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Naming Hoyas

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Important Note: This is a compilation of what I have read and learned from the internet, from articles and from short courses materials. I just compiled it in a way easier to understand for my own reference but you are welcome to read and learn from this. If anyone has something to add or edit, please contact me via email and I will be happy to do the revision.


To make the naming of plants more precise and universal, an international system of naming plants is used by scientists and plant professionals. Known as the “International Code of Botanical Nomenclature,” the code is based on a two-name (binomial) system developed by the famous botanist Linnaeus. (Source: Internet, maybe Wikipedia)

Each plant is given a first name and last name, generally based in Latin, that is unique to each species. This name is recognized for that plant throughout the world, no matter what the native language might be.

The scientific name of a plant is consists of two names:

(1) the genus or generic name, and

(2) the specific epithet or species name.

IMPORTANT: There are rules to follow when writing a scientific name.

Genus Name

(1). The genus name is written first.

(2). The genus name is always underlined or italicized.

(3). The first letter of the genus name is always capitalized.

Example : Hoya - H is always capitalized

Specific Epithet

(1). The specific epithet is written second.

(2). The specific epithet is always underlined or italicized.

(3). The first letter of the specific epithet name is never capitalized.

Example : lacunosa or lacunosa

The correct way to write Hoya lacunosa therefore is Hoya lacunosa or Hoya lacunosa - you do not write it as lacunosa only. You have to write the word Hoya, with capital H.

Note (MY OPINION): If you are writing Hoya label/names in a facebook, instagram or other plaftfrom posts, or even in your own plant tags, it might be difficult to follow underlining and italizing the words, so as long as you know the rules, I believe its okay, you do not have to follow the rules 100%, there is no hoya police to take you and put you in jail for not following the rules. (But thats just me, so you can blame me if you get told by anyone hahaha).


The evolution of plant life is based on mutations, which are constantly occurring. Very often a particular individual of a species will mutate to a different color, size, or growth habit. These characteristics are passed on to its progeny (offspring). When this happens, a population of plants exists with the same scientific name, but a sub-group exhibits different characteristics. If the mutated group is significantly different from the parents and is stable (the traits are passed on from generation to generation), then this new group of plants is often assigned a variety name.


Subspecies is one of many ranks below that of species, such as variety, subvariety, form, and subform. To identify the rank, the subspecific name must be preceded by "subspecies" which is abbreviated as ssp.

Example: Hoya australis – Australia, Fiji, Indonesia (Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga •

Subspecies of Hoya australis:

Hoya australis ssp. australis – Australia (Queensland, New South Wales), Samoa, Vanuatu • Hoya australis ssp. oramicola – Australia (Northern Territory) •

Hoya australis ssp. rupicola – Australia (Western Australia, Northern Territory)

Hoya australis ssp. sanae Australia (Queensland)

Hoya australis ssp. tenuipes – Australia (Queensland), Fiji, Indonesia (Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga

Variety Names

Variety names are given when the mutation occurs in nature.

(1) The abbreviation var. is used to signify that the mutation is a variety.

(2) var. is placed after the specific epithet and is not underlined or italicized.

Mutations can also occur because of human interventions such as breeding, applying mutagens, propagation, or by cultural practices. In these cases, the new group of mutated plants is called a cultivar.

"Cultivar" is an abbreviated form of cultivated variety. The mutated plants are assigned a cultivar name. · The cultivar name is written after cv. or within the single quotes.

Capitalize the first letter of but never underline or italicize the cultivar name. If it is a result of breeding two species, then you need to write the names of the parents and then followed by the cultivar name.

Example: Hoya obscura x Hoya lacunosa ssp. pallidiflora cv. Sunrise or Hoya obscura x Hoya lacunosa ssp. pallidiflora ‘Sunrise’

In short - if a you see a Hoya name with var. after the species name, then it means the mutation occurs in nature, in the wild. If you see a Hoya label with cv. after the species name, then it means it is cultivated, man-made or created by man.

Species affinis (commonly abbreviated to: sp. aff., aff., or affin.)

In open nomenclature it indicates that available material or evidence suggests that the proposed species is related to, has an affinity to, but is not identical to, the species with the binomial name that follows.

[1] The Latin word affinis can be translated as closely related to, or akin to or compares favourably to:

Ex: Hoya sp. aff. carnosa – this means it is a hoya that is similar to carnosa but it is not carnosa.

SPECIES with cf.

Explanation of the abbreviation cf:

CF is (short for the Latin: confer, "compare with") or a question mark (?) signify varying degrees or types of uncertainty and may be used differently ...

In botany, if you’re uncertain of the identity of a plant, you use cf after the genus name and before the species name. This abbreviation is usually used for open pollinated seeds.

So upon consultation with my "never-get-tired-of-my-questions-mentors" I was advised to use cf. for all my seedlings that are cross-pollinated and open pollinated. Although they advised to me that I should not sell them while they haven't flowered yet, I started selling them to fund my continuous venture of bringing more Hoyas from my home country, the Philippines.


