"Classic" Yellow (Gold) Hostas

We have searched our copies of The Hosta Journal for anything that might relate to any of the over 12,000 hosta names in our database. We extracted parts of articles that dealt with historical matters, opinions of well-known hostaphiles, recommendations (positive or negative), lookalike cultivars and the seemingly never ending problem with confusing names.

Where appropriate, we placed a copy of the material on the individual cultivar or species page. We also put the information and quotations on a group of topic pages listed below:

     
  1. Blue Hostas
  2. Early Hosta Cultivars
  3. Fall Bloomers
  4. Flowers
  5. Green Hostas
  6. Halcyon Group
  7. Hosta History
  8. Hybridizing
  1. Japanese Words
  2. Large Hostas
  3. Look-a-Like Hostas
  4. Hosta Names
  5. Non-US Hostas
  6. Photo Essays
  7. Plant Traits
  8. Hosta Series
  1. Hosta Species
  2. Top Rated Hostas
  3. Unstable Variegation
  4. White Margin Hostas
  5. White Medial Hostas
  6. Yellow Hostas
  7. Yellow Margin Hostas
  8. Yellow Medial Hostas

An Editor's note in The Hosta Journal (2003 Vol. 34 No. 3) states that, "Many of these cultivars traditionally have been referred to as "golds," but The American Hosta Society recently made the decision to refer to them as "yellows," since the color gold does not occur in horticulture."

An article by Gwen Black from England in The Hosta Journal (1997 Vol. 28 No. 2) answers the question, "Which hosta makes the most outstanding golden dazzle in the early growth?...candidates were: 'Goldsmith', 'Gold Haze', 'Platinum Tiara', 'Golden Scepter', 'Sea Fire', 'Golden Oriole', 'Hadspen Samphire', 'Bizarre', 'Anne Arett' and 'Granary Gold' and on this occasion the award went to H. 'Golden Oriole' with H. 'Granary Gold' a close second."

In an article in The Hosta Journal (2001 Vol. 32 No. 1), Tom Micheletti, former President of The American Hosta Society took on the task of listing the "Classic Hosta Cultivars" through the year 2003. He decided to divide these into categories including: Green, Blue, Yellow (Gold, White-Margined, Yellow-Margined, White Medio-Variegated and Yellow Medio-Variegated.

Here is a list of some distinctive gold-leaf (now called yellow leaf) hostas that have withstood the test of time.
Classic Yellow (Gold) Hostas
  1. H. 'Birchwood Parky's Gold' is a fast growing spreading mound of pointed gold leaves.
  2. H. 'Chartreuse Wiggles' lives up to its name with wavy, pointed, narrow leaves.
  3. H. 'Cheatin Heart' is one of the smaller gold hostas.
  4. H. 'Daybreak' -- who can miss this wide spreading mound of large shiny gold leaves?
  5. H. 'Glory' is a glory with golden leaves combined with nice purple flowers.
  6. H. 'Gold Drop' is probably one of the best gold edging plants.
  7. H. 'Gold Edger' is another edger that tolerates a fair amount of direct sun exposure without burning.
  8. H. 'Gold Regal' is a distinctive powdery gold with upright held leaves, and don't forget the masses of lavender flowers held in good proportion to the foliage later in the season.
  9. H. 'Golden Scepter' is one of the many sports of H. 'Golden Tiara', this one being all gold.
  1. H. 'Golden Sculpture' is a very large plant. After seeing in the Olson garden at the 2000 AHS National Convention, I have a renewed respect for this beauty.
  2. H. 'Lemon Lime', even though it changes color as the summer progresses, grows like a weed!
  3. H. 'Little Aurora' may be confused with H. 'Golden Prayers', but this is the cultivar that is usually encountered.
  4. H. 'Midas Touch' is probably the crinkliest of the golds.
  5. H. 'Piedmont Gold' is a distinctive large gold that has been around for quite some time It has nice white flowers to boot.
  6. H. 'Sum and Substance'   -- there are those who show disdain for this plant. But, who can refute its enormous size and impact, especially after seeing Van Wade's giant?
  7. H. 'Sun Power' really glows in the garden with its great form and presence.
  8. H. 'Vanilla Cream' has rounded leaves that have a very smooth texture.
  9. H. 'Zounds' may be slow to grow, but when it's mature all one can say is "Zounds!"

This is quite an extensive list of distinctive cultivars. Many have been popular either with gardeners, landscapers and collectors for over 25 years...Their timeless beauty is why they are still kicking after all these years.

In an article in The Hosta Journal (2003 Vol. 34 No. 3), Bruce Banyai was asked to select his top five large yellow hostas for northern regions. He responded with the following:

   
1) H. 'Gold Regal' - slow but majestic in leaf presentation and bloom. Needs two to three years to become showy.
2) H. 'Piedmont Gold' - again, a solid slow-grower that becomes very large.
3) H. 'Sun Power' - really lights up a shady area, taking just a bit of sun to bring out its best qualities.
4) H. 'King Tut' - hard to find, slow-growing but glows and demands attention.
5) H. 'Daybreak' - staggering when grown to perfection and only takes a couple of years to become showy.

