Hoya seeds

mitzicos(11)July 13, 2011

Hi everyone,

I wonder to know why hoyas in Brazil never gives seeds!

I have a group on facebook The Hoya Club of Thailand and all the people post pictures of hoyas seeds. Here me and my friends never saw a single seed. My family has carnosa for more than 20 years and I never saw seeds.

Does anyone knows why? The polination is done by bees, ants and other insects common here!

Mitzi

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.facebook.com/groups/141785202510557?ap=1

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Oi Mitzi,

Some Hoyas grow a Seed pod, inside which there are seeds. Some seeds have been shared w/ me by friend who was an early poster here (Lesli/GA). I hear the seeds must be very fresh Mitzi or they'll be no good.

I'd originally tried Lesli's seeds from H. lacunosa which sprouted well & got 2-3" tall before they unfortunately dried out & were goners :( Eles eram lindinhos!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:18PM
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mdahms1979

I guess it depends on how specific the pollination relationship is between each species and it's pollinator. Many plants have a single specialized pollinator that they have developed an exclusive relationship with. I am not sure if Hoyas are this way but many must not be if there can be seed pods developing in places like Florida.
I think it is quite possible that you will find a seed pod in the future and that it's just something that does not happen as often as we would like.
I have tried to artificially pollinate using a very thin piece of wire and then a cat's whisker after reading that one of the growers a hybridizes of Stapeliads used cat's whiskers with success. You have to drag the little tool through the slot on the corona and hope to pull the pollina out so you can transfer it. Believe me it's not easy!

The link below explains Stapeliad pollination which is essentially the same although some stapeliads have a more complex floral structure. Still Hoyas share the lock and key type mechanism. Starting on a species with large flowers is recommended because the small flowered species are very difficult to work with. I have tried numerous times without success but it's still fun to try and you never know when you will be successful.

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Stapeliad pollination

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:27PM
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mitzicos(11)

Mike,

Thanks for your explanation but the seeds in Thailand is so often! Jack (Epiphytica) posted many pictures of the seeds.....

Mitzi

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=174838312577252&set=o.141785202510557&type=1&theater

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 2:46PM
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mdahms1979

Many of the Hoyas you see on the Epiphytica site are from Thailand so they can continue their plant/pollinators relationships. Removing a plant from it's habitat changes everything. Many plants can not reproduce outside of their habitat without the help of people and at the other end of the spectrum you get invasive plants that can reproduce easily in foreign places.
For all we know each different Hoya scent has evolved to attract a specific pollinators. Nectar is the lure or reward but the different scents Hoyas produce will be for attracting a pollinator. Beetles are attracted to certain scents while bees are attracted to another, colour is important for some insects while not for others. It is interesting to think about and I wonder if there is specific pollination accounts that have been recorded for Hoyas?

Mike

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 3:42PM
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greedygh0st

I agree this is interesting to think about. Thanks for taking the time to paint a picture of the relationship between plant and pollinator and how that is affected by exportation, even to a location with a similar climate. I too wonder how much information we could dig up on the subject.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 4:00PM
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cpawl(8)

I have a feeling that some of the hoyas are pollinated at night,by some sort of bug like a moth.This is why most of the hoyas are most fragrant late at night or early morning.Plus some of the pollinators might be specific to South East Asia.
This is just my 2 cents and could be totally off the mark.

Cindy

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 4:45PM
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mdahms1979

Cindy I think you are exactly right. The night fragrant orchids are often pollinated by moths and many have white flowers because in the darkness it is fragrance that matters and not flashy colours.
Plants that have developed these complex relationships are most at risk from habitat destruction and loss of pollinators from practices such as agricultural pesticide use. Think of how good grasses have it with the wind to do all this intimate work. Plants like orchids and Hoyas that have specialized pollen masses called pollina need much more help in transferring pollen than a gust of wind.
I will try and see if I can dig up some Hoya pollination info.

Mike

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 6:19PM
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mdahms1979

I was able to find some great info on several different websites.

This site discusses in detail the artificial fertilization of Hoyas. This is absolutely the most specific information on Hoya fertilization and breeding I have ever seen.

Hoya Pollination Agribusiness Philippines

This Wiki site on Hoya australis lists the pollinator under Ecology. In this case the pollinator the Southern Grass dart which is a small butterfly very much like our own skipper butterfly species.

Hoya australis on Wikipedia

This very interesting study explains that New World plants that belong to the Asclepidaceae are predominantly pollinated by butterflies where as Old World Asclepidaceae, which includes all Hoya species, are pollinated almost exclusively by moths. The order Hymenoptera which includes the ants, bees and wasps are responsible for most of the other pollination that occurs in the subtribe of Asclepidaceae that includes Hoyas. Page 7 shows the graph that breaks down the pollinators by the insect orders. I knew learning some of those insect orders because of my beetle collection would come in handy one day. lol
If you are interested in knowing the insect orders to help decipher the graph do a search for Insect Orders.
This is a great study and full of info although it is not necessarily broken down into Hoya specific info. Eliminating the other members of Old World Asclepiads is quite easy though because many use the scent of carrion to attract flies vs the sweet smell of most Hoya flowers. Interestingly a small number of Asclepiads are pollinated by beetles (Coleopetra) and true bugs (Hemiptera), this may explain those less than nice smelling Hoyas.

Asclepiad Pollination

The portion of Paul Shirley's Blog where he is discussing Hoya davidcummingii explains that most moth pollinated Hoya flowers have a large amount of white while the species in question (davidcummingii) has not been seen to be pollinated by moths.

Paul Shirley's Blog

This less useful for our purposes but still very interesting study discusses Hoya spartioides movement away from it's closest relatives which all offer liquid nectar to attract pollinators and towards a solid pollinator reward in an attempt to conserve water in a dryer environment.

Hoya spatioides Pollination Evolution

Hopefully I didn't just put everyone to sleep?

Mike

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 1:48AM
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mitzicos(11)

Hi,

Mike thank you very much for the precious information you gave and such a good explanation.

I remember that my mom has an orchid named vanilla, she had it for several years, more than 20, and this orchid never gave a single flower. When my mom was at hospital few days before passing away the orchid gave flowers, she didn't have the pleasure to see the flowers, neither have I, because I was at hospital with her, only my husband saw the flowers. But researching I found out that the pollinator of this orchid was bat, as we don't have bat (at least I think there is no bat around) I have no idea how she flowered. This Vanilla Orchid is very rare in Brazil!

Mitzi

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 6:21AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hey Mitzi,

Am surprised you have no bats in Sao Paulo, we had them in Rio. Fruit bats in particular, which fed on the fruit trees in front of our homes. Someone had killed one that was on their TV antenna, so I saw its corpse in the street the next day. As a little kid, I thought it was both gross & cool at the same time.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:45PM
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mitzicos(11)

Pg,

Probably we have, but I never saw!

At home in the city we have fruit bats, Ilived in apartment and one day long time ago, one got into my apartment! I had to call 911, LOL. Never will forget that.

Mitzi

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 2:48PM
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