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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 Frederick McGourty, owner of Hillside Gardens in Connecticut in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "I suspect that a few of the older hostas will survive the onslaught. One that I see everywhere these days, from planting of other times, is Hosta lancifolia, which makes a serviceable edging or ground cover, although the glossy green leaves are small for the genus. It is still one of the best hostas for flowers, which are rich lavender and borne in the latter part of the summer after most other hostas have ceased blooming. Hosta lancifolia is almost indestructible, a trait not always appreciated by nurserymen. Like marigolds, it has suffered a lot from banal uses."

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. 'Lancifolia'

2) An article about H. ventricosa 'Aureo-maculata' and 'Aureo-marginata' by W. George Schmid in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "H. ventricosa is one of the oldest hostas in cultivation...The variegated form of H. ventricosa that is now identified with the cultivar name of 'Aureo-marculata' can be traced back to P.F. von Siebold's time. In 1876, E. Regel published a paper on hostas in Germany and in it referred to a "Funkia ovata forma aureovariegata."...as a possible synonym for 'Aureo-maculata' form."

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. ventricosa 'Aureomaculata' and H. ventricosa 'Aureomarginata'.

3) An article about H. ventricosa 'Aureo-maculata' and 'Aureo-marginata' by W. George Schmid in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "While the historical existence of H. ventricosa 'Aureo-maculata' can be considered confirmed, it is considerably more difficult to show that there was a H. ventricosa 'Aureo-marginata' before the 1950's."

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. ventricosa 'Aureomaculata' and H. ventricosa 'Aureomarginata'.

4) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "Many hosta enthusiasts have come to assume that any cultivar name with "Hadspen" or "Dorset" is a H x tardiana. Not so. There is at least one exception: Eric Smith 's 'Hadspen Honey'. According to an April 5, 1978 letter that Smith wrote to Alex J. Summers who was then living in Roslyn, New York, "H. 'Hadspen Honey' is a sport from the golden-edged H. sieboldiana," that is, from Hosta 'Frances Williams'."

5) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "In a November 11, 1976 letter, Smith stated that 'Bluie Lagoon' is his provisional name for the H. x tardiana numbered TF2x4. In 1977, however, the name 'Dorset Blue' was officially registered this hosta on behalf of Eric Smith by Paul Aden ..."

6) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1985 Vol. 16) states that, "There is probably no group in the genus Hosta that is more complex and perplexing, and with more puzzling nomenclature, than H. fortunei ."

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 is now H. 'Fortunei'.

7) In an article by Robert Olson, past President of The American Hosta Society in The Hosta Journal (1992 Vol. 23 No. 2), the question in the title was "Whatever Happened To the Hostas of 1969?" To answer the question, Bob surveyed a group at the AHS Winter Scientific Meeting near Chicago to see which older cultivars were still being grown. The following is a summary of the cultivars which received the highest percentages of responses.

   
1) The Classics H. 'August Moon', H. 'Francee', H. 'Royal Standard' and H. 'Honeybells'
2) Garden Mainstays - These plants are likely to be included in the gardens of ardent collectors.
3) Collectibles - These are hostas that are no longer widely available nor likely to become so.
4) Uncommon Cultivars - These are cultivars that are not likely to be encountered, except in the gardens of zealous collectors.
5) Rare Plants - This group consists of plants not likely to be seen even in "national tour" caliber gardens. They are probably not very distinguished cultivars.
bullet H. 'Bonanza'
bullet H. 'Innovation'
bullet H. 'June Beauty'
bullet H. 'Lavender Lady'
bullet H. 'Leviathan'
bullet H. 'Pale Gold'
bullet H. 'Silver Tips'
bullet H. 'Slim Poly'
bullet H. 'Snow Flakes'
bullet H. 'Sunlight'
bullet H. 'Tinker Bell'
bullet H. 'Willy Nilly'

8) In an article by Robert Olson, past President of The American Hosta Society in The Hosta Journal (1992 Vol. 23 No. 2) quoted Bill Burto..."[Ernie Brodeur] had two similar-looking plants that he named 'Fantasy' and 'Hannah Hanson'

9) In an article by Robert Olson, past President of The American Hosta Society in The Hosta Journal (1992 Vol. 23 No. 2) quoted Peter Ruh's response to a list of older hostas presented to him:

- 'Betsy King' - Strange that this does not sell well. It has magnificent purple flowers.
- Others on the list with fine flowers - 'Purple Profusion' and 'Dorothy'
- Good breeding plants - 'Beatrice' (gives variegated seedlings) and 'Holly's Honey', a wonderful "improved Ventricosa" form.
- 'Royal Lady' - Not so royal and not outstanding.
- 'Silver Streak' - Too slow to be important.
- 'Sunlight' - A classic because it was the first golden H. sieboldiana.
- 'Silver Tips' - Silver tips on lavender flowers.
- 'Fantasy' and 'Hannah Hanson' were originated by Ernie Brodeur before 1969. I know nothing of these plants.
- 'RosHogh' is from Curtis in the 1960s. I do not have it; do not think it important.

10) An article by Alex Summers in The Hosta Journal (1995 Vol. 26 No. 2) was titled, "Hosta 'Frances Williams': A New Look at an Old Favorite". The main premise of the piece was that over the long history of H. 'Frances Williams' which was discovered in 1936, the plant sold by that name in recent decades is actually H. 'Aurora Borealis'. He claimed to have a clump of the original Williams' plant which he named 'Bristol Frances Williams' to indicate that it is the one found by Frances Williams in 1936 in Bristol, CT. The plant known as H. 'Aurora Borealis' came from a hosta that Chet Tompkins' mother, Cynthia received from England in 1924 and later named by Thelma Rudolph of Illinois.

