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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 species named in the Hosta Helper database.

 
1 Hosta montana 32 24 45 101
2 Hosta longipes 39 7 50 96
3 Hosta pycnophylla 39 56 1 96
4 Hosta venusta 54 24 15 93
5 Hosta hypoleuca 26 47 4 77
6 Hosta plantaginea 15 41 13 69
7 Hosta ventricosa 25 19 12 56
8 Hosta nakaiana 47 4 4 55
9 Hosta sieboldii 18 4 20 42
10 Hosta yingeri 21 19 1 41
11 Hosta kikutii 15 7 8 30
12 Hosta rectifolia 14 1 12 27
13 Hosta rupifraga 15 7 4 26
14 Hosta kiyosumiensis 13 2 9 24
15 Hosta longissima 4 1 18 23
16 Hosta nigrescens 11 2 4 17
17 Hosta gracillima 7 3 4 14
18 Hosta capitata 6 1 5 12
19 Hosta laevigata 7 2 1 10
20 Hosta pulchella 1 4 5 10
21 Hosta clausa 2 1 5 8
22 Hosta minor 3 0 5 8
23 Hosta fluctuans 3 4 0 7
24 Hosta alismifolia 4 1 0 5
25 Hosta tibae 2 3 0 5
26 Hosta tsushimensis 4 0 1 5
27 Hosta tardiva 0 0 2 2
28 Hosta acquinoctiiantha 1 0 0 1
29 Hosta cathayana 0 0 1 1
30 Hosta clavata 0 0 1 1
31 Hosta pachyscapa 1 0 0 1
32 Hosta shikokiana 0 0 1 1
33 Hosta atropurpurea 0 0 0 0
34 Hosta calliantha 0 0 0 0
35 Hosta crassifolia 0 0 0 0
36 Hosta densa 0 0 0 0
37 Hosta ibukiensis 0 0 0 0
38 Hosta jonesii 0 0 0 0
39 Hosta okamotoi 0 0 0 0
40 Hosta rohdefolia 0 0 0 0
41 Hosta takahashii 0 0 0 0
42 Hosta takiensis 0 0 0 0
 

 
1 Hosta acquinoctiiantha 1 0 0 1
2 Hosta alismifolia 4 1 0 5
3 Hosta atropurpurea 0 0 0 0
4 Hosta calliantha 0 0 0 0
5 Hosta capitata 6 1 5 12
6 Hosta cathayana 0 0 1 1
7 Hosta clausa 2 1 5 8
8 Hosta clavata 0 0 1 1
9 Hosta crassifolia 0 0 0 0
10 Hosta densa 0 0 0 0
11 Hosta fluctuans 3 4 0 7
12 Hosta gracillima 7 3 4 14
13 Hosta hypoleuca 26 47 4 77
14 Hosta ibukiensis 0 0 0 0
15 Hosta jonesii 0 0 0 0
16 Hosta kikutii 15 7 8 30
17 Hosta kiyosumiensis 13 2 9 24
18 Hosta laevigata 7 2 1 10
19 Hosta longipes 39 7 50 96
20 Hosta longissima 4 1 18 23
21 Hosta minor 3 0 5 8
22 Hosta montana 32 24 45 101
23 Hosta nakaiana 47 4 4 55
24 Hosta nigrescens 11 2 4 17
25 Hosta okamotoi 0 0 0 0
26 Hosta pachyscapa 1 0 0 1
27 Hosta plantaginea 15 41 13 69
28 Hosta pulchella 1 4 5 10
29 Hosta pycnophylla 39 56 1 96
30 Hosta rectifolia 14 1 12 27
31 Hosta rohdefolia 0 0 0 0
32 Hosta rupifraga 15 7 4 26
33 Hosta shikokiana 0 0 1 1
34 Hosta sieboldii 18 4 20 42
35 Hosta takahashii 0 0 0 0
36 Hosta takiensis 0 0 0 0
37 Hosta tardiva 0 0 2 2
38 Hosta tibae 2 3 0 5
39 Hosta tsushimensis 4 0 1 5
40 Hosta ventricosa 25 19 12 56
41 Hosta venusta 54 24 15 93
42 Hosta yingeri 21 19 1 41
           
 
1 Hosta clausa normalis 1 2 0 3
2 Hosta kikutii caput-avis 6 5 5 16
3 Hosta kikutii densa 1 0 0 1
4 Hosta kikutii leuconata 2 4 1 7
5 Hosta kikutii polyneuron 10 1 0 11
6 Hosta kikutii yakusimensis 1 1 0 2
7 Hosta longipes hypoglauca 12 7 0 19
8 Hosta longipes lancea 1 0 0 1
9 Hosta longipes latifolia 5 0 2 7
10 Hosta longipes sparsa 1 1 0 2
11 Hosta longissima longifolia 0 0 1 1
12 Hosta montana macrophylla 6 15 0 21
           

 
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