Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

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

Frost tender, vigorous, stem-rooting, succulent, often epiphytic climber, with rigid, fleshy leaves, to 8cm long, and dense, convex umbels, to 6cm across, of up to 20 star-shaped, waxy, night-scented, pale pink flowers, to 1.5cm across, with red coronas, from spring to autumn.  To 6m or more.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to in Britain in 1802.  [PD].  ‘For a specimen of this very rare plant, a native of China, we are indebted to the honourable Mrs. Barrington, in whose collection at Mongewell, in Berkshire, it flowered in July last.  Linnaeus had seen only a small dried specimen, which had been fraudulently given by the Chinese as the plants producing the Gamboge.  Had he examined it in a living state it is probable he would not have referred it to the genus Asclepias, as it wants the hollow horned nectaries, and is very different in habit from the other species.  Perhaps it may form a new genus including Stapelia chinensis and cochinchinensis of Loureiro; but as we did not receive the plant from our draughtsman in a sufficiently perfect state to determine with certainty to what genus it really belongs, we have thought it best to continue the appellation given to it in the supplementum, and retained in Willdenow’s edition of the Species Plantarum.’  [BM t.788/1804].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.562/1843].

Hoya carnosa grows readily in the open in the Camden district with minimal winter frost protection.


Published Feb 23, 2010 - 05:09 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 02:50 PM

Figured are paired ovate leaves and umbel of star-shaped white flowers with red centre. Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.788, 1804.

Hoya carnosa (L.f.) R.Br. | BM t.788/1804 | BHL

Family Asclepiadaceae
Region of origin

Southern Asia

  • Asclepias carnosa L.f.
Common Name

Wax plant, Honey plant

Name in the Camden Park Record

Hoya carnosa 

Confidence level high