I found several of these Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars eating my outside Hoya cumingiana today. It makes total sense as both of these plants are in the Asclepiadaceae family. I don’t really care about damage to the plant as it is headed to the waste bin anyway, but the caterpillars are extremely interesting.
The Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar obtain cardiac glycosides, a powerful toxin from their food and store it in their bodies. Birds will try one of these; wretch, immediately vomit it up, and because of the bright colors of the caterpillars will avoid it in the future.
Today we wrap up talking about Hoya sp. aff. kenejiana (Red Corona). I should also take the opportunity to say that the very beautiful flowers have no detectable scent.
Despite this plant’s ill treatment of me, I have decided to keep it around for another year. Having transplanted it ,the plant makes a rather handsome specimen if I do say so myself. While not nearly as vigorous as its namesake H. kenejiana, I think that if you are up for a little bit of a challenge, Hoya sp. aff. kenejiana (Red Corona) deserves a place in your collection.
From the flowers I’ve seen in online photos of Hoya sp. aff. kenejiana (Red Corona) there are considerable differences in the color. There are many that look like mine, and others that are much lighter yellow with a brighter red in the corona. I think that it is variable dependent upon the conditions under which the plant is grown.
The plant did very well for me growing outdoors in the greenhouse over the summer putting on many new leaves and actually flowered for the second time just before bringing it back inside. You can barely detect the red in the corona in this flowering.
After the broken peduncle debacle, which ruined the video I was trying to shoot, this Hoya from Hell had one more further trial to put me through. Only a month after its first flowering three peduncles budded up all at one time. I was planning the great video that I was going to take of all of these flowers, but alas it was not to be. Just a few days before these buds would have opened, I watered the plant, and within two days every single bud fell off – there were at least 50 of them! If I did not hate the plant before, I really did then.
After almost a three year wait, Hoya sp. aff. kenejiana (Red Corona) finally flowered on a spiderweb thin peduncle, but the plant giveth and then taketh away like few others I have known. While lifting the peduncle to show the flowers in a video, it snapped right off in my hand! I couldn’t believe it! I took the flowers and put them in the round bottle seen below.
I no longer gave the peduncles on Hoya sp. aff. kenejiana (Red Corona) any attention after being disappointed for so long; when in May of this year, one of them finally started to bud up. I could barely conceal my excitement, and anxiously checked it every day.
Hoya sp. aff. kenejiana (Red Corona) is one of those Hoyas that teases you with peduncles that appear and then refuse to bud up. Not only that, they will many times after much anticipation just fall off altogether.
To be more precise, my cutting came from Aleyagarden in Thailand three years ago in the late spring of 2014. It arrived in very good shape and rooted rapidly. As a side note, I no longer order from Aleya, because her website, which used to be very easy to negotiate to place plants in a shopping cart is now cumbersome to negotiate, and she no longer accepts Paypal. She now only takes something called Transferwise, which I don’t have the inclination to learn how to use or set up. It is a shame, because she has great plants.
As a matter of fact, I can’t find anything on this species at all except for a few photos. So over the next several days all I’ve got to talk about are my experiences with the plant.
Time to talk about a species with aff. in its name. Aff. is short for the Latin word affinis which means closely related to, or akin to. Hoya sp. aff. kenejiana (Red Corona) is thought to be very closely related to H. kenejiana.