When a Hoya is not identified or matched to a previous publication or not published, it is given a temporary name:

Ex: Hoya sp. IML 9999 means it is a hoya but the species is not yet published or identified, and it is from David Liddle’s (IML) collection and he put an ID# of 9999 for that particular hoya.

When you see Hoya sp. written in the label, you can translate it as yes, it is a Hoya but the species is unknown.

ABBREVIATIONS & NUMBERS FOR HOYA COLLECTORS - this information is from the Hoya cards made by a dear friend from Thailand named Pattamate Watthanasakulcharoen.

This will help you understand the names you're seeing in some of the Hoyas being sold in the market:


HSI - Hoya Society International - USA ( ex. HSI-xxx)

IPB - Institute of Plant Breeding (in UPLB)

IPPS - Institute for Protection and Propagation of Succulent Plants

*** The IPPS numbers are the same as GPS sequence numbers and only run to IPPS 9999 (ex. IPPS-xxxx)

TOC - Tenon Orchid Center - Sabah Borneo

USDA - United States Department of Agriculture - USA (USDA xxxxx )


ABG - Adelaide Botanical Garden - Australia

BKS - Bukidnon Selection - The Philippines

EWF - Estrella Waterfalls - Palawan, The Philippines

KK- Kota Kinabalu - Sabah, Borneo

LT - Lao Trip (s) in 2008 and 2010 - (LT-yy-xxx)

NT - Northern Territory - Australia

NG - New Guinea

PNG - Papua New Guinea

QLD - Queensland - Australia

QSBG-Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden - Chiang Mai, Thailand

SBG - Sydney Botanical Garden - Australia

UPLB - University of the Philippines Los Banos - Laguna, The Phlippines


AH- Aloha Hoyas ( Carol Noel), Hawaii USA - she is my idol, im a big fan of her

AH- Ah Hoya (Nattamon Karang) - Thailand (AH xxx / AH xxxx)

AG- Alex Gavrus (Pakeha's) - France (AG yy-xx)

AP-Apodagis (Sutthisak Sangkhakorn)- Thailand

BE- Begine Emilio ( Emilio Begine) - Belgium/Spain

BL- Boon Leng - Malaysia

BP-Ban Phraeo Hoya Nursery, Samut Sakhon - Thailand

CMF-Charles Marden Fitch- USA

CT- Chanin Thorut

DD - Deky Desia - Bengkulu, Indonesia

DMC - David M. Cumming - Australia

DS - David Siiberman - USA

EG - Edward Kalani Gilding (Ed Gilding) - Queensland, Australia

EK/EKW - Eva Karen Wiberg - Sweden

EPC - Epiphytica (Jakkapan Wanitkul) - Thailand

ET/ETS - Eric Tauecchio

GKMP - George K. Mendoza, The Philippines (Forest Treasures)

GN-Gardino Nursery - Florida, USA

GPS- Gerard Paul Shirley ( Paul Shirley Succulents) - Netherlands

HX-Hoya cross (x) by Reynold B. Pimentel - The Philippines - one of my mentors - a very kind person, another person i admire in the Hoya world

IM - Imran La In - Indonesia/Papua New Guinea

IML - Iris Marie Liddle - Australia

JP - Professor Juan Pancho - UPLB, Laguna Philippines

LZ - Melda Lazuardi ( Luz Collection) - Indonesia

MB - Mike Bernardo (Hoya Creations) - Idaho, USA

MDL - Miguel David De Leon - The Philippines ( published a few amazing new Hoyas including Hoya pulchra)

MM - Michael Miyashiro

MPR - Marilyn P. Rosario - The Philippines (another person I admire)

MRW - Morrow - Kalimantan, Indonesia

MT - May Tolentino - The Philippines

MW - Maximo Wayet - Luzon, The Philippines

NS - Nathalie Simonsson Juhonewe - Sweden/Papua New Guinea

PES - Dr. Piyakaset (Ek) Suksathan- Thailand

PG - Patrick Andrew Gozon - The Philippines

PT - Peter Tsang - QLD, Australia

PW- Pattamate Wattanasakulcharoen - Thailand - a good friend

RHM - Ric H. Morier - Florida, USA - Ric has plenty of beautiful and amazing Hoyas

RP - Raatburi (Ratchaburi) Panmai Hoya Nursery - Thailand

RCX - Ryu Cuerdo's Crosses - The Philippines

SE - Sabine Ericsson -

SLM - Sulaiman Hasim - Pontianak, Indonesia

SR - Surisa's Research (Surisa Riampreeda (Somadee)) - Thailand

SRQ - (Joni Kahn) - USA -SRQ Hoyas

SS - Surisa's Seeds / Hybrids ( Surisa Riampreeda ) Somadee) - Thailand

SV - Stenasa Varberg - Seden / Papua New Guinea

TG - Ted Green - USA

TN - Torrill Nyhuus - Sweden - I wish i could get some of her Hoyas

UF- Ulysses Ferreras - The Philippines

UH - Nguyen Uyen's Hybrid - Vietnam

UT - Uthai Treesucon - Thailand

VL- Viggo Larsen - Denmark

In New Zealand, there is a mad Hoya collector who is trying her best to bring all Hoyas that are in the PBI list into New Zealand. Her