Hosta 'Blue Ice'
 

Registered in 1987 by Dr. Ralph (Herb) Benedict of Michigan as a hybrid of H. 'Dorset Blue' × H. 'Blue Moon'. It forms a small size (8 inches high) mound of deep blue foliage that is heavily corrugated, cupped and has thick substance. Very pale lavender flowers bloom in August.

The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), says that this plant falls into a category of "cultivars that exhibit many Tardiana traits but are not a part of Eric Smith's original group."

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "It stands as the first thick-substanced, blue-leaved hosta in the small size category of any note. Unfortunately, it has an extremely slow growth rate, taking many years (ten or more) to reach my listed sizes."

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Very slow to increase so worth exposing to morning sun as a young plant to boost its vigor even though it will temporarily lose its superb leaf color...Good in containers."

The Book of Little Hostas by Kathy and Michael Shadrack (2010) says: "The exceptional blue leaf color can be maintained only by growing this plant out of direct sunlight. The growth rate makes it ideal for the trough and tray."

Similar cultivars include H. 'Baby Blue Eyes', H. 'Blue Beard', H. 'Blue Melody', H. 'Blue Moon', H. 'Cool Blue', H. 'Hebe Blue' and H. 'Winsome Blue'.



The Hosta Journal (1993 Vol. 24 No. 2) contained an article by Dr Bob Olson regarding a visit he and others made to the garden of Dr Ralph (Herb) Benedict. "We spent the afternoon looking at the end result of his marvelous hybridization scheme. Dr. Benedict would recite the perfect logic by which such crosses were conceived and executed. Tardianas to the F-6 generation were created by crossing the most fertile of one hundred 'Dorset Blue's with their most fertile offspring. He ended up creating more new Tardianas than Eric Smith had done. (Smith was thwarted at the F-3 generation when he ran into relatively sterile plants.) The blues Dr. Benedict chose to name are all rather small and very blue indeed. In order of decreasing size: 'Blue Jay', 'Blue Ice', 'Blue Chip', and the smallest of the lot 'Blue Urchin'...Somehow in his crosses he came up with a pure Tardiana hybrid which is streaked and splashed - and give variegated seedlings (often fifty percent or more)...he produced a 'Dorothy Benedict'-like-Tardiana, 'Dorset Clown'. The possibilities of this plant ignited our imaginations: can you envision a whole series of variegated Tardiana offspring?"






 
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