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Hoya carnosa (L.f.) R.Br.

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Common Name: Wax Plant, Wax Flower, Porcelain Flower
Semi Shade Little Water Butterfly Host Plant Suitable for Hanging Baskets Indoor Plant Fragrant Plant Ornamental Flowers Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial


Native Distribution India, South China

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous vine with a trailing growth habit.
Foliage Fleshy, glossy leaves are ovate with entire leaf margin. Leaf arrangement is opposite with leaves occuring in pairs.
Flowers Star-shaped flowers are white with a faint pink tint and have a smaller, white star-shaped centre which is red in the middle.
Fruits Small, dry fruits are known as pods.
Cultivation Plant in fertile, well-drained soil, like sandy loam and keep the soil moist. Flowers are produced on a leafless stem known as a spur. Do not prune the spur, because new blossoms will be produced by the same spur. This species grows well when slightly rootbound, so delay re-potting until the roots grow through the drainage holes. 
Etymology The genus "Hoya" was named after Thomas Hoy, an English gardener of the early 1800s.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant (Flowers), Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Easy to Grow, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Hanging Basket, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant
Usage Hazard - Cons Toxic Upon Ingestion
Usage Hazard - Cons Remarks Avoid contact with milky white sap as it may cause skin irritation in certain individuals. Keep plants away from children and pets as sap could be toxic.

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant (Leaves)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Little Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting, Air-Layering


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Leathery, Thick
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White, Red
Flower Texture(s) Waxy, Sticky

Image Repository



Master ID 115
Species ID 1411
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 19 April 2022.