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Hostas, like most plants, reproduce in two ways. Sexual reproduction involves the combination of pollen and egg to produce seeds while asexual reproduction occurs when "spontaneous" changes occur in the tissue of the plant causing it to change traits on some parts of the mother plant. Sexual reproduction results in seeds and seedlings while the other form produces what are called "sports". Over time, certain hostas have been used often in hybridizing programs to produce new cultivars while other hostas are noted for the production of sports. A few have produced new introductions by both methods.

We have over 13,300 hosta names in our database representing around 9,000 to 10,000 different plants. Many are listed as parentage "unknown" meaning that nobody kept records of the ancestry of that plant. For a large number of open-pollinated seedlings, only the mother i.e. pod parent has been identified. The mother plant of most sports is commonly listed regardless of whether it was found in the garden or generated in the tissue culture process of propagation.

As with most things associated with hostas, there is a bit of confusion involved in determining the background of many cultivars. Hostas listed below have been named as either the mother (pod parent or originator of the sport) or father (pollen parent) or has been noted as being a plant in the "background" of the cultivar. We have also included plants that are listed only as a certain "type" such as an H. 'Sieboldiana'-type.

Perhaps the most uncertain aspect of this topic is the origin of all those "big blue" or, rather, blue-green hostas. I heard a Registrar say one time that the vast majority of these types of hostas come from H. 'Elegans' and H. 'Sieboldiana'. Historically, these names have been used interchangeably so we may not know if the ancestor is actually H. 'Sieboldiana' which was once considered a separate species or its primary offspring, H. 'Elegans'.  H. 'Tokudama' also may come into the mix on many of these plants.

Listed below in alphabetical order are the cultivars or species with 15 or more named seedlings and/or sports which are included in the Hosta Helper database.
 

  'Aspen Gold' 16 8 24  
  'Atom Smasher' 19 0 19  
  'August Moon' 33 47 80  
  'Aureomarginata' H. montana 22 5 27  
  'Aureomaculata' H. ventricosa 10 6 16  
  'Azure Snow' 15 1 16  
           

 

'Beatrice' 47 6 53
  'Big Daddy' 10 5 15  
  'Big John' 18 1 19  
  'Blue Angel' 14 35 49  
  'Blue Belly' 21 0 21  
  'Blue Cadet' 22 9 31  
  'Blue Dimples' 15 0 15  
  'Blue Moon' 24 3 27  
  'Blue Mouse Ears' 8 30 38  
  'Blue Umbrellas' 15 9 24  
  'Blue Vision' 13 3 16  
  'Breeder's Choice' 36 5 41  
           

 

  'Candy Dish' (Summers) 14 0 14  
  H. capitata 9 6 15  
  'Captain Kirk' 4 13 17  
  'Chōkō Nishiki' 11 9 20  
  'Christmas Tree' 22 9 31  
  'Christmas Tree Gala' 25 1 26  
  'Color Fantasy' 18 0 18  
  'Cosmic Hippie' 18 0 18  
  H. clausa 11 3 14  
  'Crepe Suzette' 15 0 15  
  'Crispula' 13 4 17  
           

 

  'Donahue's Piecrust' 17 3 20  
  'Dorothy Benedict' 168 14 182  
  'Dorset Blue' 27 3 30  
           

 

  'Elatior' 42 4 46  
  'Elegans' 105 25 130  
  'Elvis Lives' 36 0 36  
  'Empress Wu' 16 1 17  
           

  'Fascination' 44 4 48  
  'Flamboyant' 39 3 42  
  'Fortunei' 70 32 102  
  'Fortunei Aureomarginata' 3 17 20  
  'Fortunei Gigantea' 16 0 16  
'Fortunei Hyacinthina' 2 42 44
  'Fragrant Blue' 9 8 17  
  'Fragrant Bouquet' 19 18 37  
  'Francee' 9 28 37  
  'Frances Williams' 70 32 102  
  'Fudge Ripple' 25 0 25  
           

