VOL. 13, #2
Hoya fraterna Blume
Hoya coriacea Blume (syn. Hoya mindanaensis Elm.; syn. Hoya angustisepala Schltr. ex. C.M. Burton}
Hoya treubiana Schltr.
I first bought this one from Ted Green. He sold it, in those days as Hoya
globulosa. At that time I didn’t know any better but I was quickly
educated by one of my Georgia Market Bulletin customers who lived in
For the next 10 plus years of my hoya collecting, this was sold as Hoya fraterna. I received a letter from another “old timer” recently. A picture of this species was enclosed. I was asked, “When are you going to write and tell people that this is the true Hoya fraterna?” She said she knew that it was because it was pictured in Curtis. My answer to when I am going to write and tell people that this is the true Hoya fraterna, is NEVER because it isn’t Hoya fraterna. That picture she saw in Curtis’ Botanical Magazine (tab.4684) is not Hoya fraterna People made identification mistakes in 1855 same as we moderns do in 2013. The same picture appeared in Flore des Serres 8, Tab 815. It isn’t Hoya fraterna either.
I was fortunate enough to be able to see and examine the holotype specimen of Hoya treubiana Schltr. This one matches Schlechter’s sketches extremely well, but I’m sure my conclusion will cause a lot of anguish, dart throwing and name calling,, however, until/if they ever are able to identify by DNA or some other scientific means that proves me wrong, I am prepared to stand by my opinion and let the barbs run off like rain drops falling on a sharply slanting roof.
FORGOTTEN & BURIED DATA
One of my favorite hoya buddies telephoned last week and asked my opinion of a book that she’d found in an estate sale. She said, “Knowing you, Chris, I feel sure that you have or have seen a copy of it.” I told her that, “Yes, I have a copy and have written a 46 page critique of it.” I advised her to save her money.
The book she asked me about is The Hoya Handbook by Dale Kloppenburg. My copy is the first edition. I also was loaned a copy of a later edition and that is the copy I critiqued. Not an error but my first criticism is the fact that the first letter on almost every page is positioned so that it is level with the second line. It took me half the book to get into the habit of looking down, then up to have a sentence make sense.
It took me more pages to list all the errors I found in it than there are pages in the book itself. Believe me, unless you get your jollies by being tortured, you don’t want The Hoya Handbook!
I wrote to David and said, “Hoya macrophylla has always puzzled me because the one everyone tells me is it looks like Blume’s picture in Rumphia but none of the flower parts match his drawings at the bottom of the Rumphia illustration’s page. I am also sure that the one that Ted Green and his buddies sell as Hoya latifolia (and the one pictured as Hoya latifolia by R. Rintz in Malayan Nature Journal Fig. 23, pages 508 & 510) is not Hoya latifolia.” *
I added, “Hoya clandestina has also puzzled me but, not having any means of checking it, I’ve just assumed that when so many say it is a synonym of Hoya macrophylla, that they must be right. I have noticed, however, a tendency of authors to lump any two or more species that previous authors compared in their publications, yet some of those comparisons are of extremely different species.”
David replied, “As for Hoya macrophylla, it appears that the lumpers have really screwed up this group. Blume wrote it all down in nice readable Latin but somehow it is confused, probably because the leaves are very similar. I suspect the most commonly grown plant is Hoya clandestina. Less frequently grown is Hoya macrophylla. They are quite different to each other. Rarely available is Hoya polystachya. All are valid species.”
Another look alike should be added here. That is Hoya tjadasmalangensis. At this time, I’m just about convinced that this is a synonym of Hoya clandestina but I need more flowers to study as I could be far off.
* As with many of R, Rintz’s determinations, he stated that he had not seen type material of Hoya latifolia. He had not seen type material of Hoya macrophylla and he had not seen type material of Hoya polystachya. In other words, his determination that all were the same was just a guess.
New Book Review
The title of the book is A Collection of Philippine Hoyas and their Culture. The author is Fernando B. Aurigue. It was published by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology at Los Baños, Laguna.
This book was a gift
to me by one of its critics. This person
says that it is not accurate and that it contains plagiarized material with no
credit given to the original author or authors.
