Thursday, October 29, 2015

Flowers of Hoya diversifolia

I have not been taking photos lately. My weekends are always so short and always lacking in time. I arrive home normally after lunch from the big city where i stay weekdays, and at 3 or 4pm Sunday i leave home again to be back to the cement jungle and to the 5th Floor of the condominium where i live. Most of the time i stay late at night doing garden chores and wake up early direct to the hoya garden. I am already there even before having coffee and breakfast. Hoyas, i confess, are getting most of my time. It entails a lot of work, i am tired but i enjoy it. My hands got dirty, my legs ache, my eyes got so overworked, but still i love them.

Photography now takes second place. Butterflies, lots of insects and spiders roam around, but i seem oblivious of them. Oh how i miss photographing those butterflies. When they enter the hoya garden, then i somehow can take their photos. But that is not often, so i lack butterfly photos this year. Again, this seems hard work, but i enjoy it.

Hoya diversifolia flowers in an umbel. It was just washed with strong rain, so the usually oozing nectar is not seen now. In a few hours there will be nectar again.

This Hoya diversifolia is planted about 3 years ago when i got disappointed in seeing a supposed-to-be a hoya sanctuary in a resort. After returning to our place i immediately planted this to climb our lanzones tree in front of the house. This bottom parts of the hoya are exposed to the sun, those leaves get so yellow and wilted during the dry season. It is the rainy season so the leaves resurrect and get a bit greener. It doesn't receive watering at all.

This NE part of the canopy shows a lot of consecutive peduncles on the vines.  I was able to take direct level photos by climbing our rooftop. It is nice to look at long strings of blooming umbels.

 Branches that tend to drop from the branches produce lots of blooming umbels too.

 This phase of the 2 adjoining lanzones trees fronts the house, and the vines already transfered to the 2nd lanzones tree at the left.  A few lanzones fruit bunches are starting to ripen. This year it is not laden with more fruits unlike last year. The lanzones tree is not fertilized so it gives biennial fruiting.

 the same portion of the trees at wider angle

 this photo was taken during the typhoon showing the branches moving with the wind

 a migrating vine with long growth shows consecutive blooming peduncles

another nook with lots of blooms

The hoya vines already reached the canopy of one side, stems still 
conquering more portions of the tree. It is amazing how prolific this 
hoya is in our country. I guess that is because it is native here and needs 
no acclimatization to bloom fully.

Monday, October 19, 2015

For the Memes

I would like to show you some flowers found in my garden in the province this time of the year. They are mostly around during the wet season. I posted them for joining most of the memes. They are all shots this October, when we are entering the colder part of our weather. As most countries enter the Winter we get some temperature spillage from them, giving us the most comfortable in terms of temperatures.

This is the end of our rainy season, but that doesn't mean we are free from strong typhoons, especially now that our climate is trully changing for the worst. Today a very strong typhoon just wrecked havoc in the northern part of Luzon, with a lot of areas suffering from floods, thousands of families rescued from their water-laden homes, some lives sacrificed. I was in the province last weekend with fortunately weaker winds. I came back to Manila last Sunday night (last night). We in Metro Manila got only Signal No. 2, which also gave lots of water/flooding, causing closure of classes in all levels. My plants outside the 5th Floor Window are now in quarantine inside the room, as the winds might still blow them away.

 Jasminum sambac gives wonderful scent in the garden

 a hoya flower 

Hoya buotii purple corona inner lobes for Ruby Tuesday 

Hoya ilagiorum for Ruby Tuesday

a bitter gourd leaf, Momordica charantia

a butterfly on Duranta repens, its favorite nectar plant in my garden

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hoyas in October 2015

I have been documenting my blooming hoya species every month. I just go home on weekends, so i record whatever the conditions of the blooms by then.  Sometimes they are already falling especially those which opened early in the week. This documetation will eventually help me plot the species blooming months, as well as those which bloom continuously. Somehow, it will also give me information of the effects of the rainy season or the dry season, which translates to identify the species needing higher humidity to induce blooming.

My other sister who lives in another house a few meters from us,  apparently has different conditions as humidity and shading. I already observed that some species readily flowers with her than in our own garden. Here are some shots that i took early this October.

 Hoya imperialis

 Hoya imperialis

 Hoya imperialis

 Hoya buotii (purple)

 Hoya buotii (yellow)

Hoya pubicorolla ssp.anthracina (formerly Hoya pubicalyx 'Black Dragon')

  Hoya pubicalyx

Monday, October 5, 2015

Insects on Hoyas 3

Part 3

Ant and Spiders

When i started my hoya collection and garden, i didn't have any idea of what insects or animal visitors come to the hoyas. I just read that moths visit them because the hoyas bloom at night, so nocturnal insects are expected. I confess that i haven't listed many moths, not because they are lacking but because i don't normally go there at night. Moreover, moths normally fly away when hit by flashlight. 

During the day it is normal to see the day insects because i usually stay with the hoyas. A lot of chores get my full attention for them on weekends i am at home. Hoyas are mostly vines, so they cling to each other while growing. It is also their habit to cling not to their own stems but to the other stem or twigs next to it. Probably that is the outcome of small space. 

With camera on the neck, the creatures on the hoyas somehow distract my chores, but they are also very informative in caring for hoyas. 

A lot of ants are common sights with the stems and blooms. Many species either visit them or just make the blooms its home. They are definitely permanent residents of the hoya community. In the above photo, those black small ants are sucking the nectar of this Hoya obscura.

The ants above and below can be of the same species. They obviously get food from the hoya community, although i am not sure of what. They are not often seen on blooms but dwell on leaves and stems. They are one of the bigger ants seen in my collection.

This is a big black ant. They are not often seen in blooms but on stems and on the ground. I guess this time they realized it is better to stay on the blooms as a lot of sweet blends can be suck on those. I tried reapeatedly to disturb and shoo it away, but it kept on coming back.

There is a lot of ants, but there is a lot of spiders too. Spiders are more obvious to me because of the webs and they normally brought mess that stick to my hands and hair. I don't drive them away as i know they kill insects that might be harmful to my plants. The above spider is only maybe less than half a centimeter. I don't often find this reddish-brown spider among the blooms.

This white crab spider (Misumena sp.; Thomisidae) is the most common resident of the hoya community. They mostly hid inside the hoya umbels. They are known as ambush spiders, just waiting for their food to be near, however i haven't seen them yet eating insects of prey. 

 They are not selective of hoya species, every umbel has a resident white spider. They are also persistent, no matter what i do to drive them away, they just cling on their spider silks and drop to the ground to scape. I am sure they will climb again when the intruder me goes away. The above is on Hoya celata bloom.

Photo above is on one of the biggest hoya blooms, Hoya imperialis

The above spider is also common in the hoya community. At the moment i still don't know its name.

This spider web is just a small one, about just half a foot in diameter. The resident is very small and hiding in that seemingly dry leaf decoy at the center. At the moment it hasn't caught its food yet.

There are other spider species looming in my hoya garden. However, i haven't fully documented them. One of these days, i have to shelve my chores for the hoyas and do actual insect documentation. There are ongoing drama enfolding also in this community. I have only a few sub-drama recorded yet. That will be for succeeding posts. Pleas tune in.