Hosta 'Lady Isobel Barnett'

Diana Grenfell from England registered this cultivar in 1996 as a sport of H. 'Sum and Substance'. It is a giant size (33 inches high by 78 inches wide) plant with gold leaf margins and 15 pairs of veins. Pale lavender flowers bloom from late July into August.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), this cultivar "...was the first green-centered sport of 'Sum and Substance' to be widely propagated by tissue culture. Its margin is noticeable but narrow in comparison to several newer cultivars."

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "...adequate moisture will encourage deep seersuckering and puckering of the leaves...Yellow margins of similar cultivars are said to be visible earlier in the new season's growth, but once they are all in full growth, there is virtually no difference in the width or the color of the margins. Lovely with orange daylilies but impressive as a specimen in a huge container."

An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 2) states that, "I wrote about the exciting new sport of 'Sum and Substance' named 'Lady Isobel Barnett'...The leaves are thick, glossy dark green with an irregular narrow creamy-yellow margin." Pollock went on to identify other 'Sum and Substance' sports with similar leaf colors including H. 'David A. Haskell' and H. 'Sum Total'.


The following poem by Judy Burns of Georgia was included in  The Hosta Journal (2010 Vol. 41 No. 1).
I love 'Lady Isobel Barnett',
She's my favorite hosta, and yet,
I also love 'Francee',
'Naomi' and 'Nancy',
And 'Abby', and 'June', and 'Coquette'.

An article by Warren I. Pollack in The Hosta Journal  (2020 Vol. 51 No. 1) titled Doppelgänger Hostas: Fancy Name for Look-alike Hostas, included a long list of hostas which various hostaphiles, published articles or other sources have indicated "look" the same. Some of these are, in fact, the same plant with two or more different names. Others are hostas that vary in some minor trait which is not immediately discernable to the casual observer such as seasonal color variations, bloom traits, ploidy, etc. So, as Warren mentions, hostaphiles may differ as to the plants listed but then, their opinions are based on visual observations and interpretations.


H. 'Morning Light' is included on two look-alike lists in this article. Following an algebra rule I learned in the last century, if A=B and B=C, then A=C so all the hostas on both lists should be look-alikes...right?

List #1 - H. 'Lady Isobel Barnett', H. 'Sum It Up' and H. 'Sum Total'

List #2 - H. 'Sum It Up', H. 'Sum Total' and H. 'Tiffney's Godzilla'


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