Doctor grows 140 varieties of Hoya plants in Malappuram
Hoya is a beautiful garden plant which is popular all over the world. However, Hoya or wax plant is seen very rarely in Kerala. Very few varieties are found in the state. But a garden in Malappuram has about 140 varieties of Hoya plant.
Edappal native Dr M P Parvathi Devi is nurturing the garden of Hoya plants at her residence. She is working as a superintendent at Kottakkal Government Ayurveda Research Institute for Mental Diseases. Parvathi and her husband Dr Kirathamoorthy are taking care of the plants.
"Hoya plants usually creep into other plants. Its flowers look like they are made of wax, hence the name wax plant. Its colour and fragrance differs in each variety. Hoya is an Asian plant. Botanist Robert Brown named the plant after his friend Thomas Hoy. Only 40 varieties of Hoya plant is seen in India," Parvathi said.
In Thailand, there are exclusive gardens for Hoya. Also different varieties can be found in Philippines and Australia. Hoya Hindu rope found in Himalaya, Hoya Manipurensis from Manipur, Hoya Kanyakumariana from Kanyakumari and other varieties are growing in the garden, she added.
"The Hoya garden was developed after watching a YouTube channel of a Swedish garden lover two years ago. Then we inquired if the plant is available in Kerala. We bought some varieties from a nursery called Sahyadri Hoya Gardens in Kochi. The rest of the plants were collected from different places," the doctor said.
The price of Hoya plants ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 3500. The doctor ordered Hoya from Assam, Shillong and Kolkata, and also bought during trips to foreign countries. Now the collection includes 140 different varieties.
Dr K M Prabhukumar, a senior scientist at the National Botanical Research Institute in Lucknow, said that nurturing 140 varieties of Hoya in a garden is a great thing, because there are only 534 varieties of Hoya across the globe. The researchers can utilise the garden for studies, he said.