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.

Vic is a hybridizer from Kings Mountain, North Carolina at the Iron Gate Gardens nursery. He was the fifth president of the AHS from 1989 to 1992.

He has introduced several cultivars including H. 'Alex Summers' and H. 'Columbus Circle'.

The son of Robert Savory, Dennis operates Savory Gardens nursery in Edina, Minnesota. He has served as Secretary-Treasurer of The American Hosta Society and President of the Midwest Regional Hosta Society. He has a degree in Forestry.

Dennis has been active in hosta hybridizing with an emphasis on working with hosta flowers. He has introduced cultivars including H. 'Aardvark', H. 'Diamond Jubilee' and H. 'Silver Creek Sunshine'.

Savory Gardens nursery was established in 1946 in Edina, Minnesota by Bob Savory. A horticulture graduate of the University of Minnesota, he was a long time hosta enthusiast who introduced one of the all-time classic cultivars, H. 'Golden Tiara'.

Bob received that Eunice Fisher Award in 1990 and was awarded the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award in 1994.

Over the years, he introduced over 50 cultivars including H. 'Baby Bunting', H. 'Edina Heritage', H. 'Lemon Lime' and H. 'Tiny Tears'.

Introduced cultivars including H. 'Bob Dean', H. 'Jimmy Crack Corn' and H. 'Reptillian'.

 

Nurseryman from Jackson, Michigan who has introduced cultivars including H. 'Nickelodeon', H. 'Popcorn' and H. 'Tom Schmid'.

George Schmid was trained in several areas of botany and horticulture in his native Germany before coming to the U.S. where he currently resides in Georgia.

In the hosta world, he is probably best known as the author of the landmark book, The Genus Hosta (1991) which was the most in depth reference on the genus to that time. That book classified and re-classified the names and organization of species and cultivars into what we currently use. His is also the author of the book, An Encyclopedia of Shade Perennials (2002).

George was recipient of the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award in 1996. He has served as Co-editor of The Hosta Journal, the AHS Historian and Chairman of the AHS Nomenclature Committee. In addition, he is the founder of the Georgia Hosta Society, a Board Member of the International Aroid Society and a member of the Association of Plant Taxonomy. In 2016, George became one of only seven people in history to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by The American Hosta Society.

He has also introduced several cultivars including H. 'Gosan Gold Midget', H. 'Gosan Gold Mist' and H. 'Gosan Sunproof'.

Hybridizer from Foxfire Gardens in Marshfield, Wisconsin, he has introduced a series of hostas with the word "Foxfire" in the name. The over 25 cultivars he has introduced include H. 'Foxfire Bamm Bamm' and 'Foxfire Phantom'.

 

A hostaphile from Minnesota, Mary served as president of The American Hosta Society  from 2005 to 2007. In 2009, she was the recipient of the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award.

Cultivars named in her honor include H. 'Mary Schwartzbauer'.

Owner of Jim's Hostas Nursery in Dubuque, Iowa, he has introduced cultivars including H. 'Cyclone', H. 'Peanut' and H. 'Thumbs Up'.

Son of Mildred Seaver, he has introduced cultivars including H. 'Deep Blue Sea' and H. 'Sailor's Warning'.

Known as the "Queen of Hostas", Mildred introduced many classic hostas from her gardens in Needham, Massachusetts. In 1988, she received the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award and in 2006 she was awarded the Eunice Fisher Distinguished Hybridizer Merit Award. She was also the recipient of the New England Hosta Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mildred started hybridizing around 1970 and her list of over 95 introduced cultivars include such classics as H. 'Allan P. McConnell', H. 'Sea Drift', H. 'Sea Lotus Leaf', H. 'Sea Prize' and H. 'Spilt Milk'. Most, but obviously not all, of her cultivars begin with the word "Sea".

Cultivars named in her honor include H. 'Mildred Seaver' from Kevin Vaughn.

Hybridizer and owner of Iron Gate Gardens nursery in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, who has introduced cultivars including H. 'Dakota', H. 'Iron Gate Delight', H. 'Iron Gate Supreme' and H. 'Regal Rhubarb'.

Mike is a retired member of the London Metropolitan Police who now resides in Buffalo, New York. Before coming to America, he was very active in the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society and has been involved with the Chelsea Flower Show.

An avid photographer, speaker and author, Mike has co-authored the Timber Press Pocket Guide to Hostas (2007) with Diana Grenfell and The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small and Mini Varieties (2010) with his wife, Kathy Guest Shadrak.

Cultivars named in his honor include H. 'Mike Shadrack' from Bob Kuk.

A hybridizer from Weston, Massachusetts, Florence originated the Birchwood Series of hostas due to the birch trees that dominated her garden. Cultivars she introduced would include H. 'Birchwood Elegance', H. 'Birchwood Parky's Gold' and H. 'Parkman Shaw'.

It has recently been disclosed that, although the cultivars were registered by Paul Aden, the classic hostas H. 'Sum and Substance' the 2004 "Hosta of the Year" and H. 'Blue Angel' were actually originated by Florence Shaw.

Hybridizer from Ridgefield, Connecticut who has introduced cultivars including H. 'Cherry Tart' and H. 'Maya Swingtime'.

Introduced cultivars including H. 'White Lightning'.

Siebold, Phillip von (1796-1866)

A Bavarian who went to Japan in 1823 as a medical doctor at the Dutch trading post of Deshima, von Siebold became one of the great plant explorers. With Zuccarini, von Siebold published the book, Flora Japonica, in 1833. He documented his collections at the Leiden Botanic Garden in Holland, where a Japanese Garden in his memory may be found.

