wide white medial
variegation of this hosta accounts for its name. It is a sport
of H. 'Krossa Regal' which grows into a medium size hosta about 15 inches tall with a spread of 35 inches.
Pale lavender flowers bloom from mid-July into August but are
sterile and do not set seeds. This cultivar was registered by
Peter Ruh of Ohio in 1999 on
behalf of the originator,
Gus Krossa of Michigan
who introduced it around 1971.
Since this cultivar lacks chlorophyll in much of the leaf
surface area, it produces thin leaf tissue. This is more easily
damaged by hot, dry weather and may be more attractive to slugs.
It also makes it a rather slow growing, tender plant overall.
The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), says that this is the
stable form of a streaked plant once known as
Hosta fortunei 'Krossa Variegated' that was available
The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "Probably its main claim to fame is being the mother plant of 'Night
before Christmas' which has a much better growth rate."
The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by
Grenfell (2009) states in its Hosta Hybrids for Connoisseurs chapter: "Origin:
Stable form of H. 'Fortunei Krossa Variegated'.
Once thought to be a sport of H. 'Undulata'...Early
to emerge. Careful siting is essential...Succeeds
best in cooler regions and requires expert
cultivation...The raceme is often surrounded by
attractive ivory bracts, finely margined dark
An article by Akira Horinaka in
Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 1) says, "Other
white-centered hostas with bold green borders are 'Banana Boat', 'Warwick
Delight', 'Pandora's Box', 'Sea Thunder' and 'Fire and Ice'. Those with a narrow
green border include 'Morinji Nishiki',
'Otome-no-mai', 'Hakuba' and 'White Christmas'."
Mikiko Lockwood in an article on The Hosta Library titled,
A Little About Japanese Hosta Terms defines the term otome as maiden, 'Otome Gibōshi' or
H. venusta and the term nishiki as brocade (rich-colored woven fabric) i.e.
something colorful and beautiful.
Warren I. Pollock in
Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 2) writes that, "...'Christmas
Candy'...a new hosta discovered by
Gert van Eijk-Bos in tissue-culturing 'Night before Christmas'...at the Vitro Westland propagation laboratory in Rijswijk,
Holland...How do 'Christmas Candy', 'Night before Christmas' and the old timer
'White Christmas' compare?...all three have pure white leaf centers and dark
green leaf borders."
A summary of Pollock's comparisons of 'Christmas Candy'
(CC), 'Night before Christmas' (NbC) and 'White Christmas' (WC) included:
- Width of green margin: NbC - widest CC - mid WC -
- Clump height: NbC - tallest CC - mid WC - shortest
- Upright growth habit: NbC and CC more upright than WC
- Resistance to melting out (leaf substance): CC - thick substance may be
a tetraploid - NbC somewhat resistant - WC often damaged
James K. Langhammer and Mark Derrick wrote an
article in The
Hosta Journal (2012 Vol. 43 No. 2) titled, "H. 'White
Christmas' - a Victim of Identity Theft". They point out that, historically, the
first plants sold as 'White Christmas' originated with hosta pioneer
It was a small plant with a wide, white medial (center) variegation which had a
reputation for being difficult to grow. A somewhat larger, hardier type was
later developed at Mobjack
Nursery and was sold as 'White
Christmas' but is not the original
plant. To further confuse the issue,
they claim that the 'White
Christmas' that was registered by
in 1999 on behalf of the deceased,
Gus Krossa, fits the description of the Mobjack plant and not the Krossa,
smaller one. The article concludes that there should be two names to
differentiate the plants. H. 'Krossa's White Christmas' and 'Mobjack's White
Christmas' were suggested.