Hoyas

Hoyas, known commonly as wax plants, are a mostly epiphytic genus consisting of about two hundred species found mostly in Asia, India, and the South Pacific. They exhibit an interesting flowering habit, involving an inflorescence with multiple flowers borne on short pedicels, known as an umbel. An upside-down umbrella, is what is looks like! Wax plants get their common name because their flowers and leaves look so waxy. All flowers have five triangular petals, which look like a star, with a star-shaped corona on top, which also looks like a waxy star. Many species have a mutual relationship with ants, who keep the plants clean of pests, while living in special chambers on the stems and leaves known as domatia. The flowers are also laden with nectar, eaten by the ants as well as pollinators such as moths and flies. Hoyas are typically seen growing as basket plants, even in temperate climates indoors, where they cascade gracefully and bloom profusely. Many species and especially the hybrids are fragrant. Most of the flowers are cream colored to pink, although there are always exceptions, there are several yellow to orange bloomers, as well as a few which are almost black.