Some years ago, I was admiring a friend’s lovely garden, when I came across a real gem of a plant and was quite delighted to find it was flowering. It was not very big, and consequently only had a few clusters of dainty pink blooms, but they were simply exquisite. They were very near a window and could be seen easily from inside the house as they twined up the wooden frames.
It is a species that I have been keen to grow for many years, but as yet, have not found a plant to purchase (I suspect that plant nurseries don’t stock it because I live in the wrong climate). And as the plant was growing overseas, taking a cutting and bringing it home to propagate was sadly not an option.
So I had to be satisfied with admiring it and taking lots of photos!
It is called a Hoya or wax flower. Most Hoyas are climbers and this one was no exception. The genus originally grew in Eastern Asia, through down to Australia, which made it all the more ironic that I found this plant in a Southern African garden!
The flowers were absolutely beautiful – tiers of pale pink waxy petals, with a darker ‘star’ in the centre. But the most fascinating feature was that each flower had produced a large drop of nectar near the centre of each rosette. Obviously cleverly designed to attract insects and birds to pollinate the plants, it also makes it very attractive to people like me who love unusual flowers!
These nectar droplets are what came to mind when I read Ailsa’s Travel Challenge this week – Liquid. Perhaps you have a Hoya plant yourself, or have seen one somewhere. If so, you will certainly remember those ‘beautiful flowers in tears’. If you would like to read about other interpretations of this theme and see an incredible photo of a “witch’s cauldron” in New York Times Square, check out Ailsa’s website Where’s my backpack?