There are probably over 10,000 named
hostas out there in the world. Only a precious few people can
accurately identify even a few thousand of them. Most of us
are lucky if we can give the correct name to a couple of dozen
different hostas when we see
them in the garden.
One of the most knowledgeable
published a massive book in 2009 called
The Hostapedia. In it, Mark shared his more
than 30 years of study about the genus and its many, many cultivars.
He has measured, photographed and recorded notes on over 7,000
hostas from hundreds of gardens and collections over that time.
Perhaps the encyclopedic memory of
Herb Benedict or the note cards of
Peter Ruh could approach this knowledge but they are at the top
of the charts.
Naturally, with so many hostas being
developed and named by people around the temperate zones of the world, not all of them
truly unique. In his book, Zilis gives his opinion on which
cultivars are "identical" or the "same as" another. These are listed
He also points out where the same
duplicate names and we have covered these in another section.