  'Galaxy' 67 7 74  
  'Ginko Craig' 25 5 30  
  'Gold Drop' 7 12 19  
  'Gold Edger' 1 21 22  
  'Gold Regal' 46 21 67  
  'Gold Standard' 4 46 50  
  'Golden Tiara' 2 18 20  
  'Golden Waffle' 14 0 14  
  'Grand Slam' 29 1 30  
  H. gracillima 14 3 17  
  'Great Expectations' 8 15 23  
  'Green Piecrust' 19 3 22  
  'Guacomole' 15 2 17  
           

  'Hadspen Blue' 14 13 27  
  'Halcyon' 58 44 102  
  'Hearts and Flowers' 17 1 18  
  'High Fat Cream' 11 5 16  
  'High Noon' 17 4 21  
  H. hypoluca 86 4 90  
           

 

  'Invincible' 36 8 44  
           

 

  'June' 14 18 32  
  'Justice' 15 3 18  
           

  'Kabitan' 22 6 28  
  H. kikutii 45 16 61  
  H. kikutii caput-avis 13 4 17  
  H. kiyosumiensis 16 8 24  
  'King Tut' 8 6 14  
  'Komodo Dragon' 16 4 20  
  'Krossa Regal' 6 29 35  
           

 

  'Lancifolia' 21 11 32  
  'Liberty Bell' 24 1 25  
  'Little Aurora' 7 18 25  
  'Little Wonder' 16 3 19  
  H. longipes 101 57 158  
  H. longipes hypoglauca 19 0 19  
  H. longissima 15 21 36  
  'Love Pat' 19 13 32  
           

 

  'Maekawa' 43 1 44  
  'Marilyn Monroe' 14 4 18  
  'Maya Kingsnake' 22 0 22  
  'Mikawa-no-yuki' 43 0 43  
  H. montana 108 47 155  
  H. montana macrophylla 32 0 32  
           

 

** H. nakaiana 69 4 73  
  'Neat Splash' 79 3 82  
  'Niagara Falls' 21 5 26  
** H. nigrescens 19 2 21  
           

 

  'One Man's Treasure' 31 2 33  
  'Outrageous' 15 2 17  
           

 

  'Patriot' 15 0 15  
  'Paul's Glory' 9 16 25  
  'Piedmont Gold' 12 15 27  
  'Pin Stripe Sister' 43 3 46  
  H. plantaginea 66 16 82  
  H. pulchella 13 5 18  
  'Purple Verticulated Elf' 20 1 21  
  H. pycnophylla 109 0 109  
           

 

           

 

  'Raspberry Sorbet' 7 7 14  
  H. rectifolia 24 17 41  
  'Red Neck Heaven' 16 0 16  
  'Riptide' 21 0 21  
  'Rosedale Shady Lady' 31 0 31  
  'Royal Standard' 5 20 25  
  H. rupifraga 27 4 31  
           

 

  'Sagae' 69 18 87  
  'Salute' 15 0 15  
  'Sea Gulf Stream' 14 1 15  
  'Sea Prize' 74 2 76  
  'Shining Tot' 34 0 34  
  'Sieboldiana' 174 15 189  
  H. sieboldii 23 1 24  
  'Spritzer' 18 2 20  
  'Striptease' 0 51 51  
  'Subcrocea' 18 2 20  
  'Sum and Substance' 63 66 129  
  'Summer Music' 3 18 21  
  'Sun Power' 24 22 46  
  'Swoosh' 40 1 41  
           

 

  'Tardiflora' 31 8 39  
  'Tequila Sunrise' 20 0 20  
  'Tokudama' 118 10 128  
  'Tokudama Aureonebulosa' 35 9 44  
           

 

  'Undulata' 13 22 35  
  'Urajiro Hachijo' 37 0 37  
           

 

  'Vanilla Cream' 5 9 14  
  H. ventricosa 61 12 73  
  H. venusta 131 17 148  
           

 

  'Whirlwind' 1 28 29  
  'White Vision' 14 0 14  
  'Wide Brim' 3 11 14  
  'William Lachman' 71 4 75  
           

 

           

 

  'Yellow Splash' 19 5 24  
  H. yingeri 43 1 44  
           

 

  'Zany Janie' 23 1 24  
  'Zounds' 12 7 19  
           

 

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