I’m sorry that I won’t be able to do a thorough or fair review of it
this time, as promised. There is just
too much to read and compare with the original publications and my own
research. Also, my source lives in the
There is one criticism of this book (and all other modern publications about hoyas) that I’d like to make. If it were possible to make a serum and shoot it into the brain of every wannabe authority; everyone who is called an authority by others and everyone who thinks he or she is already an authority, that serum would keep reminding us that the Internet is the very last place to research anything. There is a lot of good research reported there but most of it is not. It is all too often hard to tell truth from fiction.
I am still on the Preface and Foreword of this book. The author expressed the same frustration that all novice growers of just about all types of plants express, when he said, “I was perplexed by the limited literature lent to me, and browsing through the Internet revealed a dearth of published information.” One with his credentials shouldn’t rely on material “lent” to him. He should know that research requires “deep digging,” in, on, and sometimes under), dusty library shelves.
In reading Aurigue’s credentials, I got the idea that he was an educated scientist but the above statement reinforces my own mentors’ warnings that a college degree doesn’t mean you are educated. It only means you handed in test papers with the right answers on them. Most schools, nowadays, appear to be doing nothing but feeding the answers to standard test examination questions to their students. I have been told that some local schools do not even allow teachers to assign homework and students aren’t allowed to bring their text books home with them.
This author appears to have relied heavily of the works of Robert Dale Kloppenburg, who has published around 80 new hoya names in the past few years (note I said names, not species). He has also authored many editions of at least a half dozen extremely inaccurate books.. DK appears to think that anything he hasn’t seen before is, ipso facto, a new unpublished species. You’ve probably heard me say it before or read my remark that he wants to make a name for himself in the worst way and that’s exactly what he’s doing. Knowing, as I do, what the original publications of most hoyas say, I hope you’ll understand why I have little faith in the accuracy of any work by anyone who uses DK as his research.
Anyone who “is
perplexed by the limited amount of literature” hasn’t done any research. A scientist should know that it isn’t likely
to be found on the Internet or even at the local lending library or your high
school library. In the
My husband had
I didn’t find everything I was looking for at Harvard. My best friend in high school wanted to see me one more time as she’d been told that cancer had spread to all the organs in her body and she had only months to live. I went to DC to spend what time I could with her. Before leaving, I dropped in to the library at Smithsonian. It’s librarian was also a member of the Hoya Society International. I had given her a list of publications I was looking for and she had already copied them and had them waiting for me. There was one she couldn’t find so on another trip to DC, she and I did a more thorough search and ended up crawling through a dark cobweb covered hall and up a ladder into the attic where we found what I had been looking for. We were never able to figure out why those publications became tucked away in what looked like a mail sax in the attic at Smithsonian. They were catalogued and put on the library shelves that same day.
I got copies of all the original hoya publications prior to the Kloppenburg publishing frenzy, along with a lot of supporting data. Anyone who says there is a dearth of publications just hasn’t looked in the right places. I have 14 file cabinet drawers filled with hoya data. The only cost to me was for copying it at varying prices, from 2 cents a page to 10 cents a page.
Now, I must stop and tend to my hoyas. I’ll bring you up to date on what I find in this book as I find it – if I find it.
If you are a believer, please say a prayer for the safety of the Philippine native who sent me a free copy of the Aurigue book to review. The book arrived only a few days before that typhoon hit and he now isn’t answering his e-mail. Hey, and if you aren’t a believer, please say a prayer for his safety anyway --- just in case!
Due to my own confusion as to “what is what,” I decided to rearrange my file cabinets by removing all the Kloppenburg publications to a separate file to make locating a particular file quicker. I haven’t finished the job and I’ve already found about 80 new name publications of Kloppenburg’s. Many of these appear to have been found in the same or nearby locations where previously published species had been found. My search is too new for me to be sure but I strongly suspect that many of his publications will be “sunk” as soon as a knowledgeable taxonomist becomes as interested as I am in correct identification or DNA testing becomes cheap enough to apply to all hoya specimens.
