Hosta 'Gold Standard'

This fast growing classic hosta was registered by Pauline Banyai of Michigan in 1976. She found it in a group of Hosta 'Fortunei Hyacinthina' seedlings.  It has yellow medial (center) variegation with a green margin. It is a large size (22 inches high by 60 inches wide) plant with lavender, funnel shaped flowers on 42 inch scapes from mid-July into August. This is a 'Fortunei' type hosta.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "Based on sports alone, 'Gold Standard' could be thought of as the most significant hosta cultivar ever produced...its outstanding growth rate, seasonal color changes, and symmetrical mound habit make it an excellent subject for just about any situation. It also has great durability and good sun tolerance...Still, no hosta collection is complete without this cultivar. Unfortunately, many plants of 'Gold Standard' being mass-marketed are now infected with Hosta Virus X...Destroy any infected plant material."

From the Field Guide to Hostas by Mark Zilis (2014), "Around the year 2000, it became apparent that some nurseries had propagated material infected with hosta virus x (HVX). For a few years, diseased plants of 'Gold Standard' were widely used in the landscaping industry and sold at major chain stores to retail customers. The infection became so widespread that it nearly ruined the cultivar. Nowadays, most nurseries sell clean stock..."

       

This is one of an increasing number of cultivars which has been found to be susceptible to Hosta Virus X. As research continues, a greater number of cultivars are being reported where at least one plant has been confirmed to have been infected. Of course, this does NOT mean that you should not grow this hosta. Only that you should learn more about this potential problem and be on the look out for it in your garden and at the plant nursery.

A large collection of Pauline Banyai's original stock of 'Gold Standard' have been donated to Michigan State University's Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, Michigan and may be seen in the picture below.

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