Many factors go into the selection of hostas for the garden. In addition to the physical characteristics of the plant, there are other criteria such as awards and honors, recommendations of hosta experts, resistance to common problems and avoiding name confusion when dealing with thousands of hostas.



Although there are many design criteria that are used in the development of a landscape plans, hostas commonly contribute in about three ways. The primary design criteria would be clump size followed by leaf color traits with clump texture being another consideration.

For many, but not all, National Conventions of The American Hosta Society, the host organization commissioned the development of a new cultivar to commemorate the event. A specimen of this hosta was presented to every attendee at the convention.

In 1996, the American Hosta Growers Association initiated the Hosta of the Year promotion. Each year, an outstanding hosta cultivar is named and promoted by the members of the group.

Each year since 2006, a group of trained judges within The American Hosta Society have selected certain cultivars of hosta to be honored with The Benedict Garden Performance Award of Merit. These judges from across the country choose outstanding hostas that are known to do well in home gardens in their region. They place the top plants in two categories as either an Honorable Mention or an Award of Merit.

In 2009, Mark Zilis published the most comprehensive book on the genus to date titled, The Hostapedia. We have sifted through the pages and pulled out many of the most highly praised, outstanding hostas according to Mark Zilis' opinion. We call each plant a "Mark Zilis All-Star".


In 2009, Mark Zilis published the most comprehensive book on the genus to date titled, The Hostapedia. Mark occasionally found some problems with certain hostas which warranted a negative review. We have called these losers a "Mark Zilis NO-Star".


This is the situation where the same plant has been known by the different names. Sometimes a plant has been renamed by the originator or mistakenly listed in references or catalogs.


In this case, different plants have the same name. This usually occurs because two or more originators are unaware that the other(s) have given the same name to their cultivar(s). If one of the plants is registered with The American Hosta Society, it becomes the "official" plant of that name and the others should be renamed to avoid confusion.


In the early days of interest in hostas, certain "pioneers" received divisions of new plants directly from Japan or from hybridizers in the U.S. or Europe. In several cases, these as yet unnamed plants were given identification numbers by the recipients. Some of these plants were given to others under those numbered names. Eventually, these plants were given actual cultivar names which caused some confusion. We have lists of these numbered names along with the currently correct cultivar name for that plant.


Certain hostas have been around for a long time and were significant in establishing the genus as the outstanding landscape plant it is today. Some of them have been parent plants to many top cultivars while others represent significant breakthroughs in leaf colors, flowers, size or other characteristics.


Many originators have chosen to use a certain word or phrase in the name of all of their introductions as a type of "brandname". We call them a Name Series and they range in size from several hundred as in the "Lakeside" series to others that contain only a few cultivars.


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