Hoya versteegii

Hoya versteegii was discovered around 1913 in Western New Guinea on a Dutch expedition by the ship’s doctor Gerard Versteeg (1876-1943). While the type specimen was collected long ago, the plant was not observed or collected again for over a century. Simonsson and Rodda described it in 2017 and named it after its original collector.

The Most Unique Feature of Hoya versteegii Is Its infundibuliiforum corolla and long tube. Infundibuliiforum means having the form of a funnel or cone. The extremely long tube like corolla is unique in the Hoya world.

I received a small rooted cutting of Hoya versteegii in the summer of 2020 from an incredibly nice Hoya Grower named Mandy Lin. The plant had pubescent leaves and was growing in Pon. I later transplanted it to soil, but the plant was extremely slow to get growing. Months went by before it grew a leaf; finally I was forced to start it over because of root rot. I rooted this one in coconut husk chips and tree fern substrate. This one rooted easily, but just sat there a long time before growing a leaf.

After an exceptionally slow start the plant finally started growing well in early 2022 necessitating several up-pottings. With each potting I had moved to coconut husk chips mixed with about 10% large perlite or sponge rock. I had to be very creative with the trellising and fashioned trellises out of 14 gauge 2×4 fencing. I attached the trellis to clear orchid pots so I could more easily see when to water it.

The leaves on this plant are exceptionally beautiful, but I was looking to be able to flower it especially since I saw many people across the internet blooming it. It grew several peduncles, and though I checked them constantly, they refused to bud up. So I continued to enjoy the leaves. Good things come to people who wait, and sure enough one day in March of 2023, I finally spotted one of the peduncles starting to bud up. Finally in Mid-April the first flowers began to open. These blooms were supposed to have a really nice scent, but I have yet to discover it. I was able to flower Hoya versteegii for the second time just recently with many more flower in this umbel. I still have not figured out what the flowering trigger for this one might be. I guess it just flowers when it wants to!

Hoya versteegii is a must have for every collection. The leaves are among the most beautiful of any that I have personally seen, and the flowers are so unusual. My plant was grown completely artificially, and only recently saw its first natural sunshine when I brought it outside to photograph it.