This is one of the first generation of
created by English hybridizer,
Eric Smith in 1961. It was registered by
British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society on behalf of Smith in 1988.
This medium size (18 inches high by 43 inches
wide) plant is
a hybrid of H. 'Tardiflora' × H. 'Elegans'.
The foliage has smooth texture, slight waviness and thick texture. Pale bluish
lavender flowers on 28 inch high scapes bloom from late July into August
followed by viable seeds.
The Hostapedia by
Mark Zilis (2009), "If you are limited to only one Tardiana by law, or
for that matter, one blue-leaved hosta, then 'Halcyon' should be your choice. It
probably best exemplifies what Eric Smith was after when he hybridized 'Tardiflora' with H. 'Elegans', i.e. fast growing, medium-size, blue-leaved hostas...a great source of sports and is a superior breeding plant...I have
always thought that if someone wanted to develop an evergreen hosta, they should
start with 'Halcyon'."
Field Guide to Hostas by Mark Zilis (2014), "Out of all 34 named Tardianas, 'Halcyon' ranks as the most well-known and
widely propagated. It has proven to be a superior garden plant..."
The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by
Grenfell (2009) states: "A benchmark for all hostas in the Tardiana Group.
The original H. 'Halcyon' is usually now only seen in older
collections, since seed-raised strains and the advent of
tissue culture have bastardized it...Winner of the 1987 Alex J. Summers
Distinguished Merit Hosta Award."
has appeared several times in the Popularity Poll by
members of The American Hosta Society (see below). It has also been awarded the Royal
Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in the
In Greek mythology, Halcyon was a bird found in the myth of Alcyone.
Hosta Journal, (2002 Vol. 33 No. 2), "...'Halcyon', 'Devon Green' and 'June'...are the same
hosta but with different-colored leaves."
An article about the Halcyon Group by
Peter Cross in
Hosta Journal (2004 Vol. 35 No.2) says, "Though
'Halcyon' is not the bluest hosta now available, no blue hosta has yet to match
the balance of color, size, habit and growth rate that has made 'Halcyon' the
classic medium-sized blue hosta...One simply doesn't have a hosta collection
until it contains at least one clump of 'Halcyon'. ..is a first-generation member
(TF 1 × 7) of the legendary Tardiana Group of hostas, which consists of hybrids
of 'Tardiflora' × H. 'Elegans', produced in
the master hybridizer of blue hostas, in the 1960s."
....The first sport...was aptly named 'Goldbrook Glimmer', discovered by
Bond of Goldbrook Plants in
a narrow "glimmer" or blaze of green down the middle of the blue leaves...The
variegation is most pronounced in cooler climates and early in the season...In
especially warm climates, the mound will appear a solid blue by the end of the
....I have difficulty choosing a single favorite hosta but, when I am
pressed, more often than not H. 'June' is my choice. This queen of hostas is the
best-known sport of 'Halcyon', taking the dusty blue leaves of the parent and
adding a splash of yellow to the centers of the leaves...As with 'Goldbrook Glimmer', climate plays a huge part in the appearance of 'June'. It needs a
little bit of direct sun early in the season to bring out the brightest
golden-yellow tones in the centers of the leaves, while cooler temperatures are
needed for the best blue coloration. (Specimens of 'June' that I've seen in
surpass all description.)...(At one time
'Kryptonite was thought to be a sport of 'Blue
Wedgwood', but it is now
generally held to be a sport of 'Halcyon'.)"
An article by Warren I. Pollock in
Hosta Journal (2010 Vol. 41 No. 1) states that, "Not long
ago the Margin Halcyon Series comprised just three sports of
Beauty'...'First Frost'...El Nino...new members have been
recently introduced...'Great Escape'...and 'Blue Ivory'...Curiously, the patent for 'El Nino' states it is a "hybrid of 'Halcyon' × a
selection of H. 'Tardiflora'...Hosta authorities agree that most likely 'El Nino'is not a seedling of 'Halcyon', but a sport of 'Halcyon' found in a
tissue-cultured batch in the
In an article in
Hosta Journal (2003 Vol. 34 No. 3),
Randy Goodwin was
asked to select his top five favorite blue and
yellow hostas. He responded with
|Favorite Blue Hostas
||- The benchmark for blues...Whenever I
see a new blue hosta, I take a leaf and place it next to 'Halcyon'
as my standard. H. 'Winfield Blue' another consistent blue.
|H. 'War Party'
||- Holds its bloom well into late
summer...resembles a plant from the
Tardiana Group except it has a
larger growth habit with a mature clump spreading over 4 feet.
|H. 'Blue Angel'
||- Deservedly popular in Indianapolis
gardens...The size and color make it a classic.
|H. 'Blue Betty Lou'
||- Upright growth, leaves that are
H. 'Sieboldiana' and a powder blue bloom, has been a
favorite since I first saw it.
|H. 'Blue Blush'
||- Finding a smaller hosta with good
blue color plus a decent growth rate is difficult. H. 'Blue Blush'
fills this need.
Warren I. Pollock in
Hosta Journal (1994 Vol. 25 No. 2) writes, "H. 'Early
Times' is an all-yellow glaucous sport of 'June'...H.
'June' is the yellow-centered
blue-bordered sport that arose in tissue culture from 'Halcyon'.
Thus, in turn, 'Early times' is the yellow sport of 'Halcyon'."