The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), this cultivar was "...registered
with parentage unknown...but certainly a
self-pollinated seedling of
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
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.
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
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.
'Elegans', H. 'Gray