Where seen? These climbers with tough succulent leaves
and beautiful wax-like flowers are sometimes seen in our mangroves.
Here, they can sometimes drape thickly. According to Hsuan Keng, they
used to be common including H. coronaria "common near
the sea" at Serangoon, Changi, Kranji, Pulau Tekong, Ulu Berih;
H. diversifolia "often densely covering trees" in
Jurong, Chua Chu Kang, Kranji and Serangoon; H. verticillata (previously
known as H. parasitica or H. ridleyi) "often near
the sea" at Changi, Chua Chu Kang, Tuas, Krani and Pulau Tekong.
With the loss of our mangroves, however, these plants are now less
Features: Though not all Hoyas
are vines, those in our mangroves are climbing twining vines that
can be many metres long. Leaves (6-10cm) thick and succulent. Flowers
emerge in a ball-like cluster. Each flower star-shaped with 5 waxy
thick triangular petals, a smaller star-shaped structure in the centre.
Fruits are long (10-15cm) bean-like which split open when ripe to
release fluffy wind-dispersed seeds. A milky sap oozes out of cuts
in the plant.
uses: According to Burkill, uses include the latex to stimulate
digestion. According to Hugh Tan, the poisonous latex is used in Malaysia
to ease painful catfish stings, in hot baths to treat rheumatism and
to cure coughs and asthma.
Status and threats: Many of our
hoyas are listed in the Red List of threatened plants of Singapore.
The mangrove Hoya diversifolia is listed as 'Critically Endangered'.
Chu Kang, Apr 09
Park, Aug 11
Chek Jawa, May 03
wax plants on Singapore shores
- Hsuan Keng,
S.C. Chin and H. T. W. Tan. 1990, The
Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons.
Singapore University Press. 222 pp.
- Tan, Hugh
T.W. and T. Morgany. 2001. Growing
the Native Plants of Singapore. BP Science Centre Guidebook.
I. H., 1993. A
Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula.
3rd printing. Publication Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Malaysia,
Kuala Lumpur. Volume 1: 1-1240; volume 2: 1241-2444.