BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present Invention relates to a new and distinct
cultivar of Hosta plant, botanically known as Hosta
Tardiflora, and hereinafter referred to by the
cultivar name 'El Niño'.
The new Hosta originated from a cross-pollination in
1996 of the Hosta Tardiflora cultivar 'Halcyon'
not patented, as the female, or seed, parent with an
unidentified selection of Hosta Tardiflora, not
patented, as the male, or pollen, parent. The cultivar 'El Niño' was discovered and selected by the Inventor as a
single plant within the progeny of the stated
cross-pollination in a controlled environment in
Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
Asexual reproduction of the new cultivar since March,
1999, by divisions harvested in Noordwijk, The
Netherlands, has shown that the unique features of this
new Hosta are stable and reproduced true to type in
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Plants of the cultivar 'El Niño' have not been observed
under all possible environmental conditions. The
phenotype may vary somewhat with variations in
environment such as temperature and light intensity
without, however, any variance in genotype.
The following traits have been repeatedly observed and
are determined to be the unique characteristics of 'El Niño'. These characteristics in combination distinguish 'El Niño' as a new and distinct cultivar:
1. Relatively compact plant habit.
2. Bluish green and white variegated leaves.
3. Freely flowering habit.
4. Violet blue-colored flowers that are positioned above
the foliage on erect scapes.
Plants of the new Hosta can be compared to plants of the
female parent, the cultivar 'Halcyon' . Plants of the new Hosta differ primarily from plants of the cultivar
'Halcyon' in leaf coloration as plants of the cultivar
'Halcyon' have solid bluish green-colored leaves.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS
The accompanying colored photographs illustrate 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
accurately describe the actual colors of the new Hosta.
The photograph on the first sheet comprises a side
perspective view of a typical flowering plant of 'El Niño'.
The photograph at the top of the second sheet is a
close-up view of typical leaves of 'El Niño'.
The photograph at the bottom of the second sheet is a
close-up view of typical flowers of 'El Niño'.
DETAILED BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION
In the following description, color references are made
to The Royal Horticultural Society Colour Chart, 1995
Edition, except where general terms of ordinary
dictionary significance are used. Plants used for the
aforementioned photographs and following description
were about five years old and grown in an outdoor
nursery and under conditions which closely approximate
commercial production conditions during the summer in
Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
Botanical Classification: Hosta Tardiflora
cultivar 'El Niño'.
Female, or seed, parent: Hosta Tardiflora
cultivar 'Halcyon', not patented.
Male, or pollen, parent: Unidentified
selection of Hosta Tardiflora, not patented.
Time to initiate roots: About
Root description: Fleshy,
flowering plant; initially upright becoming outwardly
arching as leaves develop; mounded inverted triangle.
Moderate to freely clumping. Appropriate for two-liter
Crop time: After
rooting, about two years are required to produce
finished flowering plants in two-liter containers.
Plant height: About 50 cm (19.6 in.) .
Plant diameter: About
75 cm (29.5 in.) .
Foliage description: Leaves
basal, simple, generally symmetrical, and
long-persisting. Length: About 13 to 17 cm (6.7 in.) . Width: About
7 to 12 cm (4.7 in.) . Shape: Cordate. Apex: Apiculate. Base:
Cordate. Margin: Entire. Texture, upper and lower
surfaces: Glabrous, smooth; leathery. Luster, upper and
lower surfaces: Dull. Venation pattern: Pinnate. Petiole
length: About 20 to 25 cm (10 in.) . Color: Young and fully
expanded foliage, upper surface: Center, 133B overlain
with 188A; towards margins, 155D. Young and fully
expanded foliage, lower surface: Center, 188A; towards
margins, 155D. Petiole: Center, 191A; towards margins,
campanulate flowers with fused perianth arranged on
upright racemes. Flowering stems arise from leaf axils.
Typically about twelve flowering stems per plant.
Flowers not persistent.
Quantity of Flowers: About
twelve flowers per raceme.
Natural flowering season: Summer
in the Netherlands; flowering recurrent during this
Flower diameter: About
6 to 7 cm (2.8 in.) .
(depth): About 9 to 17 cm (6.7 in.) .
Three interior and three exterior tepals; fused. Tepal
length: About 4.5 cm (1.8 in.) . Tepal width: About 1.0 cm (0.4 in.) . Tepal
shape: Elongated. Tepal apex: Apiculate. Tepal margin:
Entire. Tepal texture, upper and lower surfaces: Smooth,
satiny; glabrous. Tepal color: When opening and fully
opened, upper surface: Centers, 85A; towards margins,
91C. When opening and fully opened, lower surface: 91C
Floral bracts: Quantity
per flower: One. Shape: Lanceolate. Apex: Acute. Margin:
Entire. Color: 146C; towards the margins, 76A.
About 30 to 45 cm (17.7 in.) . Aspect: Mostly upright. Texture:
Smooth; glabrous. Color: 189B.
Reproductive organs: Stamens:
Quantity per flower: About five. Stamen length: About 4.0 cm (1.6 in.) . Stamen color: 4D. Anther length: About 3 cm (1.2 in.) . Anther
color: 103B. Pollen color: 13A. Pistils: Quantity per
flower: One. Style length: About 5 cm (2 in.) . Style color: 4D.
Stigma color: 6B. Ovary color: Close to 145A.
Fruit/seed description: Fruit
and seed development has not been observed.
Disease/pest resistance: Plants of the new Hosta have
not been noted to be resistant to pathogens and pests
common to Hosta.
Weather tolerance: Plants of the new Hosta have been
observed to be tolerant to rain, wind and temperatures
from 0 to 35° C.
(Note from Mr PGC: H.
'Halcyon' is part of the
Tardiana Group of
hostas resulting from a cross of H.