A new book titled “A Collection of Philippine Hoyas and their Culture” will be launched on August 17 at the Gancayco Hall at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.
The new book on this often-ignored ornamental plant is authored by Fernando B. Aurigue, senior science research specialist of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology.
The book contains the latest updates on Philippine hoyas which have remained a minor commercial ornamental although interest is fast becoming keen. Hoyas, by the way, are mostly air plants that are often found perched on trees in their native habitat. There are some, however, that are bush-like with upright or pendent stems. They are valued for their flowers with different colors, coming in globose or ball-shaped umbels.
The author started working on the book in 2007 when his research proposal on hoyas and other ornamental plants was approved by the old PCARRD. Nanding saw the need to come up with an updated book on the identification of available hoyas as well as how to culture them. That’s because a few local nursery people have discovered that many foreign gardening enthusiasts are interested in buying local hoya species. The problem then was the lack of references on the proper identification of the available plants.
In this new book, 54 indigenous and endemic species are featured in full color for easy identification. Indigenous, by the way, are native hoyas but which are also found in other countries. Endemic, on the other hand, are species that are found only in the Philippines.
It turns out that the Philippines is the center of hoya diversity in the world, meaning the country has the most number of indigenous and endemic species. The book has enumerated 22 indigenous species and 88 endemic species.
In an interview, Nanding revealed that 10 new endemic species have since been added to the list. This makes the number of endemic species to 98. This is not yet the end. Nanding expects that more new indigenous and endemic species will be discovered sooner or later. The good thing is that with the availability of molecular techniques in the identification of species, a more science-based revision of the Philippine hoyas would be forthcoming. He also hopes that more mutants and hybrids will be developed to add to the existing novelty and diversity for the greater appreciation of growers and collectors.
Aside from providing easy identification of the featured hoyas, the book also discusses breeding techniques that include cross pollination, artificial pollination and natural pollination. Also featured are seed extraction and germination, seedling transplanting, flower induction, potting and repotting, clonal propagation, and many other cultural practices.