In addition to identifying the 43 species, Schmid (1991) determined that 32 plants that were traditionally treated as species really did not qualify for that status. He recommended reclassifying these "species" as cultivars i.e. cultivated varieties.

The key reason was that there was no evidence that these plants ever existed as natural, "wild" populations. In fact, it appears that most of them were actually plants developed in nurseries by selection or through seedling propagation of crosses of unknown plants. This happened back in previous centuries in either their native Asian lands or after they had been brought to Europe and no records were kept on the plant's true history. 

Hostas previously thought to be species or botanical varieties but transferred to cultivar status by Schmid (1991) include:

Mr. PGC Link: HostaHelper information on Hosta Species...

Mr. Schmid continues his study of the genus, Hosta, and recently proposed another change affecting one of the all-time classic plants, Hosta sieboldiana (now H. 'Sieboldiana'). Kevin Walek, International Registrar for the Genus, Hosta made the following statement in his 2011 Registrations report:

"In a recent article W. George Schmid has proposed that the taxon H. sieboldiana be reduced to cultivar rank in accordance with the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). Refer to The American Hosta Society 2011 Online Hosta Journal, Vol. 42; under the section "Genus Hosta" by W.G. Schmid: H. sieboldiana or H. 'Sieboldiana': Species or Cultivar? or refer to the AHS 'Tan Book' (List of Species, Botanical Varieties, and Forms (under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (VIENNA CODE) and Species reduced to Cultivar Rank (under the ICNCP) posted on the AHS web site. The applicable plant description and synonyms are published in W.G. Schmid (1991) The Genus Hosta - Giboshi Zoku; Chapter 3, Part 2; Pages 93-94; 317-318. Timber Press; Portland, Oregon, USA.

Although this has been proposed there is still some discussion over the impact of such a change and the registrar has determined that for purposes of this publication, albeit the likely result, and acknowledges the proposed change, wishes to have benefit of further discussion before fully memorializing such change."

Mr. PGC Comment: At the January 19, 2013 Hosta Scientific Meeting in Lisle, IL, Mark Zilis, author of The Hostapedia,  stated that Japanese hosta explorers think they have discovered a wild population of H. sieboldiana living on a remote part of one of the islands of Japan. This discovery remains to be verified but will, no doubt, cause a delay in the final resolution of this issue. Since this change in nomenclature has NOT been officially adopted as of this writing, we will continue to use the species form of Hosta sieboldiana.


 

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