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.

Jerry was a hybridizer who owned the Blooming Hill Nursery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was best known for introducing over 90 cultivars, most of which were part of the Rosedale Series. The name derives from the fact that the nursery is located on Rosedale Drive.

The cultivars he introduced included H. 'Rosedale Barnie', H. 'Rosedale Geneiveve', H. 'Rosedale Lost Dutchman', H. 'Rosedale Spoons' and H. 'Rosedale Tractor Seat'.

A collection of his plants is included at the Wade and Gatton Nursery and Wade Botanical Gardens in Bellville, Ohio.

An environmental horticulture graduate of the University of Minnesota, Hans started working in the tissue culture lab of Shady Oaks Nursery in Waseca, Minnesota in 1990. In 2009, he moved to Walters Gardens, Inc. in Zeeland, Michigan to become their director of new plant development. He has hybridized many species including martagon lilies, baptisias and peonies in addition to hostas.

He has introduced many great cultivars including his first two introduced in 1997, H. 'Pandora's Box' and H. 'Fire and Ice', both of which have become classics. Of Hans' later cultivars, H. 'Stained Glass' was the 2006 "Hosta of the Year" and H 'Earth Angel' won the award in 2009.

Gretchen had a degree in landscape architecture from Cornell University. She practiced in Iowa City, Iowa, where she also authored the McCall's Garden Book in 1967. Her gardening articles were featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Household Magazine and American Home. She was the recipient of the "Asta" award for outstanding writing in horticulture.

Hostas were a favorite garden perennial of hers and she was instrumental in establishing the Midwest Hosta Society. In 1988, a group of hosta enthusiasts started a local group and named it The Harshbarger Hosta Society in her honor.

As a hybridizer, she introduced several cultivars including H. 'King Tut', H. Blondie, H. Treasure, H. Golden Spider'.

Note: There is a cultivar named H. 'Helen Field Fisher' and, according to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "...Helen Field Fischer was a well-known radio show host in the Midwest and the mother of one of the early hosta enthusiasts, Gretchen Harshbarger."

She introduced cultivars including H. 'Indiana Moonshine', H. 'Jelly Bean' and H. 'Lucille Simpers'.
 

Hosta 'Allen C. Haskell' was named in his honor by Mildred Seaver.

Nurseryman and hybridizer from Ohio who introduced such hostas as H. 'Jason and Katie'.

Cultivars named for him include H. 'Handy Hatfield' from Dick and Jane Ward.

 

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Jim worked for the USDA and the Agency for International Development. He was an avid hybridizer who developed a home tissue culture lab and introduced cultivars including H. 'Parky's Prize' and H. 'Marilyn Monroe'.

Cultivars named in his honor include H. 'Jim Hawes' which Jim originated but which was named for him after his death by fellow hybridizer, Kirk Brill.

A hybridizer from the Netherlands, he has introduced several cultivars including H. 'Anne' and H. 'White Feather'.

President of Terra Nova Nurseries in Canby, Oregon, he is a noted plant explorer, plant breeder, teacher, speaker and writer. His articles routinely appear in American Gardener, Garden Design, and Horticulture magazine. In addition, he has written several books including The Garden Clerk's Dictionary and Heucheras and Heucherellas: Coral Bells and Foamy Bells,  He is the recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society Reginald Cory Memorial Cup.

Dan has traveled to many parts of the world in search of ornamental plants. As a result, he is credited with introducing over 700 different exotic plants for sale to the gardening public.

Plants he has introduced include Echinacea purpurea 'Ruby Giant', Heuchera 'Amber Waves', Heuchera 'Amethyst Myst', Heuchera 'Cherries Jubilee', Heuchera 'Key Lime Pie', Heuchera 'Plum Pudding', Hosta 'Jade Cascade', and Hosta 'Pacific Blue Edger'.

Dr Hensen is a taxonomist from The Netherlands who has worked on the classification of hosta species. He is also listed as the originator of several cultivars.

Introduced cultivars including H. 'Blue Eyes' and H. 'Golden Arrow'.

Hybridizer from Carlisle, Massachusetts who has introduced several cultivars including H. 'Chopsticks', H. 'Harpoon' and H. 'Swizzle Sticks'.

His area of interest includes developing hostas with red petioles.

Dr. Hirao was a plant scientist/horticulturist from Kanagawa, Japan who was an early experimenter with the use of colchicine as a treatment in an attempt to create tetraploid hostas, iris and lycoris.. Some of his first efforts were undertaken as early as 1966. Many of his plants have become available as cultivars including H. 'Hirao 59', H. 'Hirao Majesty, H. 'Hirao Supreme' and H. 'Hirao Tetra'.

Several of his plants have been registered with The American Hosta Society by Peter Ruh on Dr. Hirao's behalf.

Hybridizer from Perry, Ohio who has introduced cultivars including the classic H. 'Paul's Glory' the 1999 "Hosta of the Year".
 

Plants of the genus, Hosta, were reportedly first imported to America in large quantities from Asia  to the Manhattan nursery owned by Thomas Hogg Jr. During the 1860s, he spent time exploring Japan for new plants and, in addition to the Hosta, also introduced Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsuratree) and Styrax japonicus (Japanese Snowbell ) to the nursery trade.

The first hosta was reportedly named 'Fukurin Fu Giboshi' in Japanese but soon became Hosta 'Thomas Hogg'. It has gone through a name change and is now known as Hosta 'Decorata' in the U.S. and Hosta undulata var. albomarginata in the U.K.

Hybridizer from Waupaca, Wisconsin who in the 1960s, introduced several cultivars including H. 'Holly's Honey' and H. 'Willy Nilly'.

The genus, Hosta, is named in honor of this Austrian physician and botanist. Host was the personal physician of Holy Roman Emperor Francis and he was also the first director of the botanical garden at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.

Swedish scientist who wrote the book, "The Genus Hosta in Swedish Gardens: With Contributions to the Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Botanical History of the Genus" in 1954.

Hybridizer who introduced several cultivars including H. 'Ellerbroek', H. 'Fortunei Aureomarginata' and H. 'Undulata Univitata'.

Along with Charles Purtyman, Jay Hyslop was part of the Walden West Nursery in Scotts Mills, Oregon which was responsible for introducing many new hosta cultivars.

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