Although the curator of one herbarium told me that the purpose of type specimens was NOT to aid in the identification of plants, she could not tell me what the purpose is. Every other layman and every other professional I have consulted expressed to me their belief that there could be no other reason to preserve and save samples of plant species but to aid in identification. These specimens, combined with the name publication descriptions and topographical maps, make identification possible in many cases. In the wrong hands, they only create confusion and sometimes the destruction of the specimens themselves.
Anyone can name and publish a new species, as long as the publishing is in the form dictated by the Code. It’s easy to do. Some people should never be given a microscope, a pen, a pencil, a typewriter, a computer, a cell phone nor a passport that can take them to any hoya habitats. Dale Kloppenburg is one I’d put at the top of the list of “Hoya subversives!!!!
One example of his carelessness can
be found in his publication of a hoya with a questionable name (found in Fraterna
19, #4 2006). On page 5 of that
publication, the name was entered twice.
One time, it is spelled viracensis. Then he turned right around and spelled it, varacensis. A supporting letter sent to me by another about
a hoya she said she got from Kloppenburg, shows still another spelling (virescensis). Friends, most people rely on the Internet for
basic research these days. I don’t and
don’t advise it but I must recognize it.
Just one extra letter; one omitted letter; one wrong letter or a pair of
transposed letters will bring up a message telling you that what you are
looking for can’t be found. IF YOU ARE
GOING TO CARRY ON YOUR HOYA
Kloppenburg illustrated his publication with 15 photographs. Two of those photographs were of two herbarium specimens, reduced almost to the size of a postage stamp. One is supposed to be the holotype and the other an isotype but there is no way one can tell which is which as these two pictures are not labeled. There is one black and white picture of a pollinarium which is very clear and easily recognized as a hoya pollinarium. I am 100% certain that I have seen that pollinarium before, illustrating a previously published hoya species. I don’t remember which and I have 14 file cabinet drawers, crammed full of hoya species folders, it’s going to take a lot of time to locate the right folder. When/if I do, you’ll be the first to hear about it. The other 12 photos that Mr. Kloppenburg used to illustrate this travesty, look, for all the world, like the rotting scraps I cut away from supermarket produce and toss in the garbage pail, when preparing dinner. No way on earth could anyone but Kloppenburg ever mistake any of those 12 pictures as a hoya nor anything else that is desirable.
The text that accompanies the garbage can photos is not much better.
1). He says that the flowers are white. His pictures don’t show any colour but bright orange. Other authors’ pictures show cream coloured inner surfaces, with orange on the outside.
2). He says that “this species has a broad corolla with a small corona.” So what? That applies to 99 and 99/100s of all hoya species. What makes this one different from all others?
3). He says that the corona lobes, “sway backwards.” I have never seen a hoys corona sway in any direction except when I put a pot out on the clothes line (when cleaning out the greenhouse). If a wind came up while the hoya was outside, the entire plant swayed, both backward and forward. A man who didn’t flunk English grammar (at least at 6th grade level) would have said that the corona lobes “lean backward,” “tilt backward,” or “slant backward.” They sure as heck don’t sway.
4). Beside what he said was a calyx, which looks like some kind of flying creature with a long tongue pointing out at anyone who dares question., he said that the sepals are 0.21 cm tall and 0.20 cm wide. Something that spreads outward from the center isn’t tall. It is the length not the height we need to measure. I am quite confident that the height is too slight to accurately measure, like the line made by a fine pointed pen.
5). Just below the center of the right hand column, you’ll see (in bold type), ‘Widest 0.45.’ He doesn’t say what is widest nor if 0.45 is mm, cm, m, inches, yards or miles.
6). Throughout the entire piece there is a mixture of different type measurements (one time metric and another decimal. Still other times “it’s your guess” which he means. One has to be blessed (or cursed) with several gallons of ESP to understand Kloppenburg’s hoya descriptions!
7). A pet peeve of mine is the mixing of plural nouns with singular modifying words, such as Kloppenburg did on page 5. I think it annoys me because I’ve done it so often and gotten chewed out about it just about every time – once by my 5 year old daughter. The sentence I refer to is in the very first paragraph. It says, ‘a very small retinacula.” “A” indicates 1 thing. “Retinacula” is plural. The correct word to use there is retinaculum. I’ve done that too but not over and over and over and over again!!!
