With zero knowledge of botany, but curious enough to do some research of what I observe, I would like to know the reason for this young sprout in the lower part of a 2 m long Hoya carnosa. I did not find this phenomenon after looking for it on the Internet.




It exhibits a different kind (shape, color, thickness, consistency...) of leaves, thinner and clearer stem, suction cups ... I've read about foliar heterophilia, sports, ... but these phenomena don't seem to explain what I observe. I've also thought about parasitic plants. Could you provide some insight into this?

EDITED (after digging a bit): The roots are quite tangled, so it is difficult to identify if the wooden stem the sprout comes from is connected to the Hoya stems. If not, the creeper has managed to keep idle for ~5 years with no visible green parts.

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    $\begingroup$ That's a creeper of some sort (looks like Vitaceae family.) It cannot sprout naturally from your Hoya. Viruses and chance mutations can change some aspects (e.g. gall or coloration of leaves). Mutations are called sports, as you mentioned. But nothing can turn a Hoya into a creeper. If I could examine the source carefully, I could tell you more, but the sprout probably came from the soil the hoya is planted in, or found purchase in part of the hoya (this is unlikely, as it would reach a limit of nutrients and die.) "Like produces like" in seed and within the plant itself. $\endgroup$ Oct 30, 2021 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse I'm not sure what you mean by "the source". The sprout is inserted in the wood, which should be Hoya wood. And there seems to be no direct connection to the soil at that point, besides two thin "threads" that just fall on it. I added a 4th photo. $\endgroup$
    – Andrestand
    Nov 1, 2021 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ As I said, this cannot occur "naturally", i.e. the hoya cannot have given rise to the creeper. And, again, as I said, I would need to examine it more closely to determine what's going on here, and maybe a dissection would be in order. Wat you may be proposing requires part of the hoya to completely change its genetics, which it cannot do. $\endgroup$ Nov 2, 2021 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ I guess the most probable reason for this is... the wooden part was already a creeper, which has been idle for at least 5 years. $\endgroup$
    – Andrestand
    Nov 2, 2021 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, looks like a completely different plant rooted in approx the same location as your Hoya. I don't think Hoya stem will ever look like that brown one. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Nov 12, 2021 at 2:22


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