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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 10 or more offspring in the Hosta Helper database.

  'Dorothy Benedict' 146 15 14   175  
  'Sieboldiana' 77 23 12   112  
  'Sea Prize' 68 2 2   72  
  'Neat Splash' 60 9 3   72  
  'William Lachman' 58 1 4   63  
  'Elegans' 54 41 28   123  
  Hosta venusta 54 24 15   93  
  'Galaxy' 54 6 6   66  
  'Sum and Substance' 52 10 62   124  
  Unknown 51 1924 0   1975  
  H. nakaiana 47 4 4   55  
  'Tokudama' 43 20 8   71  
  'Frances Williams' 42 29 27   98  
  'Sagae' 40 22 17   79  
  Hosta longipes 39 7 50   96  
  Hosta pycnophylla 39 56 1   96  
  'Pin Stripe Sister' 39 0 3   42  
  'Fascination' 36 5 4   45  
  'Gold Regal' 33 12 20   65  
  Hosta montana 32 24 45   101  
  'Flamboyant' 30 8 3   41  
'Beatrice' 29 6 7   42
  H. hypoleuca 26 47 4   77  
  Hosta ventricosa 25 19 12   56  
  'Zany Janie' 22 0 1   23  
  'Breeder's Choice' 22 3 5   30  
  'Halcyon' 22 33 39   94  
  'August Moon' 22 4 45   71  
  Hosta yingeri 21 19 1   41  
  'Mikawa-no-yuki' 21 13 0   34  
  'Christmas Tree Gala' 21 0 1   22  
  'Ginko Craig' 20 3 4   27  
  'One Man's Treasure' 18 7 2   27  
  H. sieboldii 18 4 20   42  
  'Invincible' 18 13 5   36  
  'Kabitan' 17 4 3   24  
  'Swoosh' 17 3 1   21  
  'Tokudama Aureonebulosa' 17 13 8   38  
  'Hearts and Flowers' 16 0 1   17  
  Hosta plantaginea 15 41 13   69  
  Hosta kikutii 15 7 8   30  
  H. rupifraga 15 7 4   26  
  H. rectifolia 14 1 12   27  
  'Blue Cadet' 14 6 7   27  
  'Aureomarginata', H. montana 14 9 3   26  
  'Yellow Splash' 14 4 4   22  
  'Little Wonder' 14 0 3   17  
  'Atom Smasher' 14 2 0   16  
  'Grand Slam' 14 0 0   14  
  'Urajiro Hachijo' 14 0 0   14  
  'Christmas Tree' 13 3 8   24  
  Hosta kiyosumiensis 13 2 9   24  
  'Komodo Dragon' 13 2 4   19  
  'Marilyn Monroe' 13 1 4   18  
  'Elatior' 13 22 4   39  
  Hosta longipes hypoglauca 12 7 0   19  
  'Blue Dimples' 12 4 0   16  
  'Outrageous' 12 0 2   14  
  'Cinnamon Sticks' 12 0 0   12  
  'Color Fantasy' 12 0 0   12  
  'Tardiflora' 11 9 8   28  
  'Maya Kingsnake' 11 9 0   20  
  'Green Piecrust' 11 6 1   18  
  H. nigrescens 11 2 4   17  
  'Uncle Albert' 11 4 0   15  
  'Crispula' 11 0 4   15  
  'Justice' 11 2 2   15  
  'Empress Wu' 11 13 7   31  
  'Elvis Lives' 10 20 1   31  
  'Dorset Blue' 10 18 3   31  
  'Tequila Sunrise' 10 8 0   18  
  'Pin Stripe' 10 0 1   11  

 
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