Christmas is almost here and I’m betting that a lot of you are planning to buy a copy of just about any book devoted to hoyas that you can find. Maybe you plan it as a gift for yourself (After all, haven’t you earned one?) or as a gift for a family member or a friend.
Please, Please, Please!!!! Do not waste your money on a book entitled, Hoya Catalogue by Nikolai Bilenko. It is a slick looking 79 page book, printed on very expensive paper. It is filled with colour pictures, mostly of single leaves, many of which are damaged and appear not to have been taken from a mature part of the plant. Such leaves leave a wrong impression of the plant’s appearance.
A few examples of things wrong with the book.
1). He credits Kloppenburg for having authored Hoya macgregorii in 1990. Fact: Hoya macgregorii was authored by R. Schlechter in 1906.He credits Kloppenburg and Gilding with authoring Hoya ariadna in 1844, which would have been impossible because neither of them had been born in 1844, and neither had their parents!
2). He credits scores of hoyas as being hybrids when they are actually species.
3). He credits wrong authors. For example, he says that Hoya cagayanensis was authored by “F. Schlechter and A. Elmer in 1938. Fact: The correct citation for that one is Hoya cagayanensis R. Schltr. ex C.M. Burton. In the body of the A. D. E. Elmer publication, Elmer cited a specimen, which he had under observation which he thought might be the same species. It wasn’t. I examined that specimen and learned that it was Hoya obscura Elmer ex. C. M. Burton
4)/He cites lots of references but doesn’t connect them to any of the species featured. The strangest reference citation is The Century Dictionary, co-titled, An Encyclopedic Lexicon of English Language, published per the author of this dish of tripe, in 1906. Surely, he should have been able to find a more up to date reference than that?????
5). I think it was intended to be a catalogue of all hoya species and cultivars but I could list at least a hundred that aren’t listed and almost as many as are listed that are cited incorrectly.
6). He lists single species with multiple labels, such as Hoya
heuschkeliana, Hoya heuschkeliana ssp. cadanoae, Hoya heuschkeliana gul, Hoya
7). The man
doesn’t know how to correctly cite names and publications. Surely he should know that cultivar names
should always be uppercase and species names should always be lower case. He doesn’t know that if a plant is a species
that he cannot claim that it is a hybrid.
Of course, he can theorize that it is a natural hybrid but if he does, he should cite compelling reasons
for thinking it a hybrid as plants found in tropical jungles don’t come with
labels on them saying, “Hey, folks, I am Hoya carnosa
X Hoya kerrii.” One of
his examples of calling something species and a hybrid was his listing “Hoya
sp. Gold Star” which he was a hybrid. Gold Star is a Genevieve McDonald
cultivar. Where it is a hybrid or not
isn’t known. It was grown from a seed,
taken from a follicle that formed on one of Mrs. McDonald’s hoyas which she
grew outdoors in her yard on Merritt’s
These are just a few examples of what to expect in that book. No single page is free of error!
Trust Me! You don’t want that piece of trash. It isn’t even fit for the landfill as the dyes used to colour the pictures are toxic.
If you want to give yourself a well
Place you order right away and put a card under the tree with your receipt in it. Here’s how to order.:
Ms. Karlsen told me that SEK-320 equals about $47 US. Don’t delay—it’s a gift that “keeps on giving!”
Merry Christmas (and whatever day you’re celebrating) to all and
a very Happy Birthday to all who share our birthday!!!!!!
The above was a
cartoon that ran in the