This sport of H. 'Frances
Williams' with wider leaf margins was originated by
Rudolph and was registered in 1986 by
Inc. of Michigan
Forming a very large size mound of
corrugated foliage, this cultivar has dense clusters of near
white flowers from mid-June into July. It is susceptible to
spring desiccation burn (see below).
It is often mistaken for the original cultivar and,
The Hosta Handbook by Mark Zilis (2000), "...many plants labeled 'Frances Williams' may
actually be 'Aurora Borealis'..." and this cultivar has also been known as H. 'Chicago Frances
Williams' in the past.
is robust yellow marginated form of H.
sieboldiana. Grows larger than and is reportedly
not as prone to necrosis (i.e. spring desiccation)
as H. 'Frances Williams'. Other authors consider it
merely the mature form of the latter."
There is also a cultivar out of Canada with the
French name H. 'Aurore
An article by Alex
Hosta Journal (1995 Vol. 26 No. 2) was titled, "Hosta
'Frances Williams': A New Look at an Old Favorite". The main premise of the
piece was that over the long history of H. 'Frances Williams' which was
discovered in 1936, the plant sold by that name in recent decades is actually H.
'Aurora Borealis'. He claimed to have a clump of the original Williams' plant
which he named 'Bristol Frances Williams' to indicate that it is the one found
Williams in 1936 in Bristol, CT. The plant known as H. 'Aurora
Borealis' came from a hosta that
Chet Tompkins' mother, Cynthia received from
England in 1924 and later named by
Thelma Rudolph of Illinois."
An article about H. 'Aurora Borealis' by Warren I. Pollock in
Hosta Journal (1997 Vol. 28 No. 1) states that, "Most, if
not all, of the descriptions of this cultivar state it emerges from the ground
three weeks later than does 'Frances Williams'. This is incorrect.
It emerges perhaps three days later, if that. I am responsible for the
An article titled Too Many Lookalikes by
Bob Keller in
Hosta Journal (2010 Vol. 41 No. 2) states that, "There
are many registered 'Frances Williams' lookalikes including H. 'Aurora Borealis', H. 'Squash Edge', 'Holly's Green and Gold', 'Golden Circles' and
'Olive Bailey Langdon', as well as some unregistered ones."
An article by
Warren I. Pollack in
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.
Borealis', H. 'Fleeta
Brownell Woodruffe', H. 'Frances
Williams', H. 'Maple
Leaf', H. 'Olive
Bailey Langdon' and