Thursday, October 26, 2017

In Focus: Hoya pubicorolla ssp. anthracina

Hoya pubicorolla ssp. anthracina is well-known in the past years as Hoya pubicalyx 'Black Dragon'. The latter is just a coined 'variety' in commerce to describe its blackish color. The collector is from here in the country, but sold his collection first as export to the western countries but not locally. In effect, the foreign collectors already have it growing beautifully and all of us here in the country are in awe where we can get it. I was just lucky to have connection with some people and was able to get a plant from the collector. Later, when my plant flowered i was so surprised as it is not as black as the photos circling in the net.

I just learned lately that there are two forms of this as collected here. One was real black and the second is the more maroon one just like mine, as presented in the photos below. A friend from Europe offered to give me a cutting of the black form, know someone who might come here for the holidays. I hope there will be a person to bring that from Europe to Manila. I am almost close to praying!

The newer name, Hoya pubicorolla ssp. anthracina, is given by RD Kloppenburg, a former collector who gave names to most of the Philippine hoyas. He was also responsible for the controversial names of many species, as he sometimes give a new name to already identified ones. Lack of knowledge on the characteristics of hoyas to change forms, colors, and leaves shapes through time and growing conditions predisposed the Philippine hoyas to have chaotic names, others actually said "naming of Philippine hoyas is a mess".  Nobody seems to be entering the mess to correct it. 

newly opening buds

side view of the umbel of the newly opening buds

another view of the whole umbel

Sometimes the form is like above, but sometimes it is like below. They seem to be different, but they are in the same plant. That is true with the corolla, but the corona of above and below are the same. 

I love its characteristics of producing continuous umbels for many months. They seem to be always there every month, however there are not as many umbels in one plant as compared to Hoya carnosa. 

Above is the typical plant, shiny green leaves without very prominent venations. The internodes are a bit longer than the other Hoya pubicalyx, but the shape and size of the umbels are just like it. Leaves vary in sizes too, there are leaves which are sometimes longer than the average, as you will see in the above photo. There also a few umbels at the back. 

One of my pot has stems that climbed the lanzones tree. I was not able to see that until i saw an umbel of open flowers as above. I did not remove it anymore, let it climb some more, and this umbel has been flowering for maybe already 6 times. A previous flowering was included in the Hoya Telegrafen, a publication of Sweden, as the editor requested my photo. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bloom Day in October 2017

I have not been going home for 2 weekends now! That means a disappointment, as i don't have the chances to photograph the butterflies, the insects and spiders in the property and a lot more. I also don't have the opportunity to tend to my hoyas, which are already behaving like they are in a forest. Some needs food, some needs to change the media, some needs to be disentangled from their neighbors. Two weeks is enough for them to embrace tightly their growing shoot stems to whatever handles they meet in their vicinity. But that is my circumstances, so bear with it.

Because i don't have my flower photos at the moment, i will be posting mostly hoyas blooming at the start of this month.

Hoya pubicalyx (different form of leaves and flowers)

 Hoya pubicalyx

 Hoya valmayoriana (named from Dr. Helen Valmayor, an orchidist, professor)

 Hoya mindorensis (from the province of Mindoro)

 Hoya pubicorolla ssp. anthracina

 Hoya ilagiorum (named from Ilag family, educators and intellectuals)

Hoya (? still unidentified)

 Hoya 'Viola'

Hoya buotii (purple)

Hoya buotii (purple) (named from Dr. Inocencio Buot, a botanist professor)

 Hoya buotii (yellow with dark corona)

Hoya siariae (named from late Dr. Monina Siar, a plant breeder and collector)

 Hoya campanulata

Hoya surigaoensis (collected from the province of Surigao)

Hoya diversifolia already climbed our lanzones tree

not hoya but hedge of Impatiens balsamina, with a purple vanda on top

a lovely show of grass blooms at the edge of the property with the morning sun glow

Monday, October 9, 2017

Some Nature Finds

I have not gone home last weekend, so i can't seem to find photos to post for this Monday. But wait i have to look in my latest files. I realized i still got lots of shots about lots and lots of biodiversity in my place. Whatever comes in front of my eyes, i document, and they are sometimes unnoticed because i just usually post the hoya and butterflies. I i just have to look, i have a lot of them.

 maturing seed pods of a weed

 they are easily borne by the wind and gets very invasive, but as flowers some butterflies love them

Flower buds of milkweeds, Asclepias curassavica, an introduced species from tropical Americas However, it is also introduced to my lowland garden, as i got it from our colder highlands. I was just trying it out in my garden for our local monarchs. 

 Open flowers of milkweed, they are like dancing ladies with overflowing gowns, but our butterflies has not found them yet. 

this is the milkweed pod about to dehisce, being in the hoya family they have the same characteristics

young shoots and leaves of akapulko, Cassia alata, a favored host of Mottled Emigrant butterfly

Look at those yet very small larvae of the Mottled Emigrant, Catopsilia pyranthe pyranthe. The ants seem to be tending them, and they might perhaps shoe away the predators.
Even at the pre-pupation stage the ants are still there. I wonder what symbiotic relationship they have with those ants. 

 jumping spider upside down

 A dark blue tiger butterfly, Tirumala hamata orestilla, beautified by shadows.