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Relationship between Hoya benguetensis, Hoya incrassata and Hoya ilagiorum

#hoyailagii, #hoyailagiorum, #hoya_obsessionnz, #hoyabenguetensis

Delineating Hoya benguetensis and Hoya ilagiorum
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DISCLAIMER: I have written this blog to provide information to the buyers of the seedlings of Hoya cf. benguetensis aka MCDB21-S51, Hoya incrassata (open-pollinated and closed-pollinated). Although the literature supporting this blog are credible as provided by one of my mentors in the Philippines, there may be a newer version that we are not aware of that eventually superseded the facts in this blog.

Last year, two of my buyers of Hoya cf. benguetensis aka MCDB21-S51 has contacted me to say that their plant has flowered already. They sent photos of the flowers and I confirmed that it was Hoya incrassata. I offered replacement of the whole plant but they both declined stating that what they got are beautiful anyway so they both want to keep it. I have given them a Hoya cf. benguetensis to compensate for my mistake.

Early this year, another buyer messaged me to show the flowers of her MCDB21-S51. Thankfully it is the right one. I have attached photos of the blooms and her full plant below:

When I repotted the seedlings, I must have put a tray of Hoya incrassata seedlings in the Hoya cf. benguetensis tray. It was an honest mistake and I have explained it to those buyers. If you have bought any, and you have suspicions, please message me directly as it is not my intention to send a wrong plant. Also it is not my intention to disappoint anyone about any Hoyas purchased from me.

By the way, I never sell MCDB21-S51 as a pure Hoya benguetensis. In all my listings, I always put that it is a hybrid and I have copy pasted the information I put in my listing for this Hoya:

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.

Although my hybridizer said this is a Hoya benguetensis x Hoya ilagiorum, we don’t know what traits these seedlings will have, hence the identity is still uncertain hence it is safe to use cf for now.

While many suggest to keep a seedling to flower before selling, I have sold a few of these seedlings to fund my future seed imports. You may find your seedling is very unique with traits completely different from the parents, so that is your reward for buying a seedling at an early stage. But whether it will look like a Hoya benguetensis or Hoya ilagiorum, this seedling will surely grow into a very beautiful Hoya from the Philippines.

This has been explained to the MPI Incursion Investigator already so no need to report me to MPI (again).

End of that part .


I should have written this blog last year but I got so busy with my other jobs and I completely forgot about this.... so here it goes !

If you have grown a Hoya from seeds, you will know that all seedlings look exactly the same from the beginning. The true form will only show after having two to three sets of new leaves.

But what if the Hoyas are from the same section, or from the same species ? , will you be able to tell the differences ? My answer is no !. You have to wait till you have a flower.

I faced a dilemma of identifying the 3 Hoya seedlings I have mentioned above, specifically MCDB21-S51 because some of them have the same foliage. If there are any differences, they are very minimal. So I asked the opinion of one of my mentors in the Philippines, Dr. Jun Buot (the owner of Hoya buotii). He was the head of the short course on Hoya Botany and Development in the University of the Philippines which I attended in 2019.

Dr. Buot told me that Hoya benguetensis and Hoya ilagiorum are almost similar and if not flowering could be confusing to novice. Derek Cabactulan, another mentor from the Philippines, told me that Hoya ilagiorum is possibly a seeding of Hoya incrassata x Hoya benguetensis.

In "A Collection of Philippine Hoyas and their Culture" (page 75), Dr. Fernando Aurigue wrote: H. ilagiorum appears closely allied to H. benguentensis because of its vegetative form., leaf venation, the obtusely tipped calyces, the shape and behaviour of the corolla and the general coloration. It is similar to H. crassicaulis (a Hoya incrassata) in having a globose, pendulous inflorescence except in the number and color of flowers.

I discussed this with Dr. Buot and told him that they look like Hoya incrassata, Hoya benguetensis and Hoya ilagiourum. He sent me the attached journal articles to give me further explanation of the differences. And because MCDB21-S51 is grown from cross-pollinated seeds, most traits of the above mentioned Hoyas are likely present in this Hoya.

I hope this blog, with the articles, can provide some knowledge regarding these Hoya species and resolve some confusion why sometimes they look so similar.

Thanks for reading !