In addition to identifying the
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.
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
Mr. PGC Link: HostaHelper information on
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').
International Registrar for the Genus, Hosta made the
following statement in his 2011 Registrations report:
"In a recent
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
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.