Hosta 'Northern Halo'

This is one of those cases where there are several hostas with the same name. One is registered and, therefore, the "official" version of H. 'Northern Halo' while the others are non-registered plants and need to be renamed to avoid further confusion.

A large size (27 inches high by 74 inches wide) mounding plant, 'Northern Halo' was registered by Walters Gardens, Inc. of Michigan in 1984. It is a sport of  H. 'Elegans' that has heavily corrugated foliage with thick substance. From mid-June into July, it bears near white flowers on 32 inch tall scapes.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "Over the years, a number of 'Northern Halo' forms have been isolated...Some with very narrow, white margins develop the drawstring effect. Others have slightly wider edges that do not tear."

From the Field Guide to Hostas by Mark Zilis (2014), "Eventually, a form with a wide, white margin won out and is the one now generally sold as 'Northern Halo'. In the mid-1990s, another form with the widest, white margin was introduced as 'Northern Exposure'...unlike gold-margined 'Elegans' types, 'Northern Halo' does not develop spring desiccation burn."

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'."

An article in The Hosta Journal (1994 Vol. 25 No. 2) states that H. 'Nutty Husband' and H. 'Northern Halo' are the same plant. It also says that there are at least 11 distinct forms of this cultivar being sold under this single name.

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'.


4 24.8
1990 #31
1991 #25
1992 #25
1993 #18

'Northern Halo' (Wade form) - This cultivar was listed on the MyHostas Database website. Originated by Van Wade of Wade and Gatton Nursery (Closed 2019) of Ohio, this non-registered cultivar is of unidentified parentage.

MyHostas indicates that this may actually be H. 'American Halo'.

NORTHERN HALO - This is a trademark of H. 'Northern Halo' which was owned by Walters Gardens, Inc. of Michigan.


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