Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hoya imbricata

Hoya imbricata is endemic to The Philippines. It is found on tree trunks at low to medium altitudes in Bontoc, Rizal, and Laguna Provinces in Luzon and in Busuanga. A thin wiry stem climbs up bare trunk and bears convex disc-shaped leaves up to 12 cm across. If the leaves cannot find a flat surface to wrap around, it will form a half-pouch. In cultivation with limited slab climbing for the growing plant, this takes away the full beauty of this Hoya. Some forms are more attractive with contrasting marble on intense reddish-purple leaves. Ants can take shelter under the leaves or in the pouch. It parallels its cousin Dischida cochleata in its myrmecophytic habit.

The flowers are borne on leafless stems; velvety, and creamy-white 8 to 10 millimeters in diameter. The umbel is geotropic (facing down) and that makes it challenging to photograph. See if you can spot the copper wire that was use to right it up to face the light. This was a 2-leaf cutting gift that my friend brought back from the famous Bangkok's Chatuchak Market. Back then, it was a rare hoya.

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