This seedling of
sieboldii is a non-registered plant from
Frances Williams of Massachusetts.
It is a medium size hosta which stands 11 inches high and about 25 inches wide. The leaves
have a narrow elliptic form and thin substance. Bright purple
flowers bloom in late July followed by viable seeds.
The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "...ranks as one of the most
significant hostas ever developed. Early hosta hybridizers used
it and its seedlings extensively in their breeding efforts to
produce thousands of variegated seedlings."
The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by
Grenfell (2009) states: "It is prone to throw streaked sports. This was the
first streaked hosta to be introduced and is now
among the best-known breeding plants. Sets seed
readily...Extremely unstable variegation produces
leaves which can be streaked and mottled. The dark
purple anthers contrast well with the palest
An article by
Bob Solberg in
Hosta Journal (1994 Vol. 25 No. 2) states that "Frances
Williams' larger contribution to hosta hybridizing, however, was
a plant that probably never got a single vote on the
Popularity Poll. It is not even an attractive plant, and if
it showed up now in any hybridizer's seedling patch, it probably
would not last a season. It has few flowers, floppy scapes, and
no substance...The hosta is 'Beatrice', an ugly plant with a few
streaks in the leaves. It was found under a clump of H.
sieboldii...and is the mother of almost every variegated
hosta created in the past twenty-five years. It gives a very
high percentage of variegated seedlings, something unheard of
before its existence.
William and Eleanor Lachman crossed the better blues of
with their own line of variegated 'Beatrice' and 'Flamboyant'
hybrids to yield a large group of blue hostas with cream to
white variegation - unlike any previously introduced: 'Cherub'...and
registered in 1989 are two examples of this breakthrough. Some
may also consider the Lachman's earlier introductions of 'Carnival'
and 'El Capitan' as
breakthroughs for their substance and bright gold edges,
although 'Galaxy', their
streaked sibling, is of more value to hybridizers. All have 'Beatrice'
and some 'Tokudama' in
An article by Bill Meyer in
Hosta Journal (2003 Vol. 34 No. 1) states that, "Because
Frances Williams' discovery of 'Beatrice', the first known streaked plant,
H. sieboldii became the basis for early hosta breeding by Paul Aden,
and the Lachmans...The primary positive traits 'Beatrice' has contributed are
variegation, heavy seed set (including very good seed set into later
generations), easy combination with other species and hybrids, strong and rapid
growth, red coloring in the petioles and rapid formation of divisions. Negative
traits include poor substance, ordinary and common appearance, and strong
resistance to blue color and
lutescent yellow color."