Throughout history, many people have made lasting contributions to the world of hostas. In these pages, we hope to pay tribute to some of them. Our concentration will be primarily on those who have introduced or registered new cultivars, found new species, promoted the genus or added to our knowledge about this, the Number One selling herbaceous perennial plant in the U.S.

We are always looking to expand these listings and to keep them up to date. So, if you have new information or know of someone who you think should be included, please send us their name and a brief description of their contributions to the World of Hostas. Thanks.

Although not known as a hybridizer, Aden was one of the early pioneers in developing and marketing new cultivars of hostas from his nursery, Garden of Eden in Baldwin, New York.

During the 1970s and 80s he introduced or registered many, many cultivars including  H. 'Bright Lights', H. 'Color Glory', H. 'Fragrant Bouquet' the 1998 "Hosta of the Year',  H. 'Invincible', H. 'So Sweet' the 1996 "Hosta of the Year", and H. 'Sun Power'.

In 1988, he published, The Hosta Book, ISBN 0-88192-087-8.

Note: Paul Aden completed the registration process for many, many hosta cultivars in the early days and, by implication, he was also given the credit for hybridizing or originating them. In recent years, there have been challenges made to several of these early registrations causing Kevin Walek, International Registrar for the Genus Hosta to make the following statement in the 2011 Registrations Report:

"Controversy Regarding Certain Registered Hostas: It has come to the attention of the Registrar that there is a serious controversy over the origin of many plants introduced and registered in such a way that they may be interpreted to have been originated by Paul Aden. It has been reported that many of these plants were originated by others, many of the top hybridizers of the day, including Kevin Vaughn, Chet Tompkins, Florence Shaw, and possibly several others, as well as a number of Japanese cultivars and in many cases were obtained by Paul Aden ostensibly for trial purposes or, in yet other cases, through allegedly nefarious means. To the knowledge of the Registrar, no litigation has issued against Paul or his estate to establish true ownership of numerous cultivars, and the passage of time may have rendered these cases impossible as beyond statutes of limitation, or due to the absence of a solid chain of evidence. Nevertheless, the number of cases of disputed origination is significant. Therefore an “*” will be placed by the Registrar, in the space designated for “originator” on all Aden registrations. The “*” is intended to indicate that the origin of this plant is undocumented and is not considered originated by Aden."

Although registered by Paul Aden, the following hostas were actually hybridized or originated by Florence Shaw : H. 'Sum and Substance' the 2004 "Hosta of the Year", H. 'Big Daddy', H. 'Blue Angel', and H. 'Flamboyant'.

Jim Anderson of Winterberry Farms nursery in Gay, Georgia is the hybridizer of several cultivars including H. 'Emerald Ruff Cut', H. 'Gypsy Rose' and H. 'Silver Threads & Golden Needles'. Many of these new plants come out of the tissue culture process.

 

Ken was one of the early hybridizers of hostas from his Country Line Nursery in Farwell, Minnesota. He was co-founder of the Minnesota Hosta Society and served as Treasurer of The American Hosta Society from 1980 to 1985.

Some of his top introductions would include H. 'Blue Arrow', H. 'Blue Shadows' and H. 'Golden Sculpture'.

Arends was a very prolific breeder of several species of herbaceous perennials with, perhaps his most famous plants coming from genus, Astilbe. He owned a nursery and lived in Ronsdorf, Germany where he developed over 74 cultivars of the genus which were given his name, Astilbe x arendsii. He used 4 species in his breeding efforts including A. japonica, A. thunbergii, A. astilboldes and A. chinensis.

Over his long career, he also hybridized species of  Bergenia, Sedum, Phlox and Campanula.

In 1905, he introduced a hosta which he named Funkia fortunei var. robusta. That plant is now known as the classic giant blue plant, Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans'. This cultivar is found in the background of a large percentage of the new, large-leaved, blue hosta cultivars registered with the American Hosta Society each year.

Other plants named in his honor included Rosa 'Georg Arends' and Rhododendron 'Georg Arends'

Anne Arett from Moscow, Minnesota was one of the early hosta pioneers. She was known for the giant size mounds of hostas grown in her garden and for introduction of new cultivars including H. 'Evelyn McCafferty', H. 'Minnie Klopping' and H. 'Moscow Blue'.

Cultivars named in her honor include H. 'Anne Arrett'.

Maxine was active in hostas during the 1970s from her garden in Nebraska. Her cultivar H. 'Rough Waters' was one of the first three hostas to be registered with The American Hosta Society. (The other two were plants originated by Violet Cooley.)

Maxine was the hybridizer of several cultivars including 'Goldilocks' and 'Valentine Lace' in the 1970s.

Hybridizer from Michigan, Stuart has introduced many new hostas cultivars including H. 'Seducer' and H. 'Aliyah's Grace'.

Owner of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, North Carolina, Tony Avent has been involved in hosta hybridizing since the early 1990s. He is also owner of Juniper Level Botanical Gardens and was instrumental in development of the J.C. Raulston Arboretum also in RaleigH. Tony has gone on several plant exploration trips to Mexico, China, Korea, Argentina and other countries to bring back exotic species of ornamental plants for U.S. gardens.

Avent is also known as an entertaining speaker and writer with a unique sense of humor. He has spoken to groups throughout the United States and has contributed articles to The Hosta Journal and many other publications.

A few of the many cultivars he has originated include H. 'Abba Dabba Do', H. 'Andy Taylor', H. 'Elvis Lives', H. 'Outhouse Delight', H. 'Potomac Pride' and H. 'Tattoo'.

Bob was the developer of the popular website, hostalibrary.org and he was awarded the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award from The American Hosta Society in 2010.

He has introduced a few cultivars including H. 'Kristie Axmear'.

Cultivars named in his honor include H. 'Bob Axmear' from Bill Meyer.

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