'Ryan's Big One'

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), this cultivar was "...registered with parentage unknown...but certainly a self-pollinated seedling of H. 'Elegans'." It was registered by Larry Englerth of Michigan in 1982.

Forming a large size (28 inches high) mound of thick, heavily corrugated foliage, it has a thick under leaf bloom. Dense clusters of near white flowers bloom from mid-June into July.

Zilis continues, "I think of 'Ryan's Big One' as the "typical" H. 'Elegans'. All of its foliage and flowering habits match what 'Elegans' should be...When propagated by tissue culture, it sometimes remains in a "super-juvenile" state. In this condition, the foliage retains a very shiny, dark green color and small size."

Schmid (1991) lists "Ryan" as the originator of this cultivar in 1963.

There is a cultivar named 'Louise Ryan' originated at Walters Gardens, Inc. We wonder if she might be the "Ryan" used in the name of this cultivar too.

The Hosta Journal (2018 Vol. 49 No. R) states that this cultivar was originally registered as 'Ryans Big One' (no 's)which was a typographical error that has now been corrected.


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. 'Elegans', H. 'Gray Cole' and H. 'Ryan's Big One'.


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