Monday, July 4, 2016

In Focus: Hoya alwitriana


Hoya alwitriana is one of the newly documented hoyas endemic in the Philippines with the complete name and authors as Hoya alwitriana Kloppenb., Siar, Guevarra & Carandang 2012.  It is an accepted species listed at The International Plant Names Index.

I have acquired it a few years ago, but unlike my other hoyas it gave me a slumped growth, unwilling to respond to my normal care and yet did not die. After two years, it finally produced the long stem where the peduncles emerge. It was not just a peduncle as i expect from a newly flowering hoya plant, it gave 3 consecutive peduncles. Aside from that stem, there is a peduncle emerging from the base, just immediately almost at the soil level. It was fantastic, and those peduncles didn't stop producing flowers. The old flowers drop, and the next buds come soonest. I am so stunned.

 The Buds
Here is the umbel arising from the base of the plant, just above the media surface.

Unopened buds have conspicuous brown dots or a semblance to sprinkling of dust particles. 

The pedicels are conspicuously lovely in dark pink to maroon. 

Newly Opened Flowers
opening flowers

 newly opened flowers

5 hrs after opening showing the slightly reflexed corollas

Honeybee Magnet

 Immediately after the flowers open in the morning, at about 8 a.m., a lot of honeybees converge on the flowers. These are our native Apis cerana. All the umbels have their share of the honeybees.  There are other open hoya flower species nearby, vitellina, pubicorolla, multiflora, pubicalyx, etc., but they only swarm on the H. alwitriana flowers. This phenomenon amazed me, but after about 10 or 15 minutes they all left. The buzzing sounds were suddenly gone. I can only surmise that the first nectar during opening is the most delicious or important nectar for this bees, or maybe the nectar is available only during those precious minutes!

 Not even one bee went to any of the already opened flowers. I watched the Hoya vitellina while opening, yet the bees seem to dislike it.

The plant

Its leaves are unusually bigger than the umbels, and can be described as oval in shape. There is a little curling down of the leaf margins. (Leaf characteristics can be technically read from the taxonomic publication)








26 comments:

  1. Lovely! The yellow colour is very pretty.

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  2. That was really worth the long wait for flowers, these waxy flowers with there pretty soft yellow color are beautiful and is n't it spectacular so many honeybees together on the plant, almost every little flower has a honeybee. Great photos!

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    1. You are right Judy, and i am so happy with the hoya visitors, as well as the observations i gather from my hoyas. Thanks again.

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  3. These are such beautiful flowers & the bee shots are really great

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    1. Thank you so much Tony for your kind words and visit.

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  4. Such waxy flowers! Beautiful - and the bees really seem to like them.

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    1. Oh yes, and the bees are a bit selective, i discussed it in the post. Thanks.

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  5. What beautiful flowers. I love the bees, we don't see very many of them where I live.

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    1. Yes i can understand that Al, of course more biodiversity both in plants and animals are in the tropics. Thanks for dropping by again.

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  6. Beautiful golden flowes! I have the white-and-pink Hoya carnosa.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by again, lotusleaf. I have both your carnosa plus a red and a variegated.

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  7. What a beautiful hoya like stars or fireworks exploding....

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    1. Yes Donna, they are not called shooting stars for nothing. And maybe fireworks hoya will also be a fitting name.

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    1. Thanks for visiting here Rajesh.

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  9. What an interesting flower.

    Mollyxxx

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  10. It looks so good closed and then voilà, astounding when it's open. Those bees must know something, probably the color, but maybe this species is extra delicious. I was a little stunned when I saw this too, aren't you glad you waited.

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  11. Your Hoya sure don't look like the small house plants we have here!

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  12. I have never seen this flower but it's quite beautiufl

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  13. This is not only beautiful, it is also essential to the planet if it attracts honey bees. There is a great shortage of honeybees here in North America, because so many crops are sprayed and the bees, the plant's pollinators, die.

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    1. That is true Kay, hopefully we dont imitate that path, but no matter how strict we try preserving our natural world, overpopulation takes over!

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  14. Hello Andrea... I love the flowers of this plant and it is always great to see happy bees.....Michelle

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  15. Beautiful....both flowers and leaves.....and bees!

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  16. Wonderful colour!
    Thanks for taking part in the Floral Friday Fotos meme. I hope to see more of your work soon.

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