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We have searched our copies of The Hosta Journal for anything that might relate to any of the over 13,300 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. 'Blue Mouse Ears'
  3. Early Hosta Cultivars
  4. Fall Bloomers
  5. Flowers
  6. Green Hostas
  7. Halcyon Group
  8. Hosta History
  9. 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
  9. Small Hostas
  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

1) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1991 Vol. 22 No. 1) states that, "The name on the label was 'Bunchoku', but according to W. George Schmid it should be 'Bunchoko'. This hosta looks like 'Ginko Craig'...H. 'Bunchoko' has dark purple blooms much darker and more handsome than 'Ginko Craig'...I confirmed this difference with our still blooming 'Ginko Craig' and also 'Princess of Karafuto' which is a 'Ginko Craig' look-alike."

2) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1992 Vol. 23 No. 1) states that, "Can anyone tell me how to distinguish between 'Grand Master' and 'Resonance'?...I've kept only two plants and they are now good-size mature clumps. But the labels got mixed up,...I've spent considerable time examining them. My conclusion is that they look identical...Sandra Bond says that 'Ground Master' flowers are darker than 'Resonance'."

3) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1992 Vol. 23 No. 2) states that, "H. 'Flamboyant' with its streaked variegation was a "must have" hosta at that time. The problem was that many who purchased it found that it started to turn - and in many cases had completely turned - into 'Shade Fanfare' a year or two later."

4) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1992 Vol. 23 No. 2) states that, "What's the problem with 'Northern Halo'? Simply, there are several forms. The form that people seem to want most has been difficult to obtain and lately has commanded a premium price." Pollock goes on to explain that the differences in forms of 'Northern Halo' have mostly to do with the width of the margin variegation and the size and shape of the leaves which varied from the original plant. These variations have probably occurred due to lack of quality control at various TC labs. To solve the problem, the originator of H. 'Northern Halo' has propagated it with the "proper" form and sells it as H. 'Northern Exposure'."

5) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1995 Vol. 26 No. 2) states that, "H. 'Dawn' is a small, gold-leaved, stoloniferous (actually rhizomatous) hosta with tall spires of purple flowers. A British hosta, the previous name was 'Sunset'. It's similar to 'Hydon Sunset' with which it was once confused.

6) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 1) states that, "...'Color Glory' and 'Borwick Beauty'...are the same hosta. There are records that show 'Color Glory' most certainly came from the same plant in the garden of Mr. and Mrs. R.G. McBurnie in England that was named 'Borwick Beauty' for the village of Borwick near Carnforth in Lancashire, where they live."

7) An article comparing H. 'Sunny Smiles' and H. 'Shade Fanfare' by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 2) states that, "These hostas are very similar. The only difference I have noted is the leaves of 'Sunny Smiles' are a bit larger and brighter."

8) An article about H. 'Canadian Shield', H. 'Devon Green', H. 'Peridot' and H. 'Valerie's Vanity' by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1997 Vol. 28 No. 1) states that, "These four hostas are mutations of 'Halcyon', arguably the best of the late Eric Smith's blue-leaved Tardiana Group...Are all four cultivars the same? I haven't seen any evidence they are different."

9) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1997 Vol. 28 No. 1) states that, "...The International Registration Authority [IRA] for Hosta permits cultivars having the same lineage and identical, or at least very similar, descriptions to be registered with different cultivar names. For registration purpose, they are assumed to be different cultivars until study shows they are the "same" hosta and should bear just one name..."

10) An article by Alex Summers in The Hosta Journal (1997 Vol. 28 No. 2) states that, "...'Green Eclipse' and 'Green Rim Nugget' are the same plant. The name was changed to 'Green Eclipse' when the "Code" frowned on names with more than three words a number of years ago."

11) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2004 Vol. 35 No. 1) states that, "There's a hosta coming from Holland with an interesting name and uncertainty about its origin. It's 'Darwin's Standard' from Witteman Company in...the Netherlands, a wholesale exporter that uses the name Darwin Plants...Two stories about the origin of 'Darwin's Standard' are going around. One is that it is 'Paradigm'...or a look-alike. The other story is that it's a (tissue-culture) sport of 'Gold Standard' ...The confusion in the trade is that 'Darwin's Standard', or at least some plants bearing that name, look like 'Paradigm'...maybe that's the problem with this cultivar. There hasn't been sufficient quality control in the tissue-culture lab or by the exporter."