In an article in The Hosta Journal (2003 Vol. 34 No. 3), Randy Goodwin was asked to select his top five favorite blue and yellow hostas. He responded with the following:

Favorite Yellow Hostas
H. 'Sun Power' - Its golden-yellow color and form are exceptional, with availability in the trade the proof.
H. 'Golden Prayers'/'Little Aurora' - Will lighten any shady garden nook.
H. 'Prairie Fire' - Another very bright yellow, made more noticeable by its distinctive growth habit.
H. 'Sea Gold' - A good large grower in my garden and the color is consistent all season long.
H. 'Daybreak' - Very bright. Its gloss adds to its eye-catching appeal. It needs ample sun to bring forth its best growth.

An article about her favorite yellow hostas by Amy Peterson in The Hosta Journal (2010 Vol. 41 No. 2) divides them by Size, Form, Texture and Fragrance:

Yellow Hostas by SIZE  
Very Large
  • H. 'Solar Flare': Forms a large arching clump, creating an impressive specimen.
  • H. 'Sum and Substance' : Makes an immense broad mound with large golden-yellow leaves.
Large
  • H. 'City Lights': One of the oldest yellow hostas with bright golden color and good pest resistance.
  • H. 'Daybreak': A large widespread mound that will draw attention from a distance.
  • H. 'Great Lakes Gold': A large, golden-yellow hosta with distinctively rippled foliage.
  • H. 'Lemon Chiffon': Not readily available but forms a fast-growing clump of pointed leaves.
  • H. 'Sun Power' : Classic yellow hosta that grows into a large, dense, upright mound. Makes a great specimen plant or focal point in the garden.
Medium
  • H. 'Abiqua Recluse': Produces a bright spot of golden color in the shade. Has a slow growth rate, but good pest-resistance.
  • H. 'Fire Island': One of the best in the spring with bright yellow foliage and red petioles.
  • H. 'Prairie Fire': Develops a bright golden color with morning sun. Has a distinctive rippled edge.
  • H. 'Sea Fire': A vigorous grower that draws attention in early spring with its brilliant golden tones and reddish petioles.
Small
  • H. 'Eye Catcher': Lives up to its name with cupped, unruly, golden-yellow foliage.
  • H. 'Lakeside Waterfall': Long, narrow yellow foliage cascades, similar to falling water. Makes a nice, dense clump in the garden.
  • H. 'Sea Angel Wings': Wavy, narrow yellow leaves form a small to medium clump.
Miniature
  • H. 'Dragon Tails': Forms a small, dense mound of narrow rippled yellow foliage. Excellent plant for edging a garden or for a rock garden.
  • H. 'Golden Spades': Bright yellow, oval leaves in a small clump make this hosta a nice specimen or a flashy border plant.
  • H. 'Ground Sulphur': Grows in a low, dense mound of narrow, golden foliage. Makes a statement at the front of a garden bed.
Yellow Hostas by FORM
Vase-shaped (Upright)
  • H. 'Gold Regal' : Classic, older variety. Useful as a specimen plant or as a backdrop.
  • H. 'Midnight Sun': Large, semi-upright mound of yellow foliage with good substance. Impressive as a bright specimen planting.
  • H. 'Summer Olympics': Very bright yellow, medium, upright hosta with nice substance and good growth. You may have to search a bit for this one, but well worth it.
Cupped Leaves
  • H. 'Christmas Gold': Medium mound of intensely corrugated and cupped yellow foliage that does very well in full sun. Slow in growth rate, but stays strong against pests.
  • H. 'Super Bowl': Forms a very thick, seersuckered and heavily cupped golden-yellow clump. Leaves are nearly round and will tolerate morning sun. Not a rapid grower, but will provide a strong focal point in the garden.
Rippled Edge
  • H. 'Choo Choo Train': Large plant with very pronounced, piecrust edges. Readily available and makes a strong statement with its rippled leaves.
  • H. 'Lakeside San Kao': Light yellow foliage with distinctive green leaf veins provides interesting contrast that draws attention to the large mound. Rippled leaf edging and elongated leaves make the plant a standout.
  • H. 'Prairie Fire': Bright, medium mound, rippled and twisted leaves. Slow to mature. Color becomes more intense during the season.
Yellow Hostas by TEXTURE
  • H. 'Aspen Gold': Medium to large yellow clump with deeply corrugated leaves. Needs some sun to color up to bright yellow and is very slow in its growth habit, but demonstrates good pest-risistance and makes a strong statement in the bed.
  • H. 'Faith': Forms a medium mound of rather unruly, heavily seersuckered yellow foliage. Leaves are somewhat heart-shaped.
  • H. 'Maui Buttercups': Great small to medium clump of cupped and corrugated leaves. You need to give this plant some time to establish itself, but it will provide a great spot of color in a bed.
Yellow Hostas by FRAGRANCE
  • H. 'Fried Bananas': With its fragrant, pale lavender flowers and a medium to large mound of yellow foliage, this widely available hosta provides a nice addition.
  • H. 'Sweet Sunshine': A small to medium hosta with white fragrant flowers. The golden-yellow, cupped and corrugated foliage gives a somewhat unruly and disheveled look to the mound.

An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2014 Vol. 45 No. 2) states that, "H. 'Golden Sculpture', registered by the late Ken Anderson in 1982, is one of the best, large yellow leaved hostas. It makes a majestic specimen."

Copyrightę 2000 -