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.

Russ O'Harra was one of the early pioneers in the world of hostas. A graduate in horticulture and landscape design from Kansas State University, he was a gardening editor for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. He lived in Des Moines, Iowa before passing away in 1997.

During the early 1980s, he helped to turn The Hosta Journal into the wonderful publication it is today. He was the recipient of the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award in 1995.

The Iowa based Russ O'Harra Hosta Society is named in his honor and they have registered several of his hostas on his behalf posthumously. Russ introduced over 30 cultivars including H. 'Feather Boa', H. 'Janet', H. 'Popo', H. 'Quilting Bee' and H. 'Spun Sulphur'.

A medical doctor from Minnesota, Bob has been very active in The American Hosta Society . He was the society's sixth president serving from 1992 to 1998 and has been the Editor of The Hosta Journal for several years. Bob received the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award in 2004.

Cultivars named in his honor include H. 'Bob Olson' from Herb Benedict and H. 'Doctor Bill-Bob' (for Dr Bob Olson and Dr Bill Burto) from Mildred Seaver.

Clarence Owens is a retired biology teacher from Jackson, Michigan who has been active in hybridizing hostas for several decades. Hosta 'Big John', which held the record as having the largest leaves of any hosta for many years, is one of his introductions.

He was instrumental in establishing and maintaining the Dr Ralph (Herb) and Dorothy Benedict Hosta Hillside at Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, Michigan.

Among the many hostas he has introduced are H. 'Big John', H. 'Blue Betty Lou', H. 'Green Marmalade' and H. 'Yellow Highness'.

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

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