Hoya rigidifolia

Hoya rigidifolia was described in 2019 by Sri Rahayu and Michele Rodda in an updated checklist to the Hoyas of Sumatra. This species is only known from the lowland forest of Pulau Siberut, southern Sumatra, Indonesia. The leaves of this species are what sets it apart from other Hoyas in the Finlaysonii Complex. While they have none of the intricate patterns and venation of most of the plants in the complex, they do have these unique and very stiff leaves.

Hoya rigidifolia that was not on my radar until a very kind collector named Mandy Lin sent me a small plant during the summer of 2021 thinking I might like to try it. I can’t lie; this plant was a little more challenging than I believed it would be. I started it over a couple of times and finally got it right on my third try. It was very susceptible to pests and root rot. I finally ended up growing it in coconut husk chips, and that is where it did the best. I grew it in a 5 ounce clear, plastic, punchbowl cup so that I could more easily see when to water the plant. It grew slowly, but steadily and finally put on a peduncle after about a year. The first buds aborted early, but the second time they made it to maturity. The flowers of Hoya rigidifolia are exactly like most flowers in the Finlaysonii Complex and last for about 24 hours. There was no scent at all.

Hoya rigidifolia is probably a Hoya that would mostly appeal to serious collectors. The foliage is not the most interesting and with the flowers only lasting a day, there would never be a big demand for this plant. I found it somewhat difficult to cultivate, but others might find it easier. While I can’t give it an enthusiastic recommendation, if you are given one, or find it for a bargain price, it might be worth giving it a go.