Hosta 'Grand Slam'

This seedling of H. longipes latifolia was registered by Dr. Ralph (Herb) Benedict of Michigan and Hideko Gowen of Minnesota in 1990. It is a medium size (16 inches high) mound that has a heavy bloom on the underside of the leaf and purple/red dots on the leaf petioles. The dark purple flowers are bunched toward the top of the scape and bloom from mid-September into October.

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Grow at eye level for best effect. Moderate growth rate...Good pollen parent for leaf substance and shape."

An article about Fall Bloomers by Herb Benedict and Jim Wilkins in The Hosta Journal (1991 Vol. 22 No. 1) states that, "Here are some of the fall blooming plants we grow...(listed in the order of bloom times in Michigan).

1) H. kikutii A medium size plant densely flowering with white blooms. The flowers are equally arranged around the central axis of the raceme so that the bloom scapes resembles a bottle brush or pony tail...We are growing two named varieties, 'Hirao-59' and 'Finlandia'.
2) H. 'Fall Bouquet' Small, green plant, leaves slightly undulated, lavender scape and blooms, floriferous.
3) H. longipes Small green plant, densely flowering with a tall stiff bloom scape. The flowers are lavender and the leaves are green.
4) H. gracillima Funnel-shaped, light lavender flowers. A miniature green plant, with shiny surface.
5) H. 'Iwa Soules' Iwa means rock, and this plant was imported by Marjorie Soules, from Japan . It is a small green plant with lavender flowers.
6) H. tortifrons In the same section (Picnolepis) as H. longipes and H. rupifraga . Distinctive small plant, with twisted green leaves and lavender flowers.
7) H. 'Fused Veins' Small, green leaves often with inch margin which is a lighter green. The lance shaped leaves are undulated and the veins come together regularly. The flowers are mauve and the scape is sometimes branched.
8) H. rupifraga Small, medium green, with thick, leathery, ovate leaves. Densely flowering with purple flowers. 'Urajiro', 'Grand Slam', 'Maruba Iwa'
9) H. tardiflora   This small hosta is the last to bloom for us. Its leaves are shiny, dark green and lance shaped. The flowers are light lavender and borne in abundance on 12 inch scapes.

Note: Nomenclature changes recommended in the 1991 book The Genus Hosta by W. George Schmid and accepted by The American Hosta Society would update names as follows: H. tortifrons is now H. 'Tortifrons' and H. tardiflora is H. 'Tardiflora'.

An article by Herb Benedict in The Hosta Journal (1991 Vol. 22 No. 1) states that, "The plant that impresses me most in the fall is H. rupifraga 'Urajiro', with its beautiful deep purple bells. It was imported from Japan by Hideko Gowen and obtained from Mr. Nigishi...It has 6 inch wide, very thick green leaves, a white back and 9 pairs of veins. Robert Harris, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, and I have the only divisions distributed of this plant.

There is also a second plant with the same name. It has narrower leaves, lighter colored blossoms with some ruffling. It, too, has a white back and 9 pairs o avoid confusion between the two, the first H. rupifraga 'Urajiro' is going to registered by Hideko Gowen and Herb Benedict as Hosta 'Grand Slam'..."



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