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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 W. George Schmid in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "The other German hosta of great interest is H. sieboldiana 'Semperaurea'...it is the most magnificent golden-leaved hosta I have seen...said to have come from Japan in the 1930's, and, therefore, there would have existed a golden-margined form of H. sieboldiana -- which we now call H. 'Frances Williams' -- in Japan during that time."

2) An article by W. George Schmid in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16)  discusses the University of Munich's trial gardens Staudensichtungsgarten Weihenstephan, "...a fine collection of hostas. These are of great importance from a historical standpoint, because many of the cultivars there came from the early German hybridizers, including Georg Ahrends . They include H. sieboldii (syn. H. albomarginata) 'Alba Improved', H. ventricosa 'Superba', H. tardiflora  'Hybrids' and H. sieboldiana 'Elegans'."

3) An article by W. George Schmid in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "In England Heinz Klose obtained a number of H. x tardiana plants after Eric Smith left Hadspen House nursery. He is also actively selecting and propagating H. sieboldiana 'Semperaurea' seedlings...Named by him are several hybrid seedlings: H. 'Goldpfeil' ('Gold Arrow'), H. 'Weisse Glocke' ('White Bell'), and H. 'Zitronenfalter' ('Lemon Butterfly')...special cultivars with H. sieboldiana lines are: H. 'Blauglut' ('Blue Glow') and H. 'Blaue Wolke' ('Blue Cloud') which reminds one of H. 'Blue Heaven'...with his H. x tardiana...has named one H. 'Irische See' ('Irish Sea')...H. 'Nordatlantic' ('North Atlantic')..."

Note: Nomenclature changes recommended in the 1991 book The Genus Hosta by W. George Schmid and accepted by The American Hosta Society would update names as follows: H. x tardiana is now Tardiana Group 

4) An article about H. sieboldiana 'Semperaurea' by W. George Schmid in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "Through the kind cooperation of Mrs. Ursula Syre-Herz of Coastal Gardens and Nursery in Myrtle Beach, SC, I was able to obtain all of the pertinent information from three of Foerster's books in her possession. All of the Books mention 'Dauergoldfunkie', the German name for H. sieboldiana 'Semperaurea'...Foerster's books were published before 1959, and thus the Latin cultivar name 'Semperaurea' is permissible under the Cultivated Code."

5) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "In a private garden in Uppsala, Sweden, Hylander found a hosta that he named H. fortunei 'Obscura'...Hylander didn't explain why he selected the name "obscura," but I would guess that it refers to the hosta's obscure origin...In the same garden Hylander found a handsome yellow-margined form...he named H. fortunei 'Obscura Marginata'...in Europe, it is called H. fortunei 'Obscura Marginata' and also H. fortunei 'Aureo-marginata', although in Britain the names 'Yellow Edge' and 'Sprengeri' have been used on occasion...In the U.S., this hosta goes under three names: H. fortunei 'Obscura Aureo-marginata', 'Aureo-marginata' and 'Golden (or Gold) Crown'. I was told by one nursery that they sell the same hosta under any of these names."

Note: Nomenclature changes recommended in the 1991 book The Genus Hosta by W. George Schmid and accepted by The American Hosta Society would update names as follows: H. fortunei 'Obscura' is now H. 'Fortunei Obscura' and H. fortunei 'Obscura Aureomarginata' would be H. 'Fortunei Obscura Aureomarginata'

6) An article about H. montana 'Chirifu' by Herb Benedict in The Hosta Journal (1991 Vol. 22 No. 2) states that, "About seven years ago, on one of her biannual trips to Japan, Hideko Gowen of Excelsior, Minnesota, brought back a very beautiful large gold-splashed form of Hosta montana. It was found in the wild by Mr. Sekini, in Tachigi Ken, Japan . George Schmid has suggested the name H. montana 'Chirifu'. Chirifu is a Japanese word which means "splashed" or "overall-variegated...The bloom stalks are well over six feet tall each with forty or more very fertile flowers."

7) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1992 Vol. 23 No. 1) states that, "In spring 1991, visited Japan spending considerable time with hosta specialists. He reports that in Japan, "our" 'Ginko Craig' is labeled H. Helonioides 'Albo-Picta', a variety described by Dr. Fumio Maekawa in his 1940 taxonomic monograph...this hosta was received by Alex Summers in 1969 from Jack Craig who was living in Japan ...Summers called it 'Ginko Craig' honoring Jack Craig's then wife...What we have been growing as H. heloniodes 'Albo-picta' is actually H. rhodeifolia...what is the name of the hosta we have been calling H. rohdeifolia in the Western world? It's 'Fortunei Gloriosa'..." 

8) An article about H. 'Pelham Blue Tump' by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1995 Vol. 26 No. 2) states that, "Pelham is the name of Dick Kitchingman's home in Dorset, England. Tump is an old English word for a small mound...a small plant with blue-green leaves. It's a 'Tokudama' hybrid."

9) 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.

10) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1995 Vol. 26 No. 2) states that, "Ian Chrystal of Bedford, England found a stable, green-rimmed sport of 'Dawn' and named it 'Green with Envy'...Besides being attractive, it has two other good characteristics: it's a good grower and it bulks up fairly quickly. But, the leaves have thin substance; so, bait for slugs."

11) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 1) states that people close to English hybridizer, Eric Smith,  say that he meant to name H. 'Snowden' after the Snowdon mountain in Wales. There are no plans to change the name, however.

12) An article about H. 'Forncett Frances' by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 1) states that, "This hosta was found at the Four Seasons nursery in St. Mary, Norwich, Norfolk, England...The leaves of 'Forncett Frances' are not as bright as those of 'Color Glory' (Aden) which is a sport of 'Frances Williams' and also having this hosta's reversed variegation."

13) An article by Ben J.M. Zonneveld in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 2) states that, "...I found in the garden of Hideko Gowen,...From her trip with an American part to Japan a plant called provisionally 'Katsuragawa'...It was selected from a wild population for its rather strong red petioles and I think it to be a form of H. longipes. What was remarkable was the fact that a young offset had leaves which were red all over. We must wait to see if this is maintained when the leaves grow older, but it shows at least the possibility for a red-leaved hosta."

14) An article by Ben J.M. Zonneveld in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 2) states that, "...I found in the garden of Hideko Gowen,..I also found a seedling of H. 'Salute' (a H. rupifraga × H. kikutii prunosa cross or, is H. 'Blue Cadet' also involved?). It had a total of eight scapes in bud...The peculiar thing was that there was just a single crown with about eight leaves. Surely a plant to give some attention."

15) 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'.

16) An article about H. 'Yu Lei' by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1998 Vol. 29 No. 1) states that "This is a British introduction from Notcutts Nurseries...It was brought to the U.K. from China...The name means "White Fairy."...has a multiplicity of flowers with different number of flower petals (tepals) ranging from double flowered to double-double flowered (24 petals). The latter already has a name, H. 'Venus'."

17) An article about H. 'Great Expectations'   by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2000 Vol. 31 No. 1) reports that John Bond wrote, "I became aware of an obvious sport on a substantial clump of H. sieboldiana 'Elegans' ...in the rhododendron species collection in the Valley Gardens in Windsor Great Park during the early 1980s. After a year or so I decided to remove this sport for it was clearly promising to say the least...The three "cuttings" were carefully planted in a sheltered corner of my own garden...The following spring produced three nice little plants...Rightly or wrongly I gave Paul Aden [Baldwin, New York] one of my plants and the remaining two were transferred to the Savill Garden from where sadly they were both stolen!...So that is the very simple story and explains that there was no mysterious breeding programme and also that H. 'Frances Williams' had no part to play."

18) An article about H. 'Kinbotan' by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2001 Vol. 32 No. 1) states that, "This is a miniature brought from Japan by Hideko Gowen...It is about the size and form of H. venusta with green leaves edged with a narrow gold margin...The tiney blooms in early summer are purple. Kinbotan translated from Japanese to mean "gold button"..."

19) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2001 Vol. 32 No. 2)  states that, "If you've been enchanted with a small hosta in the British trade labeled H. 'Touchstone', I'm told it is "identical" to H. 'Diamond Tiara'...Roger Bowden replied, "I can confirm that H. 'Touchstone' and 'Diamond Tiara' are identical leaf-wise in our nursery. Incidentally, the purple flowers of H. 'Touchstone' were claimed to be scented but that now has been refuted."..."

20) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2001 Vol. 32 No. 2)  states that, "...the 1995 Team New Zealand defended the America's Cup...racing yachting trophy. H. 'Kiwi Black Magic' was named for "Black Magic," the sailing vessel that won the race...At the 1998 AHS National Convention in Peoria, Illinois, a piece of H. 'Kiwi Black Magic' was auctioned for $1,100.00."