12) Ian Scroggy of Bali-Hai Nursery in Northern Ireland wrote in The Hosta Journal (2008 Vol. 39 No.1) about his thoughts on H. 'Majesty', H. 'Clifford's Forest Fire', H. 'Magic Fire' and H. 'Liberty'. They are similar appearing yellow-margined sports of H. 'Sagae'. He says, "...of the four, my favourite has to be 'Liberty'. It is much better for colour."

H. 'Majesty' - "Of the four, 'Majesty is my best seller...The leaf detail is very consistent, with three shades of green that bleed out into the outer edge, forming almost a pale lime green margin, rather than a creamy-yellow margin...growing conditions play a big factor in the colour of the leaves...as it is late to emerge it never gets frost damage...leaf colour is muted, not as bright as the edge on 'Sagae' but the colour last on this plant much longer."
H. 'Clifford's Forest Fire' - "I think the problem in the nursery trade has been what I experienced: I got two different batches in and both were different in colour and habit. The leaves were more mid-green onto olive-green centres with a yellow edge, not bright orange-yellow...Growth rate is slow and the leaves grow more flat than upwards, but very compact and tight together...The surface of the leaf is slightly shiny."
H. 'Magic Fire' - Very striking, more like a zingy yellow. It really catches the eye with dark green centres that have much more veining of the centre into the border. Also the leaves are totally different from the other 'Sagae' sports: much bigger with an undulating wave across the width of the leaves like 'waves'; very unusual. The leaves are not as strong as 'Majesty'...Not good autumn colour. I'd say it's a spring hosta. Of the four, 'Magic Fire' is the most different from its parent."
H. 'Liberty' - "When it emerges it is really a show stopper, with a bright orange-yellow margin with mid-green centres. Comes up very upright and unfurls slowly, which I think really intensifies the colour more to the eye, as it has more of an impact when you do not see the centres of the leaves on emergence. The leaves are heart-shaped much more than the other three but the colour and form are much more elegant.
"I only know that I have not sold 'Sagae' since these four hostas came along. The only problem with 'Liberty' is it is slow like 'Sagae' and the leaves get very thin under hot weather (our hot weather is 25 degrees C [77░ F], not as warm as in the USA)."

13) An article titled Too Many Lookalikes by Bob Keller in The Hosta Journal (2010 Vol. 41 No. 2) states that, "There are many registered 'Frances Williams' lookalikes including H. 'Aurora Borealis', H. 'Squash Edge', 'Holly's Green and Gold', 'Golden Circles' and 'Olive Bailey Langdon', as well as some unregistered ones."

14) An article titled Too Many Lookalikes by Bob Keller in The Hosta Journal (2010 Vol. 41 No. 2) states that, "There are other examples of lookalikes being registered. H. 'Ellerbroek' and 'Fortunei Aureomarginata' are nearly identical in my view, as are:

bullet 'Antioch' and 'Spinners'
bullet 'Patriot' and Minuteman'
bullet 'Great Escape', 'Sleeping Beauty', 'First Frost' and 'El Nino'
bullet 'White Bikini' and 'Risky Business'
bullet 'Blue Flame' and 'Secret Love', are both sports of 'Fragrant Blue', are very similar.
bullet There are a host of margined 'Sum and Substance' lookalikes."

15) An article titled Too Many Lookalikes by Bob Keller in The Hosta Journal (2010 Vol. 41 No. 2) states that, "There are other examples of lookalikes being registered. H. 'Ellerbroek' and 'Fortunei Aureomarginata' are nearly identical in my view, as are 'Antioch' and 'Spinners'. H. 'Patriot' and Minuteman'; 'Great Escape', 'Sleeping Beauty', 'First Frost' and 'El Nino'; White Bikini' and 'Risky Business' - the list goes on...H. 'Blue Flame' and 'Secret Love', are both sports of 'Fragrant Blue', are very similar. There are a host of margined 'Sum and Substance' lookalikes."

"There are many registered 'Frances Williams' lookalikes including H. 'Aurora Borealis', H. 'Squash Edge', 'Holly's Green and Gold', 'Golden Circles' and 'Olive Bailey Langdon', as well as some unregistered ones."

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