Hoya flower is also known as wax flower. It is often seen as a parasitic plant, growing and living on other plants. They do not take any food or sap from the host plant. They get food from wind, dust or rainwater. Some species grow terrestrial. Sometimes seen in mountainous areas, they climb trees like vines. Hyacinths are primarily tropical plants, evergreen perennial creepers or vines and rarely shrubs.
It belongs to Apocynaceae family. At the same time they are also called milkweed family. They have 200-300 species. Most species are native to Asia. They are native to India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. A great diversity of species is found in the Philippines. Many species have also been found in Polynesia, New Guinea and Australia. They are called waxplants, waxvines, waxflowers or simply ‘Haya’ in English. They are named after the plant scientist Thomas Hoy.
Hyacinth flowers are usually borne in umbellate clusters or tufts at the head of a peduncle. Umbel i.e. many small flower stalks when attached to a common stalk is called pedicel. It looks like umbrella ribs. From the Latin word umbella (sunshade), the term was added to botany in 1590. The flower stalks usually arise from the axils of the leaf buds and in most species these stalks survive for many years. Flower stalks grow larger as the flower blooms again and again. The diameter of the inflorescence can range from 3 mm (Hoya bilobata Schltr) to 95 mm (H. lauterbachii K. Schuman).
The flowers are basically star shaped. Each flower has five thick waxy petals topped by five more star-like petals called coronas. An amazing variety of eye-catching colors can be seen in this flower. White, pink, yellow, orange, dark red, etc. these flowers are beautifully decorated in charming color combinations. Most flowers have a sweet scent and produce copious amounts of honey. If you look very closely, it seems that the creator has made them perfectly with a lot of care.
These flowers are usually pollinated by moths, flies or ants. Not much is known about their pollination. Plants that are kept outdoors in the heat produce few seeds. Their pollination is believed to be carried out by native insects. The seeds are usually twin pods. Spores are quite light and can be carried by wind and spread over long distances. Germination from seeds is very quick but their seedlings do not survive easily.
Some species of wasps co-exist symbiotically with ants. That is, they provide shelter to the ants and in return the ants help pollinate them. In the species H. imbricata the leaves form concave lens-shaped cups and these cup-shelters reach the ants. In H. darwinii, the leaves are bullet-like and form shelters for ants. The leaves are usually typical succulents. Different types of leaves occur in this genus. Usually smooth and hairy. There are many species that have stripes on the upper side of the leaves and a spot of different colors in the middle.
Many species of hyacinth are grown as houseplants in temperate regions. They are prized for their attractive flowers and their fragrance. Many cultivars are selected as houseplants for their foliage, flower beauty and gorgeous color. Because of its intense sweet scent, hyacinth can also be planted as an indoor plant. They prefer bright light but can survive in dim light. However, they may not produce flowers in low light. Haya is sold in nurseries as a houseplant. Especially H. carnosa, H. purpurea-fusca, H. kerrii species. Haya is easily propagated by grafting and is commonly sold as cuttings.
Recently, research by the University of Georgia has shown that Hoya (Hoya carnosa) can very well remove pollution from the indoor environment of the house or building. Some hyacinths have been found in Australia which have acted as poisons for poultry and sheep. Haya has been used as a medicinal plant in many countries and cultures, particularly Polynesian cultures.
All Hoya flower images are collected from internet.