21) An article about H. 'Koryu' by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2001 Vol. 32 No. 2)  states that, "Tony (Avent) goes on to explain: "This very distinctive collector's plant, a H. longipes (selection or hybrid) which is highly coveted in Japan, was originally discovered by Dr. Shuichi Hirao. This is the same plant the Ralph "Herb" Benedict named H. 'Fused Veins', after not being able to determine the true identity."

22) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2001 Vol. 32 No. 2)  states that, "H. 'Prince of Wales' is a brand-new cultivar, a large blue-leaved H. sieboldiana seedling...It should be available in Britain in 2002."

23) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2002 Vol. 33 No. 1) quotes English nurseryman Roger Bowden "We obtained some plants from Terra Nova Nurseries (Tigard, Oregon), and the labels with them spelled H. 'Kathryn Lewis'. We had some plants from Alan Lewis labeled H. 'Katherine Lewis' and upon enquiry Alan confirmed that his spelling of his daughter's name was correct! Alan Lewis had a nursery incorporated in the grounds of Forde Abbey near Chard in Somerset..."

24) An article in The Hosta Journal (2002 Vol. 33 No. 1) reporting on a speech by Barry Yinger at the 2001 AHS Convention states "The Japanese take a different approach to hosta breeding than the Americans, creating some exciting new results. Native species, which look ugly or "peculiar" at best in the wild, are used in many Japanese hybrids, resulting in spectacular new varieties. H. 'Tortifrons' (noted for its very twisted, grass-like foliage), used in many Japanese hybrids, impairs a twist to the leaves of its offspring. One example given was H. 'Tatsumaki', meaning "tornado" which has large twisted leaves and attractive flowers."

25) An article about H. 'Reiho' by Akira Horinaka in The Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 1) says,  "This is a well-known diminutive hosta. A hybrid with white-centered leaf and a deep green margin, it was the progeny of a white-veined cultivar of 'Fortunei'...and the species H. venusta...H. 'Reiho' has been a prized cultivar; it sold at 12,500 yen (about $1,000) for a single division in 1988."

26) An article about H. 'Kinu-no-yuki' by Akira Horinaka in The Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 1) says,  "This is a very beautiful new cultivar of H. longipes ...a hybrid of a wild form of H. longipes named 'Chichibu'...and another collected form of H. longipes ...called 'Tochiga'...A relative of 'Kinu-no-yuki', 'Mine-no-yuki' is a hybrid of the wild form of 'Chichibu' and the cultivar 'Kinusouri' (itself a hybrid of a white-veined, wild 'Chichibu' and 'Tochigi')....'Kinu-no-yuki' has a snow-white center with an irregular and narrow green border...[nearly 2 inch-long] leaf...has the most pure white center I have ever seen."

27) An article by Akira Horinaka in The Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 1) says,  "A variety referred to provisionally as "Kairyo Hinsyu" is an improved cultivar of 'Yakushima Otome'...It is a pretty miniature hosta that has leaves...[nearly 1¼ inches] long with a creamy white center and a clean and narrow green border. When it is increased, it will be given a permanent cultivar name."

28) An article by Akira Horinaka in The Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 1) says,  "...'Yakushima Otome' was hybridized by Mr. Kitahara...in Tokyo. It was produced from H. venusta...and 'Komame', a very small form of H. 'Yakushima Mizu' found in Kyushu."

29) An article about H. 'Okutama Nakafu' by Akira Horinaka in The Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 1) says,  "Nakafu means the leaf has a white center surrounded by green; this plant also has a green accent line within the white center. This is a form of H. longipes ..., one of the most popular hostas in Japan . It is very similar to a plant called 'Hakuho' and may be the same plant under a different name or a "sister" plant. 'Okutama Nakafu' has leaves that average...[just over 5½ inches] long. It is a seedling from 'Okutama Nishiki', which is green with lovely white-centered streaking and itself a sport of 'Okutama' a wild form found near Lake Okutama-ko...near Tokyo."

30) An article about H. 'Island Charm' by Akira Horinaka in The Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 1) says,  "I bought 'Island Charm' from a Japanese nursery. Even in November, this hosta keeps a white center with a surrounding narrow green border. I think this is one of the most beautiful patterns I've seen, with a lovely accent of some green lines in the white area.

31) An article about H. 'Reiko' by Akira Horinaka in The Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 1) says,  "H. 'Reiko', which has some of the most beautiful leaves I have ever seen...is a medium-sized hybrid cultivar that maintains its coloring throughout the season. It has a large leaf with white variegation. It has been one of the highest-priced hostas, rivaling 'Reiho'...It is a strong grower and keeps its beautiful leaves well into November."

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