Wax Plant, a name given to climbing greenhouse shrubs of the genus Hoy a (named in honor of Thomas Hoy, a distinguished English gardener of the early part of this century), of the milkweed family (asclepiadaceoe), and natives of various parts of the East Indies.

The plants have twining stems which throw out aerial rootlets, generally thick and fleshy opposite leaves, and flowers in dense umbels; the corolla is wheel-shaped, five-lobed, the upper surface covered with minute papillae; in the centre is a crown composed of five thick appendages to the stamens and presenting the form of a star; the pollen is in masses as in the milkweeds. The most common wax plant is H. carnosa, the first species introduced; its flowers are flesh-colored, sometimes nearly white, and have a wax-like appearance, which with their very regular shape makes them closely resemble artificial flowers. About a dozen species are cultivated, among which are those with crimson, brownish, and yellow flowers. They take root readily, are of easy cultivation where there is sufficient sun and heat, and are used to train to the rafters or around the pillars of stoves or hothouses. The common species is one of the few stove plants that do well in window culture, its fleshy leaves resisting the drying effects of a furnace-heated atmosphere.

The plants do not require much water, except when growing; the short flowering stems should not be cut away when the flowers fall, as they produce new clusters for several years in succession.

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa).

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa).