Hosta 'Tardiana' Group

The H. 'Tardiana' Group of hostas was developed by Eric Smith (1917-1986) in England. It consists of many blue colored hybrids of H. 'Tardiflora' and Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans'. This was a very unique cross since one normally blooms in early season while the other flowers in the fall. One year, the early form (H. 'Elegans') decided to put on a few re-blooms late in the year allowing Smith to cross breed them. The most famous cultivar is H. 'Halcyon' which has been used in hybridizing many new cultivars.

Members of this group of hostas have rich blue-green foliage and are generally about medium size. Its leaves have 12-13 pairs of veins. The Tardianas produce pale lavender flowers in clusters during the late July to mid-August period of the summer.

We have gathered around 100 cultivars in our database that are noted as being "Tardiana-type" hostas. Some of those listed are from the original breeding lines that started with Eric Smith. Others are plants that have some or all of the classic traits of Tardiana hostas in their color, leaves and flowers but are not part of the original line of plants.

Here are the Tardiana hostas that we have in our database in alphabetical order by the name of the cultivar.

In 1991, the then most comprehensive book about hostas, The Genus Hosta by W. George Schmid, was published. It was the first intensively researched book about the entire genus which, until that time, suffered from a lot of misinformation and name confusion. As the result of his research, Schmid determined that several of the plants previously treated as separate, naturally occurring, species were, in fact, cultivated varieties, i.e. cultivars, created by nurseries and hybridizers or of unknown origin.

This hosta is one which was historically considered a natural species but was changed to a cultivar by Schmid.

For more on this process ...

Species switched to cultivar status in 1991 include:

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