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) 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.
bullet H. 'Beatrice'
bullet H. 'Crinkle Cup'
bullet H. 'Dorothy'
bullet H. 'Holly's Honey'
bullet H. 'Sharmon'
bullet H. 'Sweet Susan'
bullet H. 'The Twister'
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.

2) 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.

3) An article in The Hosta Journal (1995 Vol. 26 No. 1) citing Vol. 1, #2, Fall 1993, Great Lakes Region Newsletter included a list of Classic Hostas from Peter Ruh:

4) An article in The Hosta Journal (1995 Vol. 26 No. 1) citing Vol. 1, #2, Fall 1993, Great Lakes Region Newsletter included a list of Hostas for The Connoisseur from Dick Ward:

  1. H. fluctuans 'Variegated'
  2. H. 'Blue Cadet'
  3. H. 'Sum and Substance'
  4. H. 'Spilt Milk'
  5. H. 'Sunshine Glory'
  1. H. 'Gold Cover'
  2. H. 'September Sun'
  3. H. 'Herb Benedict'
  4. H. 'Flamboyant'
  5. H. 'Sultana'

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. fluctuans 'Variegated' is now H. 'Sagae'.

5) An article in The Hosta Journal (1995 Vol. 26 No. 1) citing Vol. 1, #2, Fall 1993, Great Lakes Region Newsletter included a list of Hostas for The Hybridizer from Jim Dishon:

6) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (1996 Vol. 27 No. 2) states that, "H. 'Patriot' is among the five best hostas registered in the last five years. It's a 'Fortunei'-type with "dark green" leaves having a wide "white" border."

7) An article by Bob Solberg (nurseryman, noted hybridizer and past president of The American Hosta Society ) in The Hosta Journal (2000 Vol. 31 No. 1) states that, in his opinion, the Top 10 Hostas of the past Millenium would be:

8) 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."

9) An article by Steve Chamberlain (well-known hybridizer of the Academy Series) in The Hosta Journal (2002 Vol. 33 No. 3) states that, "My six favorite blues are Hosta 'Deep Blue Sea', 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd', 'Camelot', 'Silvery Slugproof', 'Bill Dress's Blue', and 'Blue Angel', but most of them do not grow rapidly."

10) An article by noted hybridizer and nurseryman Tony Avent in The Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 2) contained his brief opinions on how to improve hostas currently (2006) considered to be of Top 25 caliber:

  1. H. 'Sum and Substance' : Needs brighter yellow foliage, more rigid scape.
  2. H. 'Sagae': Very slow to finish in pots; takes two seasons to get a good edge.
  3. H. 'Great Expectations' : Great in open shade or morning sun but hates dark shade.
  4. H. 'June': Slow to look mature in containers and in the ground.
  5. H. 'Paul's Glory': Very difficult to get to come true in tissue culture.
  6. H. 'Guacamole': Better foliage color contrast needed.
  7. H. 'Patriot' : Needs to finish off in containers faster.
  8. H. montana 'Aureomarginata': Needs to emerge later to avoid frosts
  9. H. 'Gold Standard' : Yellow color could emerge and stay brighter.
  10. H. 'Regal Splendor': Takes several seasons to develop a nice wide edge.
  11. H. 'Frances Williams' : Foliage burns.
  12. H. 'Blue Angel' : Foliage could be much bluer and hold color.
  1. H. 'Krossa Regal':Needs shorter and more attractive scape.
  2. H. 'Fragrant Bouquet': Foliage color combination has little market appeal.
  3. H. 'Whirlwind': Central leaf color fades.
  4. H. 'Love Pat': Could be faster-growing.
  5. H. 'Halcyon' : Could be faster-growing.
  6. H. 'Sun Power' : O.K. as is.
  7. H. 'Inniswood': Could be faster to marketable-size finish crop.
  8. H. 'Striptease': Needs to be more stable.
  9. H. 'On Stage': Leaf color could hold longer; slow in containers.
  10. H. 'Spilt Milk': Leaf pattern could be more vivid, and it grows slowly.
  11. H. 'Fire and Ice': Could be more vigorous.
  12. H. 'Pandora's Box': Needs more heat-tolerance.
  13. H. 'Elegans': Needs bluer foliage that lasts into the summer.

11) An article discussing large size hostas by Walter Cullerton in The Hosta Journal (2010 Vol. 41 No. 1) states that, "I've decided to take a look at my favorites, those Big Hostas that excited me along my in each major category...yellow, edged variegated, medio-variegated, blue and, yes, green. Remember, I like green."

* 'Big John' - H. 'Big John' has remained in my mind as the tallest green, along with 'Elatior'. Now it seems 'Roderick' has eclipsed those two. But wait another minute...'Empress Wu' as The New Benchmark in Big. A seedling of 'Big John', it reaches an astounding 47½ inches tall, with leaves bigger than any other that I know of."
* 'Elatior' - My favorite H. even bigger one now exists -- and its green as well. H. 'Roderick', an 'Elatior' seedling grown by the late icon Russ O'Hara.
* 'Krossa Regal' - It is well over 30 inches tall, with a vase shape...and a soft, almost bluish-gray color...A must for every garden. Not just every hosta garden, every garden...I consider understated in color, and therefore it blends with most other plants, providing connection and good flow.
* Piedmont Gold' - Beautifully mounded, nicely veined, puckered -- and wonderful white flowers in early summer. I'd say a tad of 'Elegans' parentage here.
* 'Sagae' - My favorite bit hosta. H. 'Liberty, a sport of 'Sagae', is an absolute showstopper but, for me, 'Liberty' is a much smaller plant. My 'Sagae' is well over 36 inches tall.
* 'Sun Power' - Possibly 36 inch, vase-shaped mound. Yellows accent the garden full of green so nicely.
* 'Victory' - In my garden, 'Victory' has grown to 30 inches and is a winner.
* Other edge-variegated favorites include 'Frosted Jade', 'Regal Splendor', 'Yellow River' and 'Unchained Melody'.
* Favorite medio-variegated hybrids include 'Queen of Islip', 'Super Nova', 'Saybrook Surprise', 'Paul's Glory' and 'Inniswood'.

12) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2012 Vol. 43 No. 1) states that, "Rod Kuenster...has been collecting data in Audra Wilson's garden in...Iowa, as part of his effort to registered many of the hostas introduced by Herb and Dorothy Benedict...I asked him for his favorites. His choices:"

* H. 'Bashful Polly' - a very beautiful streaked hosta that is fertile.
* H. 'Tsuma Tajima' - a streaked and fertile smaller plant with shiny leaves.
* H. 'Country Gentleman' - a mid-size hosta that makes a nice clump, with leaves having medium-green center and creamy yellow margin. Herb named it for Fred Wilson, Audra's husband, as that is what he thought Fred was: a country gentleman.
* H. 'Blue You Bet' - a small blue with thick substance; good pollen donor.
* H. 'Reddy Eddy' - which has dark red petioles, and shiny, wavy leaves with a pointy tip.
* H. 'Mountain Pride' - perhaps Herb's largest hosta. Medium-green leaves. Audra's clump measured 69 inches across and 33 inches high.
* H. 'Mellow Yellow' - a must for anyone's hybridizing program. Golden yellow leaves have heavy substance and are puckered.
* H. 'Sarah Fackey' - with medium green leaves having a yellow margin. Named for one of Herb's school teachers.

13) An article by Warren I. Pollock in The Hosta Journal (2012 Vol. 43 No. 1) states that, "John O'Brien's premium hosta nursery...features more than 1,100 varieties...Here are O'Brien's showstoppers with a discussion of some of his comments, along with my comments in parentheses:"

* H. 'Blue Mouse Ears' - Petite, rubbery leaves in a soft shade of blue make this hosta easy to love. Slug-resistant.
* H. 'Climax' - Requires some patience, but it is well worth the wait. On average, this cultivar takes four years to become an attention grabber. As variegated hostas mature, the show rim on their leaves widens; the golden-yellow edge of a young 'Climax' is only ¼ inch thick, but after a few years, the edge expands to 1 inch. Slug-resistant. (Gil Jones registered 'Climax' in 2000. It's a sport of Mildred Seaver's attractive yellow 'High Noon'.)
* H. 'Dawn's Early Light' - Hostas are just like people; the older they get, the more they wrinkle. This hosta is no exception. Leaves emerge a brilliant yellow in spring and gradually turn lime green later in the season. Slug-resistant. (Olga Petryszyn registered 'Dawn's Early Light', a hybrid of Mildred Seaver's 'Sea Fire' in 1998)
* H. 'Deep Blue Sea' - The hottest item at John's nursery in late summer, chiefly because it's the only blue hosta that is still blue. Stays blue all season with glorious, deeply puckered, cupped leaves. Slug-resistant. (Charlie Seaver registered 'Deep Blue Sea', a 'Blue Moon' hybrid, in 1994.)
* H. 'Dick Ward' - The sharp contrast of its puckered golden yellow centers and dark green edges provides a spectacular show in late summer. Slug-resistant. (Handy Hatfield registered 'Dick Ward' in 1991. It's a sport of Paul Aden 's large yellow 'Zounds'."
* H. 'First Frost' - John says this might just be his favorite because it never lacks luster. It emerges in early spring with crisp golden-yellow edges that fade to a snowy white soon after the first of July. Slug-resistant.
* H. 'Orange Marmalade' - Emerges in spring with bright yellow foliage trimmed in dark green. As leaves mature, their centers take on a subtle orange tint. Slug-resistant.
* H. 'Praying Hands' - One-of-a-kind twisted leaves with skinny cream-colored rims. Slug-resistant. (This hosta is not easy to site attractively among other hostas.)
* H. 'Striptease' - Named for a peeking white strip on its leaves. Fast grower with sturdy shape.

14) 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'."

15) In an article about the best selling hostas in The Hosta Journal (2018 Vol. 49 No. 2) Sue Anderson of Mason Hollow Nursery in New Hampshire listed:

16) In an article about the best selling hostas which were "ahead of the curve" in The Hosta Journal (2018 Vol. 49 No. 2) Jack Barta of Jack's Hostas in Wisconsin listed:

17) In an article about the best selling hostas "the coming wave" in The Hosta Journal (2018 Vol. 49 No. 2) Josh Spece of In The Country Garden & Gifts in Iowa listed:

18) In an article about the best selling hostas in The Hosta Journal (2021 Vol. 52 No. 2) Rick Hornbaker of Hornbacker Gardens in Illinois listed:

19) In an article about the best selling hostas in The Hosta Journal (2021 Vol. 52 No. 2) Erin Parks, Head of the Liner Division of Bob Solberg's Green Hill Farm in North Carolina listed:

  1. H. 'Ruby Earrings'
  2. H. 'Kaleidochrome'
  3. H. 'Rough Lemon'
  4. H. 'Plum Delicious'
  5. H. rectifolia 'Rasha Maru'
  1. H. 'Riverboat Queen'
  2. H. 'Michigander'
  3. H. 'Lemon Snap'
  4. Tie H. 'Lucky Mouse' & H. 'Orange Marmalade'
  5. Tie H. sieboldiana 'Hakama Souvenir', H. 'Lettuce Wrap', H. 'Out of the Fog' and H. 'Picasso'.

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