Hosta 'Dorset Clown'

This seedling of H. 'Dorset Blue' was originated by Dr. Ralph (Herb) Benedict of Michigan in the early 1990's and registered by Ron Kuenster on his behalf in 2010. It is a small size (10 inches high by 16 inches wide) plant with streaked blue-green to dark green foliage that is somewhat unruly. Very pale lavender flowers bloom in July.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), this cultivar "...has been highly sought since it became known in the early 1990's. As a heavily variegated, small size Tardiana type cultivar, it can be used as a source of small, thick-substanced, variegated seedlings."

From the Field Guide to Hostas by Mark Zilis (2014), "...a hybridizer's dream."

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Slow growth rate...A much sought-after breeding plant."

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?"


The hosta shown above was labeled as H. 'Dorset Clown' but it does not fit the classic description of this cultivar. It is probably a reversion meaning that it lost all the streaked variegation.

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