'Northern Exposure'

This is considered one of the best known sports (tissue culture) of the classic H. 'Elegans'. It forms a giant size (36 inches high by 70 inches wide) mound with typical H. 'Sieboldiana' characteristics but is unique for it bold, white marginal variegation. This cultivar was registered by Walters Gardens, Inc. of Michigan in 1997.

The foliage is oblong-ovate shaped with heavy corrugation and thick substance. It bears near white flowers from mid-June into July followed by viable seeds.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "This is actually a form of 'Northern Halo' selected for its very wide, consistent, white margins. It does not develop the drawstring effect."

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Slow to establish but well worth the wait."

An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1992 Vol. 23 No. 2) states that, "What's the problem with 'Northern Halo'? Simply, there are several forms. The form that people seem to want most has been difficult to obtain and lately has commanded a premium price." Pollock goes on to explain that the differences in forms of 'Northern Halo' have mostly to do with the width of the margin variegation and the size and shape of the leaves which varied from the original plant. These variations have probably occurred due to lack of quality control at various TC labs. To solve the problem, the originator of H. 'Northern Halo' has propagated it with the "proper" form and sells it as H. 'Northern Exposure'."

C.H. Falstad wrote about the stability of colors in hosta leaves in The Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 1) says, "However, in a variegated plant, when the cells don't stay in place, the leaves can end up all one color, as when 'Guacamole'...goes back to 'Fried Green Tomatoes'...In rare instances, a complete pattern reversal can occur, as with 'Flame Stitch'...from H. ventricosa 'Aureomarginata'...and 'Eskimo Pie'...from 'Northern Exposure'..."

An article in The Hosta Journal (2016 Vol. 47 No. 2) states that this also sold under the Tradename or Trademark of H. LEPRECHAUN'S LOOT.


An article by Warren I. Pollack in The 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.

H. 'American Halo', H. LEPRECHAUN'S LOOT, H. 'Northern Exposure' and H. 'Northern Halo'.


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