Hosta 'Tokudama Flavocircinalis'

The American Hosta Society originally registered this slow growing plant as Hosta tokudoma 'Flavo-circinalis' in 1987. In his book, The Genus Hosta by George Schmid (1991) determined that this plant was actually a cultivar and not a species. He gave it the current name of Hosta 'Tokudama Flavocircinalis'. It was first described by Dr. Fumio Maekawa in Japan around 1940.

This medium size (17 inches high by 48 inches wide) hosta has gold marginal variegation with dark blue-green  center. The leaves are oblong to ovate, slightly cupped, wavy and heavily corrugated. Its thick leaf substance makes it resistant to slugs. This plant has near white flowers that bloom from late June into July followed by viable seeds.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), this cultivar "...ranks highly amongst all hosta cultivars and is considered a classic. It makes a great specimen plant or ground cover and has a faster growth rate than most Tokudamas. The gold edge of 'Tokudama Flavocircinalis' does not burn in the spring, so it can be used as a substitute for 'Frances Williams'.

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Slow to increase...A classic hosta which does not scorch at the leaf margins."

This cultivar has been sold under the Trademark name Hosta HAPPY HIPPO™.

An article about H. tokudama 'Flavocircinalis' by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "...means "coiled with yellow."..."

In  The Hosta Journal (2001 Vol. 32 No. 1), Tom Micheletti, former President of The American Hosta Society took on the task of listing the "Classic Hosta Cultivars" through the year 2003. He decided to divide these into categories including: Green, Blue, Yellow (Gold, White-Margined, Yellow-Margined, White Medio-Variegated and Yellow Medio-Variegated.
While there are fewer yellow-margined hostas, there are still some timeless beauties.
Classic Yellow-Margined Hostas
  1. H. 'Abiqua Moonbeam' is the green-centered sport of H. 'August Moon' and surely shines in the garden.
  2. H. 'Alvatine Taylor' is a large blue-leaved hosta with gold margins that don't exhibit the characteristic burning of gold-leaved forms of H. 'Sieboldiana'.
  3. H. 'Aurora Borealis' is one of the many similar cultivars in this group. H. 'Frances Williams' has been one of the most imitated of the classic hostas, after all she was the first of over a dozen named, similar gold-margined sports from H. 'Elegans' . Each one is reported to be an improvement. Claims include not burning as much on the gold portion of the leaf, improved flowering or showier variegation. In any case, it is difficult to distinguish these cultivars.
  4. H. 'Carnival' is a Lachman hybrid which features dark-green leaves and wide irregular gold margins.
  5. H. 'Don Stevens' has pointed green leaves with creamy-yellow margins.
  1. H. 'Fortunei Aureomarginata' is an oldie that still is not to be outdone with its dark-green leaves and golden margins.
  2. H. 'Golden Tiara' has produced a whole series of sports, as previously noted, one of which is H. 'Grand Tiara' with wider gold margins. H. 'Grand Tiara' also has produced a whole series of sports. The Tiaras all have a fine display of light-purple flowers that may re-bloom if deadheaded.
  3. H. 'Green Gold' is one of the early gold-margined hostas.
  4. H. montana 'Aureomarginata' - as showy as it gets!
  5. H. 'Radiant Edger' is a dense sport of H. 'Gold Edger' has an attractive blend of green with gold.
  6. H. 'Tokudama Flavocircinalis' is the gold-margined sport of H. 'Tokudama' and while not as large as H. 'Frances Williams', doesn't exhibit the typical burning of the gold margins.

This is quite an extensive list of distinctive cultivars. Many have been popular either with gardeners, landscapers and collectors for over 25 years...Their timeless beauty is why they are still kicking after all these years.


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. HAPPY HIPPO and H. 'Tokudama Flavocircinalis'.

7 18.3
1985 #24
1990 #17
1991 #14
1992 #14
1993 #19
1999 #25
2002 #15    

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