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Hoya Spartioides


Hoya Spartioides

Hoya spartioides is a native of Borneo and was first described in the 1800s. It is a very strange plant made up entirely of peduncles with leaves almost never making an appearance, and if they do, they are very short lived. Their natural habitat is dry and conditions are harsh and they can withstand low humidity and bright sunlight..

This is a rare plant although it has been described since last decade of 1800s. The green tips are actually the peduncles – the flower stalks ; the rest of the plant do not have chlorophyll – except for an occasional small leaves which are very short-lived. The tiny orange flower clusters open one night only, and has a sharp smell like burning rubber. Seeds of this plant are carried by ants to their nests, usually rotting tree trunks, from which a plant may grow, with its root balls deep within the nest. The ants provide protection and food for the plant. All these are adaptations to dry harsh conditions of its kerangas habitat.

The very pretty flowers only last a day.

If you are partial to strange plants this could be the one for you ! This is an extremely valuable plant for a couple of reasons. This plant grows no leaves but has roots and these long things that look like stems but are actually peduncles. When it’s ready to flower, buds will grow at the end of each of the peduncles, like they do with other hoyas.

Years ago Ted Green produced some of these plants by tissue culture (cloning) and took a bunch to introduce it back into the wild where it had gone extinct.

The reasons these plants are expensive and rare is mostly because they photosynthesize only in those peduncles (no leaves!), leading to very slow growth rates. Another reason is that they cannot be reliably propagated by cuttings but by cloning and seeds only. And it’s not like they are orchid hybrids that are very popular, and where the cost of cloning can be spread out over tens of thousands of plants – here, the market would be very limited, hence the cost.

9 in stock

SKU: H-SPA-012 Category:


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