8). He says that this species’ (viracensis or whatever) leaves are similar to those of Hoya greenii. That’s so absurd that even Mortimer Snerd would know that all of this man’s writing is just a big joke..
My close examination and comparisons of my photo-microscopic pictures shows it to be:
Hoya lobbii Hook. f.
People Are Funny was the name of an old radio program (before the days of TV) that morphed into a early TV show. Both were hosted by Art Linkletter. We could use Art and his People Are Funny show now, instead of all those cheap so-called reality shows where rank amateurs with show business aspirations work for nothing, and don’t deserve pay because no talent is needed or exhibited in any of these shows.
The best example I can think of to
illustrate how funny people are (and how contrary) is to quote the late Rev.
Thomas Cook, who was minister of the Presbyterian Church in
These two men were so in tune that they could only start to tell a joke and both would just start laughing until their sides should have split. I never, not even once heard one of them get to the “punch line” of any joke, unless one wants to call Rev. Cook’s treatise on the subject of tea as a joke. He started off by saying, “People are funny,” and continued, “They boil tea to make it hot; then put ice in it to make it cold. Then they put sugar in it to make it sweet and lemon in it to make it sour.” He had a lot more of that type of contrariness but I think you get the idea from this one example.
I can attest to Hoya collectors being
extremely funny… that is, “funny-peculiar, not funny ha-ha.” One thing comes to mind and that is a Hoya
Society International meeting held in
That wasn’t all. My major source of spending money at that time was the sale of irises. Unfortunately, I had not made an inventory the iris beds, up in my small meadow, I had about 20 rows of iris seedlings growing. I was trying to get a truly green iris with a deep red beard and was coming close. All the seedlings were labeled. The labels showed the names of the parent plants and dates crosses were made. That woman’s husband ate fast and took a walk around my lot. When he returned, he handed me all the labels on my iris seedlings. He said, “Labels in your garden spoil the garden’s appearance.” I am not a violent person but if I’d had a gun then, either he’d be dead now and I’d be living at the expense of the state or I’d be dead and he’d be living at the expense of the state (no more money worries either way)!
Then there is the subject of the two major hoya societies of the 1980s and early 1990s. The Hoya Society International was the first Hoya Society. I founded it and I was its editor for 23 years. I didn’t campaign for that job. There just wasn’t anyone else willing to do it. H.S.I. had officers and an active board of directors. Most people sent their questions, suggestions, demands and everything else to me. I passed them on to the president who wrote a letter to each officer and board members requesting their opinions and asking them to vote on any issue. On most things the entire membership was asked to vote. I got just one vote (same as every other member). However, if those Oregon members and a couple of California and Hawaii members didn’t get their way, they’d start a letter writing campaign, claiming that the only vote that counted was Chris Burton’s and that she dictated what was to be.
The result of their promise to give
free Xerox copies of The Hoyan with a “local chapter” membership resulted in about half of
H.S.I.’s members failing to renew. The
time came when those west coasters denied having promised free H.S.I. copies
with membership in their “local chapter” (which wasn’t and never intended to be
local) but they made one mistake. They
held a meeting out in
With the threat of law suits involving copyright infringement, the “local chapter” finally admitted that they were not local and that their intent was to destroy H.S.I. because they wanted a “laymen’s language” bulletin. They got themselves a new charter with the name of the International Hoya Association. A name so close to the Hoya Society International that I kept getting applications with checks written to them that I had to return. I suspect that they also got checks intended for us.
Here is the sad part. An IHA officer
stated, in writing, to me that it had been their intention from the start to
destroy H.S.I. and publish their own “laymen’s language” publication. So, what did they do? They started publishing a bulletin that is
filled with nothing much but Dale Kloppenburg’s new name publications which are
almost entirely written in misspelled Latin.
