Hosta 'BERSUN'

According to the U.S. government, a new Hosta cultivar is an "invention". Therefore, it is eligible to receive a patent, just like Edison's electric light bulb. In the case of hostas and other plants, a patent means that for the next 20 years, nobody may propagate and sell this cultivar without providing compensation to the owner of the patent. This is a different process than registering a Hosta with The American Hosta Society.

The application for a patent must include a tremendous amount of information about the plant. Measurements of every conceivable part of the plant are given in metric terms. The color of all plant tissues are given in terms of representations on the Royal Horticultural Society Colour Chart (RHS).

Shown below is the extensive patent information for this cultivar which has a patent application but has not been granted a patent as it was listed on


The present invention relates to a new and distinct cultivar of Hosta, botanically known as Hosta fortunei marginata-alba and further known by the varietal name 'BERSUN'. This new variety is also sold under the trade name SUNDANCER (Breeder's Ref. No. H 90-46). The new variety was discovered in a selective breeding program by the Inventor, Leo Berbee, in Lisse, The Netherlands in 1990. The new variety is a sport selection from a Hosta fortunei marginata-alba. The new cultivar was selected from the progeny of this sport selection in a controlled environment by the inventor in Lisse, The Netherlands. These divisions were selected and propagated through rhizome divisions selecting for differences in growth habit and distinctive leaf color pattern.

Continued observation of the vegetative divisions resulting from asexual reproduction of clump divisions taken at Lisse, The Netherlands have confirmed that the distinguishing features of this new cultivar came true, remain stable and are retained through successive propagations.


Plants of the cultivar 'BERSUN' have not been observed under all possible environmental and cultural conditions. The phenotype may vary somewhat with variations in environment such as temperature, light intensity, length of day, irrigation amount and frequency, and/or fertilizer rate without, however, any variance in genotype.

The following traits have been repeatedly observed and are determined to be among the unique characteristics of 'BERSUN'. These characteristics distinguish 'BERSUN' as a new and distinct cultivar:

1. Relatively compact growth habit; and

2. Distinctive leaf color pattern with its medium green foliage highlighted by a soft chartreuse variegation that may whiten when exposed to heat.

Plants of the new Hosta can be compared to plants of the Hosta fortunei cultivar 'Francee' (unpatented). Compared to plants of the cultivar 'Francee’, the new Hosta is relatively more compact in its growth habit including shorter scapes with pale lavender flowers and foliage having a distinct color pattern including a soft chartreuse variegation and distinct edge coloring.


The invention is depicted in the accompanying colored photographs in which:

FIG. 1 shows the plant as a clump growing in a garden environment; and

FIG. 2 is a side-by-side comparison of the new Hosta on the left with the comparator 'Francee'.

The photographs depict the overall appearance of the new Hosta, showing the colors as true as it is reasonably possible to obtain in colored reproductions of this type. Colors in the photographs may differ slightly from the color values cited in the DETAILED BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION which more accurately describe the actual colors of the new Hosta.


The following detailed description sets forth characteristics of the new cultivar. The data which defines each characteristic was collected from asexual reproductions grown in an open greenhouse with irrigation provided by drip feeding in a hydroponic system, and carried out by the breeder at Clyde, Victoria, Australia, approximately 38 degrees, 9 minutes South latitude at 16 m elevation. The plant histories were taken on five plants of 'BERSUN' potted into 150 mm pots and four plants of 'Francee' potted into 200 mm pots.

In the following table of comparative features, color references are made to The Royal Horticultural Society of London Colour Chart, 1995 Edition. The color values were determined on plant material grown in an open greenhouse. The comparator description was taken from the Time-Life Encyclopaedia of Gardening.

  ‘BERSUN’ Francee'. htm">'Francee'
The Plant    
Plant Growth Rate Moderately vigorous Moderately vigorous
Length of Flowering Season Mid-December/mid-January through mid to late March (Australia)
Time of Flowering Mid-summer (southern Mid-summer (southern
Season hemisphere) hemisphere)
Density Moderate Moderate
Plant Shape Upright, irregularly rounded Upright, irregularly rounded
Growth Type Clumping Clumping
Mean Height (mm) 332 (13 inches) 392 (15.5 inches)
Mean Width (mm) 634 (25 inches) 554 (22 inches)
Color-Main 137B Darker than 137B
Color-Edge 150D 2D
Characteristics Petiolate Petiolate
Mean Length (mm) 188.4 195.4
Mean Width (mm) 78.24 93.08
Apex Pointed Pointed
Margin Undulation slight to medium Undulation slight to very slight
Texture Prominently veined Prominently veined
Shape Petiolate to broad lanceolate Petiolate to broad lanceolate
Size: Mean Length (mm) 228 227
Size: Mean Width 8.6 at mid-point (mm) 11.98 at mid-point
Color 143C 137C, edge 2D
Branching arrangement Non branching sometimes with a leaf part way up Non branching sometimes with one to two leaves
Surface texture Smooth Smooth
Mean Length (mm) 470 689.6
Mean stem diameter (mm) (just below inflorescence) 3.74 6.3
Length of flowering period Mid-December/mid-January through mid to late March
Shape Lily like Lily like
Mean Number of florets 12.2 22.8
Mean floret length (mm) 57.54 55.74
Mean flower head size (mm) 44.2 46.9
Lastingness of bloom 2 days 2 days
Fragrance of bloom very weak and spicy very weak
Profile Upper Flat Flat
Profile Lower Wedge Shaped Wedge Shaped
Color Midzone outside 85D 85C
Color Midzone inside 85D 85C
Color Margin inside 85D 85C
Flower bud
Shape Elongated thin to an ovate final ⅓ rd Elongated thin to an ovate final ⅓ rd
Mean Length (mm) (at time of sepal separation) 60.14 66.94
Mean width (mm) (at time of sepal separation) 13 11.6
Color 85A 85A
Petal Number
6 6
Mean length (mm) (as at separation) 21.7 20.92
Mean width (mm) 10.4 9.24
Arrangement from apex 3 inner, 3 outer arranged in opposition. Connected at approximately ⅓rd 3 inner, 3 outer arranged in opposition. Connected at approximately ⅓rd from apex
Mean width (mm) 2.38 2.38
color 85A 85A
prickles Nil Nil
Mean Length (mm) 7.18 11.6
Basal Spot Presence
Absent Absent
Filament color 17B 17C
Mean filament length (mm) 4.98 2.88
Anther color 145D 145C at base to 145D at top
Mean anther length (mm) (base to bend) 56.18 (top bends back towards base) 47 (top bent at right angle)
Mean style length (mm) 67.1 (bent at right angle at top) 57.3 (bent at right angle at top)
Style color 145D 145C
Seed vessel
size Small Small
Color 145B 144A
Fruit Presence 6 valved, loculicidal capsule 6 valved, loculicidal capsule


‘BERSUN' is primarily distinguished from plants of the Hosta cultivar 'Francee' and other hybrid cultivars of Hosta genus by its uniquely compact growth habit and distinctive leaf color pattern. 'BERSUN' is known as a vigorous perennial with a compact growth habit and appealing medium green foliage highlighted by soft chartreuse variegation that may brighten to white when exposed to heat. An abundance of pale lavender flowers having a light, spicy fragrance frequently appear about mid-season on scapes rising about 18.5 inches (470 mm).


RHS Colour Chart - The Royal Horticultural Society in the United Kingdom has produced a color tool that resembles a paint chart with over 920 samples. It is used by horticulturists around the world to identify colors of flowers, fruits and plant parts in order to bring a level of consistency. Each color has its own unique name along with a number and letter code.

Copyright© 2000 -