The title pretty much says it all!
This photo won’t happen again as I recently gave away my Hoya bicolor to an enthusiastic new collector.
Once again it is time to move on from our discussion. I am beyond thrilled that I was lucky enough to finally flower this plant! If you are someone who does well with Hoya thomsonii and Hoya lyi, then this is a must have for your collection. I love all three of these plants, I just wish they loved me as much!
Once again both of these are flowering right now so I will take advantage!
Odd bedfellows that other than being in the same genus have nothing to do with one another, but they are both flowering at the same time, so what the heck!
Below is an image comparison slider; move it back and forth to see Hoya yuennanensis on the left and Hoya lyi on the right.
Hoya yuennanensis was first collected in 1915, but was not published until 1936. In 1977 botanists Tsiang & Li believed that H. yuennanensis was a synonym of H. lyi, but Michele Rodda in 2012 said that they are clearly two separate species:
“It is clear from the examination of the lectotypes and of the cited specimens of
Hoya lyi and H. yuennanensis that there are two separate species, both ecologically
and morphologically. Hoya lyi is a small lithophytic species with variable leaves that
can be oval, elliptic or oblong. It is found only on limestone, in deep shade, growing
tightly appressed to the rock surface. Hoya yuennanensis, in contrast, is a more
rampant climber, generally with elliptic or oblanceolate leaves found on siliceous and
limestone outcrops in exposed locations. Both species have white to pale pink
flowers of similar size but they can be easily discriminated by the shape of their
coronas. Hoya lyi has a rather flat-topped corona with rounded and flattened
slightly ascending outer corona lobes while H. yuennanensis has erect corona lobes
with rounded outer processes and a depressed stigmatic head (Fig. 1). They can also
be discriminated in their pollinia: Hoya lyi has smaller pollen masses with an
elongated retinaculum while H. yuennanensis has a massive retinaculum compared to
the size of the pollinium (Fig. 2). For these reasons Hoya yuennanensis should be
Here are the specifications of the conditions that made Hoya yuennanensis flower for me. Potting substrate was coconut husk mixed with 20% large sponge rock (Perlite). Went outside in June to increasing day length hours, and flowered as the day length shortened in late August. Temperature ranged from day time highs of up to 85 F to night time lows down to around 50 F. Watered with nutrient solution once per week.
Finally on my 35th wedding anniversary, the buds opened! Maybe it was saving all of its blooming splendor for a gift, but whatever made it flower, I will never know for sure. As beautiful as the flowers are, the fragrance is even nicer! The smell perfumes an entire greenhouse and is among the most powerful that I have experienced since I have been keeping Hoyas.
I have neglected to point out thus far that there has been many times over the years that my miserable little starts of Hoya yuennanensis put out peduncles, but they never produced any buds. In the spring of this year (2023) I started the plant over for at least the tenth time since I got it way back in 2016. I started a few pots of it, and took one cutting of it and started it with Hoya aff. thomsonii. In the summer, I decided to put it outside in the greenhouse for the heck of it as I could not remember if I had grown it that way before or not. In late July, I almost fell on the ground when I went to water it, and saw that an old peduncle had actually started to bud up! The buds got bigger week after week until they looked like this!