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Hoya obscura

Family Name: Apocynaceae
Semi-Shade Moderate Water Hanging Basket Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Foliage Climber, Vine and Liana Epiphyte


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana, Epiphyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Philippines and Borneo (Kalimantan and Sabah).
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is an epiphyte with glabrous and branching stems, climbs up to 2 m long.
Foliage The leaves are elliptic to obovate, measuring about 4 - 7 cm x 3 - 4 cm, thick with pinnate venation, and has round petiole. The leaf blade has mid-vein and lateral veins cream to yellow. The leaves turn red when exposed to sunlight.
Flowers Flowers are borne in clusters of 4 - 5 cm in diameter, with each cluster consisting of 20 - 30 flowers. The flowers have strong spicy fragrance at night. Flowers are pink or cream, pubescent.
Fruits Fruits are linear-shaped, measuring 8 cm long.
Habitat Found in riverine forest and mixed hill dipterocarp forests.
Similar Similar to Hoya nabawanensis, but H. obscura is free-flowering and has fragrance compared to H. nabawanensis which has little to no fragrance, and corolla lobes are almost smooth.
Etymology The genus Hoya means wax flower. The specific epithet obscura means obscure, not clearly known about, requires further taxonomic and studies.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Easy to Grow
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Hanging Basket
Thematic Landscaping Fragrant / Aromatherapy Garden
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

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Pest(s) Sucking Insects
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Remarks Leaves attain reddish tinge when exposed to very bright light or direct sunlight

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, Pink
Flower Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Stellate / Star-shaped
Inflorescence Type Umbel
Flowering Period Free-Flowering, After Rain
Flowering Opening Time Time-Independent
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flower Colour(s) Remarks Color of infloresence appears to be dependent on exposure to bright light during the course of development - in cultivated specimens, growers have observed that flowers that developed in full/ deep shade are dull pink, whereas those that developed in bright light/ exposed to some direct sunlight are cream or yellowish in color.

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 30866
Species ID 5236
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: 13 September 2021.