One issue of The Hoyan had more “laymen’s language” in it that all the
issues of Fraterna from “get-go” until now! So, after 23 years, H.S.I. folded because
there were so many who really thought it still considered IHA an affiliate and
approved their giving free copies of The Hoyan to its members. The dues paid to
Another example of Hoya Society
people’s “funny-peculiar” makes me
wonder if it is only Oregonian, Hawaiian
and north-central Californian Hoya people who are “funny-peculiar” or if
the most vocal ones are just plain nasty.
There was one H.S.I. member from
The judges did not pick that Oregonian
lady’s design and the board did not choose to have the T-Shirt made by that
lady’s choice of T-Shirt
manufacturers. The board asked me to
write a letter and send it out to at least a dozen manufacturers in the
Hoya Telegraph – Vol. 2, #3 2013
This issue is, for me, very disappointing as it doesn’t show any sign of research having been done. The most glaring error I noted was on page 7. It was the statement made concerning the original name publication of Hoya forbesii. The person responsible for entry wasn’t identified. It was intended to be a republication of the King & Gamble original publication but the person responsible for copying it took a number of liberties. King and Gamble published all of the plant and flower part measurements in inches and decimals, but the person responsible for copying it into Hoya Telegraph changed the wording by substituting metric (mm. & cm.). I didn’t check but I suspect that those cms and mms were equivalent to the measurement given by King and Gamble but when one “quotes” one ought to “truly quote.” Such changes should be put in “foot notes.”
The above was not the truly big boo-boo. The person responsible for this piece goofed big time in adding at the end, “Translation from the Latin by Dale Kloppenburg.” Friends, Romans, Swedes and Countrymen, hear ye, one and all: The quoted text didn’t have a single word of Latin anywhere in it. The original was 100% English. Latin was not required when Hoya forbesii was published.
All that said, I think that the person responsible for this piece is 100% correct in assuming that IML-1763 is not Hoya forbesii. It simply does not fit the King & Gamble publication. As for it being like Rintz’s Malayan Nature Journal drawings and description, I’m inclined to discount everything in that publication. He certainly did not indicate anywhere in it that he had seen the type publication or any of the others cited by King & Gamble. I purchased this one twice. The first time it came labeled “aff. forbesii.” The second time it came labeled “Hoya forbesii.” Neither has bloomed for me so I can only go by the pictures in Hoya telegraph.
King & Gamble IML-1763
Leaves: Shortly & bluntly acuminate at apex. Leaves: Acutely apiculate at apex.
Leaves: Upper surfaces glabrous, shining. Leaves: Upper surfaces, glabrous; very dull, not shining.
Leaves: Lower surfaces minutely papillose. Leaves: Lower surfaces feel glabrous to me. Certainly not papillose.
Leaf reticulations: Clearly visible only on the upper surfaces. Leaf reticulations: Clearly visible only on the lower surfaces.
Corolla colour: Grayish white with purple tips. Corolla colour: Lime green per Hoya Telegraph.
ALSO IN THE SAME ISSUE OF HOYA TELEGRAPH
Hoya vanuatuensis: This appears to me to be as labeled but Ms. Nyhuus didn’t tell the complete story (probably because she didn’t know it). In a paragraph titled “Additional information: she said, Hoya vanuatuensis circulated as Hoya diptera for 30 years before it was published as Hoya vanuatuensis. I have copies of all of Ted Green’s catalogs during that 30 year period but no time for going back and counting. That number may be correct but I suspect not. I know that for at least 10 plus years, Mr. Green sold this same species labeled Hoya chlorantha. My telling him that he’d sold me a mislabeled almost started WW-3. He was 100% convinced that it was Hoya chlorantha. I was demanding a refund but never got one. Even when I sent him a copy of the original, illustrated publication, he didn’t back down. He said, “If it isn’t Hoya chlorantha, it ought to be.“ Once in print, even if only in a dealer’s catalog, it never goes away. I became aware of that when visiting a relative recently (one who surprised me by having a nice collection of hoyas as I hadn’t been aware that she knew what a hoya is, until that day). Her plant was labeled Hoya chlorantha.
As noted, I never bought that identity so I
labeled my plant (and distributed it far and wide) as Hoya sp. NH-1. The NH