Hosta 'Fortunei Albopicta'

A large size (23 inches high by 45 inches wide) hosta that has green leaves that are yellow in the center early in the season. Pale lavender flowers with darker streaks are borne on scapes up to 36 inches tall. It changes to an all green leaf as the season progresses into summer followed by a few viable seeds.

Until Schmid (1991) changed the status of this plant from a species to a cultivar, it had been known as Hosta fortunei 'Albo-picta'. It had been registered under that name in 1987 by The American Hosta Society.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), this cultivar "...possibly the same as Funkia aurea maculata, which was introduced by Philip Franz von Sieblod's nursery in 1874...It has been far surpassed by hundreds, if not thousands, of newer hosta cultivars in some respects; however, it still makes a great general purpose landscaping plant and has value as a breeding plant."

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Natural sport of H. 'Fortunei'...Variegation is maintained for longer if grown in light shade in a cooler climate...At its best soon after the leaves unfurl. By the end of the season the leaf blade is a dull two-tone green."

This cultivar has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in the UK.

This plant may have been sold at one time as Mackwoods No. 9.

An article about leaf color change by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1991 Vol. 22 No. 1) cites an extract from The Genus Hosta by W. George Schmid on seasonal changes in hosta leaf colors:
Viridescence Emerging with yellow or whitish color that ultimately become increasingly green. An example is H. 'Fortunei Albopicta' whose green-bordered leaves have a beautiful, bright yellow-colored center in the spring that turns to green by midseason.
Partial Viridescence Emerging with yellow or whitish color that turns to chartreuse (yellowish green), sometimes a dark chartreuse. One example is H. 'Kabitan'; two others are 'Golden Scepter'...and the center leaf coloring of 'Golden Tiara'.
Lutescence Emerging green or chartreuse and turning yellow or whitish yellow. The coloring of leaf centers of 'Gold Standard'. an example.
Albescence Yellow, yellowish green or green areas that turn to near white. Examples are the center leaf coloring of 'Janet'...and the margins of 'Antioch'...and H. ventricosa 'Aureomarginata'.

In an article in The Hosta Journal (2001 Vol. 32 No. 1), Tom Micheletti, former President of The American Hosta Society took on the task of listing the "Classic Hosta Cultivars" through the year 2003. He decided to divide these into categories including: Green, Blue, Yellow (Gold, White-Margined, Yellow-Margined, White Medio-Variegated and Yellow Medio-Variegated.

Admittedly, some of these white-centered beauties are difficult to get established and grown to a respectable size, but experimentation with varying light condition can locate a spot in the garden where these plants will flourish.

Classic White Medio-Margined Hostas
  1. H. 'Calypso' is a small plant which nicely displays pointed leaves with white centers.
  2. H. 'Cherry Berry' has the crowning glory of pale lavender flowers atop cherry red stems.
  3. H. 'Fortunei Albopicta' has leaves that may turn green as summer progresses. This is a staple in many older landscapes.
  4. H. 'Geisha' is a plant that is easily recognized in the garden.
  5. H. 'Great Expectations', some will say, is inappropriately named. The expectations are a disappointment because it is difficult to grow well. Just experience the beauty of a well-grown specimen as seen in many gardens, and it will become apparent that the expectations of this beauty are worth experimenting with.
  1. H. 'Masquerade' is a diminutive cultivar that grows well.
  2. H. 'Night before Christmas' is an improvement from its parent H. 'White Christmas' from which it sported. Both cultivars are outstanding when grown well.
  3. H. 'Sea Thunder' is another of Mildred Seaver's beautiful and distinctive plants.
  4. H. 'Spilt Milk', while not exactly white-centered, has the white streaking that is unequaled in any other hosta.
  5. H. 'Undulata Univittata', if introduced today would be all the rage, with curled leaves and white centers. Just because Grandma grew it, doesn't mean it is not a standout.
  6. H. 'Whirlwind' can be best described by the word "outstanding!"

This is quite an extensive list of distinctive cultivars. Many have been popular either with gardeners, landscapers and collectors for over 25 years...Their timeless beauty is why they are still kicking after all these years.

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