H. sieboldiana 'Frances Williams'

This large size (26 inches high or more) cultivar was registered by Connie Williams, the daughter of Frances Williams of Massachusetts in 1986. It was "discovered" in a Connecticut nursery in 1936 and is considered a sport of H. sieboldiana 'Elegans'. This cultivar was once known as H. sieblodiana 'Aureomarginata' before being renamed.

The leaves have thick substance, are heavily corrugated, have a deeply lobed base and a distinct tip. It bears large clusters of near white flowers from mid-June into July. Unfortunately, this cultivar is susceptible to spring desiccation burn (see below).

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), this cultivar "...is named for the most influential person in the modern history of hostas. Her correspondence with other collectors, hybridizers, and botanists from the 1930s until her death in 1969 fanned the flames of interest in hostas and let to the formation of The American Hosta Society. She also developed some of the first hosta cultivars including 'Green Piecrust', 'Louisa', 'Sweet Susan' and 'Frances Williams'."

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Site in light to moderate shade to prevent the leaf edges from scorching, but they will scorch in the warmest climates even in full shade. Impressive in a large container but needs dividing every three years...Slow to establish but nonetheless among the most popular hosta ever introduced. Breeding whit this cultivar often produces streaked offspring."

This cultivar has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in the UK. It was the Winner of the 1986 Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Hosta Award.

It may have been sold at one time as Mackwoods No. 19.


Over the decades, several cultivars that are very similar (but different) to H. sieboldiana' Frances Williams' have been introduced including:

  1. H. 'Abiqua Moonbeam'
  2. H. 'Alvatine Taylor'
  3. H. 'Bristol Frances Williams'
  4. H. 'Gilt Edge'
  5. H. 'Golden Circles'
  6. H. 'Incredible'
  7. H. 'Olive Bailey Langdon'
  8. H. 'Northern Star'
  1. H. 'Samuri'
  2. H. 'Soldier Boy'
  3. H. 'Squash Edge'
  4. H. 'Standing Ovation'
  5. H. 'Tyler's Treasure'
  6. H. 'Wagon Wheels'
  7. H. 'Zager's Pride'
  1. H. 'Aurora Borealis'
  2. H. 'Broadway Frances'
  3. H. 'Chippewa'
  4. H. 'Du Page Delight'
  5. H. 'Exotic Frances Williams'
  6. H. 'Forever Frances'
  7. H. 'Goddess Sunburst'
  8. H. 'Golden Circles'
  9. H. 'Golden Sunburst'
  10. H. 'Holly's Green and Gold'
  11. H. 'Kingwood Center'
  1. H. 'Kiwi Blue Sunrise'
  2. H. 'Linda Sue'
  3. H. 'Maple Leaf'
  4. H. 'New Born'
  5. H. 'Northern Star'
  6. H. 'Olive Bailey Langdon'
  7. H. 'Queen of Islip'
  8. H. 'Sara's Sensation'
  9. H. 'Sunlight'
  10. H. 'Susan-Elizabeth'
  11. H. 'Time Tunnel'
  1. H. 'Blue Bayou'
  2. H. 'Blue Lace'
  3. H. 'Blue Saucers'
  4. H. 'Blueberry Muffin'
  5. H. 'Bold Edger'
  6. H. 'Breeder's Choice'
  7. H. 'Buttercup'
  8. H. 'Cascades'
  9. H. 'Celebrity'
  10. H. 'Christmas Tree'
  11. H. 'Columbus Circle'
  12. H. 'Dorothy Benedict'
  13. H. 'Eleanor J. Reath'
  14. H. 'Formal Attire'
  15. H. 'Foxy Doxy'
  16. H. 'Frances Williams Baby'
  17. H. 'Frances Williams Special'
  18. H. 'Fringe Benefits'
  19. H. 'Galaxy'
  20. H. 'Gentle Giant'
  21. H. 'Golden Nugget'
  22. H. 'Great Lakes'
  23. H. 'Green Formal'
  24. H. 'Green Saucers'
  25. H. 'Helen Doriot'
  1. H. 'Hoarfrost'
  2. H. 'Huron Blue'
  3. H. 'Huron Gold'
  4. H. 'Joybells'
  5. H. 'Julie Morss'
  6. H. 'Maui Buttercup'
  7. H. 'Maui Yellow Kitten'
  8. H. 'Mildred Seaver'
  9. H. 'Old Hump Back'
  10. H. 'Pin Stripe'
  11. H. 'Pin Stripe Sister'
  12. H. 'Polly Bishop'
  13. H. 'Queen of Islip'
  14. H. 'Quilted Skies'
  15. H. 'Robert Frost'
  16. H. 'Roscoe'
  17. H. 'Samuari'
  18. H. 'Sea Blue'
  19. H. 'Sea Foam'
  20. H. 'Silver Award'
  21. H. 'Smokerise Frosted Vase'
  22. H. 'Solar Flare'
  23. H. 'Stormy Seas'
  24. H. 'Top Banana'
  25. H. 'William Lachman'

Large, blue-green hostas with a gold/yellow marginal variegation such as H. 'Frances Williams', a medial (center) variegation like H. 'Brother Stefan' or yellow/gold leaf H. seiboldiana related cultivars such as H. 'Golden Sunburst' can make very attractive statements in the garden. Unfortunately, some of this type of hosta suffer from a physiological disorder called "spring desiccation burn".

For some reason, these plants often sustain discoloration and damage to the gold/yellow variegated margin or center of the leaf. Although this does not kill the plant, it does make it unattractive looking later in the season.

We have accumulated sample lists of similar size and color cultivars noted as being Resistant or Susceptible to spring desiccation burn.


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