Katherine is responsible for today’s entry:
A big thank you to sandy130@UBC Botanical Garden Forums for today’s image of Hoya curtisii. The accompanying text is from the original 1908 publication of the species in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Pt. 2, Nat. Hist. 74(2): 563. This text was contributed to the Biodiversity Heritage Library by the Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden.
Hoya curtisii is native to the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand. Among hoyas, this species has some of the smallest leaves. Hoya curtisii is a relatively slow growing hoya with yellowish-green flowers with red centers. Descriptions of its fragrance range from citrus-like to smelling initially of fresh grass then, with age, more melon-like. Often used as an ornamental plant, particularly in baskets as it does not “climb or twine”, plants of Hoya curtisii are tolerable to some drought, but not complete dryness.
The genus Hoya was named in honour of Thomas Hoy and comprises 200-300 species, which are commonly referred to as waxplants, waxvines, waxflowers, or hoyas. Studies at the University of Georgia found Hoya to be very capable of removing some indoor pollutants. Hoyas also exhibit Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) whereby plants reduce evapotranspiration by closing stomata in their leaves during the day, and collecting CO2 at night.
The book Medicinal Plants of Asia and the Pacific by Wiart (2006) provides insight to the traditional medicinal uses of some hoyas, including Hoya coriacea (used as treatment for asthma), Hoya coronaria (to induce vomiting, traditional use in Indonesia), and Hoya diversifolia (to ease the pain of rheumatism, used in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Malaysia). Methanolic extracts of Hoya diversifolia have also been shown to exhibit antinematodal activity.
Botany and mathematics resource link (added by Daniel): More on Fibonacci series today–a colleague had a question on branching patterns in saguaro cacti and conifers, which led him to find this neat project write-up he shared with me: The Secret of the Fibonacci Sequence in Trees, a Young Naturalist Award winner from the American Museum of Natural History.