Hosta ‘El Niño’

This is a medium size (20 inches high by 30 inches wide), blue-green, Tardiana-type hosta with a cream margin and lavender flowers. It is an introduction from a Dutch nursery and registered by Piet Warmerdam of the Netherlands in 2003 as a hybrid of H. 'Halcyon'. 'El Nino' was granted a U.S. patent in 2004.

This cultivar has smooth textured foliage with thick substance. It bears lavender flowers from late July into mid-August but is sterile and does not set seeds.

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Good in containers or at the edge of light woodland. Ideal where pure white variegation is required...The attractive variegated margin widens considerably over the years."

El Niño is an irregularly occurring weather event that originates in the equatorial regions of the Pacific Ocean. It affects the global climate and disrupts normal weather patterns, which can lead to intense storms in some places and droughts in others. El Niño is also a Spanish term referring to the Christ child.

An article about the Halcyon Group by Peter Cross in The HostaJournal (2004 Vol. 35 No.2) says, "H. 'El Niňo' was officially registered and a seedling of 'Halcyon'. However, its uncanny similarity to 'Halcyon' in habit and leaf shape strongly suggests that it is in fact a sport of 'Halcyon' ...Whether a seedling or a sport, 'El Niňo' is a beautiful hosta..."

An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2010 Vol. 41 No. 1) states that, "Curiously, the patent for 'El Nino' states it is a "hybrid of 'Halcyon' × a selection of H. 'Tardiflora'...Hosta authorities agree that most likely 'El Nino'is not a seedling of 'Halcyon', but a sport of 'Halcyon' found in a tissue-cultured batch in the Netherlands."


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. BLUE DEW, H. 'El Niño', H. 'First Frost', H. FROSTY RIBBONS, H. 'MonLisa', H. 'Sleeping Beauty', H. 'Sleeping Star' and H. 'Valley's Glacier'.

United States Patent: PP14632  (2004)

Abstract: A distinct cultivar of Hosta plant named ‘El Nino’, characterized by its relatively compact plant habit; bluish green and white variegated leaves; freely flowering habit; and violet blue-colored flowers that are positioned above the foliage on erect scapes.


6 20.5
2009 #25
2010 #9
2011 #21
2012 #24
2013 #19
2014 #25


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