Hosta 'American Icon'

A sport of H. 'Choo Choo Train', this cultivar was registered by Hans Hansen and Shady Oaks Nursery of Minnesota in 2004 and granted a U.S. patent in 2005. The green foliage is heavily rippled and has a gold marginal variegation. It is a large size (22 inches high by 62 inches wide) plant that bears pale lavender flowers in July followed by viable seeds.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "Its heavily rippled character accentuates the contrast between the medium green center and gold margin."

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Good growth rate. A superb specimen plant...The leaf emerges golden yellow, the green center appears gradually after a few weeks."

The patent application lists the following as similar cultivars: "The closest comparison plant is 'Journey's End’, a sibling of 'American Icon’, which differs in having leaves with the reverse variegation pattern to 'American Icon’; yellow green centers and green margins. 'American Icon' can also be compared to 'Satisfaction' (not patented), a plant of similar stature and leaf variegation pattern. 'Satisfaction' is a chimeral mutation of golden foliaged 'Piedmont Gold' (not patented). 'Satisfaction' differs from 'American Icon' in having less ruffled leaf margins and by emerging earlier in the spring resulting in susceptibility to frost damage, particularly in the Southern regions of the U.S."

United States Patent: PP17441  (2007)

Abstract: A new cultivar of Hosta named ‘American Icon’, a sport of Hosta Choo Choo Train, that is characterized by its unique variegated foliage with green centers and yellow-green margins comprising about one third of the leaf area. ‘American Icon’ has a mounded plant habit of large broad leaves, a vigorous growth rate, and pale lavender flowers held above the foliage in early to mid summer.


An article by Warren I. Pollack in The Hosta Journal  (2020 Vol. 51 No. 1) titled Doppelgänger Hostas: Fancy Name for Look-alike Hostas, included a long list of hostas which various hostaphiles, published articles or other sources have indicated "look" the same. Some of these are, in fact, the same plant with two or more different names. Others are hostas that vary in some minor trait which is not immediately discernable to the casual observer such as seasonal color variations, bloom traits, ploidy, etc. So, as Warren mentions, hostaphiles may differ as to the plants listed but then, their opinions are based on visual observations and interpretations.

H. 'American Icon', H. '' and H. 'American Choo Choo'.


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