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Wax Flower Vine – Hoya australis


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Hoya australis, commonly known as the Waxvine or Common waxflower, is one of the species in the genus Hoya. It is a vine found on rainforest margins and rocky areas, and occurs in eastern and northern Australia, from the Northern Territory though coastal Queensland from Cape York to northern New South Wales. It is a popular garden plant, noted for its fragrant flowers.

Hoya australis is an evergreen climbing vine which may reach 4?10 m. It has simple opposite glabrous (shiny) leaves 3?6 cm long and 2?5 cm wide. They are succulent (thick and fleshy) and elliptical or ovate in shape; leaves growing in sunnier positions are a more yellowish-green while those in shadier locales are dark green in colour. Flowering may occur at any time of year. The flowers appear in axillary umbellate clusters at the apex of 0.5?2.5 cm long peduncles. Each flower is 1.5?2.5 cm in diameter, with five thick, waxy, triangular petals, and white with each lobe marked red. They have a strong sweet scent and produce abundant nectar.

It serves as a food plant for the caterpillars of the Queensland butterfly the No-brand Crow (Euploea alcathoe), and the Common Australian Crow (E. core). Flowers are pollinated by the Southern Grass-dart (Ocybadistes walkeri).

In Australia, it is found from Grafton in Northern New South Wales northwards to Cape York in north Queensland. It grows on the edges of rainforest and in rocky exposed habitat.

It is a popular garden and houseplant in Australia, where it flowers best a well-lit position. It is often grown in containers and trained to grow on trellises on verandahs, fences and in glasshouses. It is a butterfly-attracting plant in the garden. It can be grown indoors provided it receives direct sunlight.

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