At the time of Hoya apoda’s discovery in 1912, the western part of the Island of New Guinea was controlled by the Netherlands. It was discovered by C. Boden Kloss, an English zoologist and intrepid explorer. The plant was published by Spencer Le Marchant Moore, and English botanist who died in 1931. Apoda in the animal world means limbless or not having limbs, and in the botanical world, it means stalkless. I believe it is referring to this Hoya not having visible peduncles, which makes apoda a very apt name indeed.
Hoya apoda came to me as a small rooted plant with the name of Hoya exilis from a wonderful grower in Phoenix. We exchanged Hoyas in trade, and I was happy to get a new plant to try, and one that I had not heard of. It came growing in Pon, and for those who are not familiar with it, the substrate looks like fine aquarium gravel. I grew it that way for about 3 months, before I switched it over to tree fern. After switching the Hoya over to a new substrate, the plant immediately began to do better and grew quite well. After growing it for some time with 14 hours of day light without getting a peduncle, I decided to switch it over to a 12 hour day. It was not much longer before I had my first peduncle only 10 months after receiving the plant, but wait…
The strange thing about this plant was there was no discernable peduncles; it was as if the pedicel came directly out of the leaf node. After looking Hoya exilis up online and checking photos, I knew that this plant was not that Hoya, but what was it? I immediately put in an email to Julie Kennedy who has been so helpful to me throughout my Hoya growing career. She took my information and went to all of her sources. Finally we got the answer from Miros and Susanne; my specimen now had a name: Hoya apoda. On the morning of May 19, 2022 my first flower opened up. There was no real scent and the smallest amount of nectar on the corona.
Hoya apoda has probably been my favorite Hoya discovery of 2022. It flowers profusely with up to 8 flowers open at any one time. It seems to continually put out new buds and appears to be a relatively easy grower. This plant turned out to be much better than Hoya exilis, which seems to be at least at first glance kind of boring. Hoya apoda for now seems to be most readily available from Indonesian vendors, but hopefully in the near future many more sellers will feature it closer to home. Hoya apoda gets my highest recommendation!