This is a medium size (20 inches high by 30 inches wide),
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
The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by
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
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.
Similar cultivars include H. 'Aristocrat', H. 'First
Frost' and H. 'Great Escape'.
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 patented...as 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
An article by Warren I. Pollock in
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
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.
BLUE DEW, H. 'El
Niño', H. 'First
Frost', H. FROSTY
RIBBONS, H. 'MonLisa', H.
'Sleeping Beauty', H. 'Sleeping