider this as ruby. I am sure you will notice the individual flower's semblance to a tiffany ring or an earing. I found them lovely. And if you smell it, oh you will savor it more. It is Hoya lucardenasiana. I specially wanted to grow it because the namesake is a batchmate in college who unfortunately neglected her plant and die in her possession. What a shame, i told her, but she has more work than me i suppose.

This one is Hoya mindorensis, also endemic in the country. It is scented too, but not as sweet as the first. It has rather a strong scent, maybe more of the male preference. The background is yellowish because it is so hot here today at 36°C with Heat Index of 40°C. It is killing me, but these hoyas love the heat, as long as they are watered in the evenings after their roots rested from the heat.

I am trying to post for more, but i decided to keep them for next week. But i promise i still have a lot more rubies....that is if i will remember. Thanks everyone.