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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 are the number of seedlings and sports somehow related to each cultivar or species named. We have limited it to those that show 15 or more offspring in the Hosta Helper database.
 

 
  'Sieboldiana' 174 15 189  
  'Dorothy Benedict' 168 14 182  
  H. longipes 101 57 158  
  H. montana 108 47 155  
  H. venusta 131 17 148  
  'Elegans' 105 25 130  
  'Sum and Substance' 63 66 129  
  'Tokudama' 118 10 128  
  H. pycnophylla 110 0 110  
  'Frances Williams' 70 32 102  
  'Halcyon' 58 44 102  
  'Fortunei' 70 32 102  
  H. hypoluca 86 4 90  
  'Sagae' 69 18 87  
  H. plantaginea 66 16 82  
  'Neat Splash' 78 3 81  
  'August Moon' 33 47 80  
  'Sea Prize' 74 2 76  
  'William Lachman' 71 4 75  
  'Galaxy' 67 7 74  
  H. nakaiana 69 4 73  
  H. ventricosa 61 12 73  
  'Gold Regal' 46 21 67  
  H. kikutii 45 16 61  
  'Beatrice' 47 6 53
  'Striptease' 0 51 51  
  'Gold Standard' 4 46 50  
  'Blue Angel' 14 35 49  
  'Fascination' 44 4 48  
  'Elatior' 42 4 46  
  'Sun Power' 24 22 46  
  'Pin Stripe Sister' 43 3 46  
  'Maekawa' 43 1 44  
  'Tokudama Aureonebulosa' 35 9 44  
  'Invincible' 36 8 44  
'Fortunei Hyacinthina' 2 42 44
  H. yingeri 43 1 44  
  'Mikawa-no-yuki' 43 0 43  
  'Flamboyant' 39 3 42  
  'Swoosh' 40 1 41  
  H. rectifolia 24 17 41  
  'Breeder's Choice' 36 5 41  
  'Tardiflora' 31 8 39  
  'Blue Mouse Ears' 8 30 38  
  'Urajiro Hachijo' 37 0 37  
  'Fragrant Bouquet' 19 18 37  
  'Francee' 9 28 37  
  H. longissima 15 21 36  
  'Elvis Lives' 36 0 36  
  'Undulata' 13 22 35  
  'Krossa Regal' 6 29 35  
  'Shining Tot' 34 0 34  
  'One Man's Treasure' 31 2 33  
  'Love Pat' 19 13 32  
  'Lancifolia' 21 11 32  
  'June' 14 18 32  
  H. montana macrophylla 32 0 32  
  H. rupifraga 27 4 31  
  'Rosedale Shady Lady' 31 0 31  
  'Blue Cadet' 22 9 31  
  'Christmas Tree' 22 9 31  
  'Ginko Craig' 25 5 30  
  'Grand Slam' 29 1 30  
  'Dorset Blue' 27 3 30  
  'Whirlwind' 1 28 29  
  'Kabitan' 22 6 28  
  'Piedmont Gold' 12 15 27  
  'Hadspen Blue' 14 13 27  
  'Aureomarginata' H. montana 22 5 27  
  'Blue Moon' 24 3 27  
  'Christmas Tree Gala' 25 1 26  
  'Niagara Falls' 21 5 26  
  'Royal Standard' 5 20 25  
  'Liberty Bell' 24 1 25  
  'Fudge Ripple' 25 0 25  
  'Little Aurora' 7 18 25  
  'Paul's Glory' 9 16 25  
  'Zany Janie' 23 1 24  
  'Blue Umbrellas' 15 9 24  
  H. sieboldii 23 1 24  
  'Yellow Splash' 19 5 24  
  H. kiyosumiensis 16 8 24  
  'Aspen Gold' 16 8 24  
  'Great Expectations' 8 15 23  
  'Green Piecrust' 19 3 22  
  'Gold Edger' 1 21 22  
  'Maya Kingsnake' 22 0 22  
  'High Noon' 17 4 21  
  'Blue Belly' 21 0 21  
  H. nigrescens 19 2 21  
  'Summer Music' 3 18 21  
  'Purple Verticulated Elf' 20 1 21  
  'Riptide' 21 0 21  
  'Fortunei Aureomarginata' 3 17 20  
  'Chōkō Nishiki' 11 9 20  
  'Subcrocea' 18 2 20  
  'Golden Tiara' 2 18 20  
  'Donahue's Piecrust' 17 3 20  
  'Spritzer' 18 2 20  
  'Komodo Dragon' 16 4 20  
  'Tequila Sunrise' 20 0 20  
  'Zounds' 12 7 19  
  'Big John' 18 1 19  
  H. longipes hypoglauca 19 0 19  
  'Atom Smasher' 19 0 19  
  'Little Wonder' 16 3 19  
  'Gold Drop' 7 12 19  
  'Color Fantasy' 18 0 18  
  'Cosmic Hippie' 18 0 18  
  'Hearts and Flowers' 17 1 18  
  'Justice' 15 3 18  
  'Marilyn Monroe' 14 4 18  
  H. pulchella 13 5 18  
  'Outrageous' 15 2 17  
  'Captain Kirk' 4 13 17  
  'Crispula' 13 4 17  
  'Guacomole' 15 2 17  
  'Empress Wu' 16 1 17  
  H. gracillima 14 3 17  
  H. kikutii caput-avis 13 4 17  
  'Fragrant Blue' 9 8 17  
  'Blue Vision' 13 3 16  
  'Red Neck Heaven' 16 0 16  
  'High Fat Cream' 11 5 16  
  'Fortunei Gigantea' 16 0 16  
  'Aureomaculata' H. ventricosa 10 6 16  
  'Azure Snow' 15 1 16  
  'Patriot' 15 0 15  
  'Big Daddy' 10 5 15  
  'Blue Dimples' 15 0 15  
  H. capitata 9 6 15  
  'Crepe Suzette' 15 0 15  
  'Sea Gulf Stream' 14 1 15  
  'Salute' 15 0 15  
Oh, so close!
  'Candy Dish' (Summers) 14 0 14  
  'White Vision' 14 0 14  
  'King Tut' 8 6 14  
  'Golden Waffle' 14 0 14  
  'Vanilla Cream' 5 9 14  
  'Raspberry Sorbet' 7 7 14  
  'Wide Brim' 3 11 14  
  H. clausa 11 3 14  

 

 

 
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