Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shooting Stars

Hoya multiflora
I have a plant that is kind of hum-drum on a regular basis, but when it blooms, watch out. The flowers make the hum-drum fabulous. The shooting star hoya, Hoya multiflora, is a gorgeous flowering plant. I love hoyas as a rule, but at this point, this is my favorite.

Notice the nectar dripping from the flower.

Hoyas have waxy star shaped flowers, but this one is different, in that the flowers have white coronas and yellow reflexed corollas, giving them the appearance of shooting stars, (thus the name). This plant is from Malaysia and the Philippines. They need bright light, or they won't flower and they also prefer temps above 50 degrees. I find this plant is quite easy to grow and it has flowered consistently for me. It's in my sun room and gets quite a lot of light and warmth. It has been blooming for almost a month now. Hoyas are very nectar-rich and as you can see from the above picture, it has so much nectar, it drips. This large amount of nectar brings in the pollinators in its natural habitat. This can be a little messy on the floor in the house, but the flowers are worth a little mess. It has been noted that they smell lemony, but with the dripping nectar, I haven't really put my nose that close to the flowers. What a wimp.
 I love it regardless of the smell.

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