11) An article about H. 'Buckshaw Blue' by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 1) states that, "This is a superb hosta that has won several AHS awards: 1980 Midwest Blue Award and 1987 Nancy Minks Award. It is a seedling found by Eric Smith at the Hilliers Nurseries, Winchester, England, and taken by him to Buckshaw Gardens from which it received its name...is considered to be a member of the Tokudama Group. H. 'Buckshaw Blue' is one of the best blue hostas, but be warned: It is very slow growing."

12) An article about H. 'Fragrant Bouquet' by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 1) states that, "Paul (Aden) always has said that a characteristic he wants for his hosta introductions is for them to be easily recognized ten feet away in the garden. He has certainly achieved this with 'Fragrant Bouquet'. To add even more distinction, the near-white flowers are very fragrant. You don't have to stick your nose into the flower to appreciate the scent."

13) An article about H. 'Hoosier Harmony' (originated by Bob Solberg) by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 1) states that, "I think this is the best new introduction of 1995...It has all the great characteristics of 'Royal Standard' . It is a good grower, with big white fragrant flowers, that will tolerate sunny locations given ample water."

14) An article about H. 'Undulata' and its origins by Bob Solberg in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 1) states that, "H. 'Undulata Erromena' is a garden sport, first originated in Holland and introduced in 1867 by von Siebold. It is not found in the wild of Japan . H. 'Undulata' is not a sport of it...While the data presented here strongly support these conclusions, they do not provide absolute proof. DNA testing of these cultivars would prove very interesting."

15) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1997 Vol. 28 No. 1) states that, "H. 'Stetson' is a mutation of - and with the same variegation as - 'Wide Brim' a classic hosta, certainly a must have cultivar for any hosta fancier...The difference between the two hostas is that each side of the leaf blade of 'Stetson' curves (curls) upward."

16) 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."

17) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2002 Vol. 33 No. 1) states that, "Mildred R. Seaver, has introduced many excellent hostas,...An early one was Hosta 'Sea Sprite' registered in 1978...Soon after its introduction, yellow spots and splotches were noticed on H. 'Sea Sprite' leaves thought to be due to virus infection...Almost everyone trashed their H. 'Sea Sprite' plants..." 

The article goes on to cite Hank Zumach of Stoddard, Wisconsin who sent a sample of a splotched leaf to Dr Ben Lockhart of the University of Minnesota who is a specialist in plant viruses. The September 17, 2001 lab report says, "Using a variety of testing procedures, I have been unable to detect any virus in your H. 'Sea Sprite' plant. My belief is that this type of spotting is not caused by a virus or any other pathogenic agent, but is a genetic effect..."

18) An article by Charles Seaver in The Hosta Journal (2002 Vol. 33 No. 3) states that, "The four Mildred Seaver hostas that I like the best are not the four best Mildred Seaver hostas. From an overall AHS standpoint, I would select (1) 'Spilt Milk' - most unique, (2) 'Sea Prize' - her best breeder, (3) 'Lucy Vitols' - dark green edge and (4) 'Queen of the Seas' - best blue piecrust ever. My personal favorites (1) 'Sea Thunder' - I found the first sport, (2) 'Sea Beacon' - glows in any garden, (3) 'Komodo Dragon' - 7 feet across and (4) 'Don Quixote' - I got some great breeders from it."

19) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2014 Vol. 45 No. 2) states that, "...'Sea Frolic', a 2004 registration of the late Mildred Seaver, has green leaves that are strongly piecrusted, with glaucous bloom on top and underside."

20) An article by Bob Olson  in The Hosta Journal (2015 Vol. 46 No.2) states that, "Three classic hostas have been voted to every AHS Popularity Poll since 1984. All are large vase-shaped cultivars from Japan ...AHS founder Alex Summers had a hand in introducing each of them. Today, if you have a collection of 75-100 hosta varieties you most likely have all of them."
H. montana 'Aureomarginata' - "Alex Summers was sent this plant in 1967...It was labeled as a variety of H. sieboldiana, but it was clearly a variety of H. montana ...He had received a single plant with two divisions and sent one division to his good friend Gus Krossa in Saginaw, Michigan."
   
H. 'Krossa Regal' - "Also in 1967 Gus Krossa sent Alex Summers 24 hostas he'd received in the past years from Japan . One of them stood out - it was the one labeled "Krossa-A3"...Alex wrote Gus and suggested the name 'Krossa Regal'."
   
H. 'Sagae' - "Kenji Watanabe, fabled plant hunter whose Gotemba Nursery near Mt. Fuji...reported that Sage Gibōshi was found on the Island of Honshu near the city of Sagae...Because of evolving nomenclature systems it was called H. montana 'Sagae' in Japan, and H. fluctuans 'Variegated' in Europe and the U.S...Jack Craig sent hostas and other exotics to Alex Summers regularly. In 1981 a hosta came labeled as Oba Gibōshi (which is the Japanese name for H. montana). It clearly was not an ordinary H. montana . The distinction between the species H. montana and H. fluctuans was not clear at the time and Alex end up calling it H. fluctuans 'Variegated'...Decades later it was determined to be a seedling rather than a species or variant of a species, and reversed to its original name 'Sagae'."

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