Two hosta species have been named for von Siebold including Hosta sieboldiana and H. sieboldii.

Plants introduced or named for von Siebold include:

 

Hybridizer and owner of Silvers-Elbert Nursery in Conyers, Georgia. He has introduced cultivars including H. 'Blue Mouse Ears Supreme', H. 'Faded Genes' and H. 'Georgia Sweetheart'.

Hybridizer from Bettendorf, Iowa who has introduced cultivars including H. 'Bix Blues' and H. 'X-rated'.

Lucille was a hybridizer who introduced cultivars such as H. 'Big Boy', H. 'Clarence', H. 'Neat and Tidy', H. 'Something Blue'and H. 'Zager's White Edge'.

Cultivars named in her honor include H. 'Lucille Simpers' by Carolyn Harstad.

Hybridizers from Lowell, Indiana who have introduced cultivars including H. 'Empress Wu' noted as one of the largest of all hostas.

Barry is significant for helping to introduce New Zealand to the world of hostas. His nursery, Taunton Gardens, is located in Lyttelton, NZ.

He is a hybridizer noted for introducing the Kiwi Series of hostas including H. 'Kiwi Baby Blue', H. 'Kiwi Gold Rush', H. 'Kiwi Pacific Blue' and H. 'Kiwi Spearmint'.

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

Another early hybridizer of some renown is Eric Smith who lived in Dorset, England. A nurseryman who was then working at the famous Sir Harold Hillier's Nursery called Buckshaw Gardens, Smith was looking to grow smaller hostas with great blue color. In the summer of 1961, he took advantage of a fluke occurrence when a plant of Hosta sieboldiana 'Alba' flowered unusually late in the season so he could use its pollen to fertilize the flowers of an H. 'Tardiflora' plant.

The whole story of Smith's hostas gets a little complex but suffice it to say, that the untimely original cross spawned a whole series of smaller, very colorful, blue-green plants called the "Tardianas". The seedlings of the first cross where designated as the F1 generation and the second generation were the F2s. This was part of Smith's numbering system where he simply named a plant TF1 x 1, TF1 x 2, etc.

Eric Smith himself did not register any of his 34 Tardiana hostas. Fortunately, other people including Paul Aden, Alex Summers, Peter Ruh and the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society named and registered the plants starting in the mid-1970s.

Of course, many of the plants have the word "blue" in the name such as H. 'Blue Moon', H. 'Blue Skies', etc. Others have the term "Dorset" in the name including H. 'Dorset Blue', H. 'Dorset Flair' etc.

Finally, the term "Hadspen" such as H. 'Hadspen Blue', H. 'Hadspen Heron' and H. 'Hadspen White' was used. These cultivars are associated with Hadspen House in England where Smith also worked. The house was owned by garden writer and noted plant person, Penelope Hobhouse.

Other cultivars include H. 'Blue Arrow', H. 'Blue Danube', H. 'Blue Dimples', H. 'Halcyon', H. 'Osprey' and H. 'Sherborne Songbird'.

Hybridizer and owner of Creative Gardens in Willmar, Minnesota who introduced cultivars including H. 'Regal Promenade', H. 'Regal Providence' and H. 'Thanksgiving'.

 

Owner of the Green Hill Farm nursery in North Carolina, Bob is one of the leaders in the hosta world on a number of fronts. He has been awarded both the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award in 2003 and the Eunice Fisher Distinguished Hybridizer Merit Award in 2008. Bob was Editor of The Hosta Journal, the principle publication of The American Hosta Society , (1988-1990) and Vice President for The Genus Hosta, (1998-2001).

 

In 1998, he was the Co-founder and first Executive Secretary of The American Hosta Grower's Association. This group of wholesale and retail nurseries is devoted to the promotion of hostas and the education of the hosta growing public.

Bob has an extensive hybridizing program and has introduced such cultivars as H. 'Guacamole' the 2002 "Hosta of the Year", H. 'Curly Fries', H. 'Five O'Clock Shadow', H. 'Fried Bananas', H. 'Ginsu Knife', H. 'Orange Marmalade', H. 'Pineapple Upsidedown Cake', H. 'Spinach Souffle' and H. 'Whiskey Sour'.

Hosta 'First Frost' which was originated by Patricia Scolnik and registered by Bob Solberg was the 2010 "Hosta of the Year".

The Soules operated Soules Garden Nursery in Indianapolis, Indiana.

They also hybridized several cultivars including H. 'Blue Plisse', H. 'Crinoline Petticoats' and H. 'Kong'.

In 1817, Sprengel who was a German botanist and physician, gave the genus name, Funkia, to the genus that is now known as...Hosta. He named it in honor of Heinrich Christian Funck.

Mr PGC Note: Fortunately, in my opinion, it was subsequently determined that the genus had been first named for another man, Nicholas Host...thus the name, Hosta.

Introduced cultivars including H. 'Front Forty', H. 'Missie Mouse' and H. 'Seven-Eleven'.

Charter member of The American Hosta Society from Iowa. He introduced the cultivars H. 'Norwalk Chartreuse' and H. 'White Edge Sharmon'.

Cultivars named in his honor include H. 'Gunther's Prize' a  streaked hosta widely used in hybridizing. The cultivar is from Bob Solberg.

Hybridizer from Tucker, Georgia who introduced cultivars including H. 'Big Mo' and H. 'Tucker Pucker'. Starting in 1990, he developed a series of hostas that each had the word "Tucker" in the name.

The second International Registrar for the Genus, Hosta for The American Hosta Society starting in 1992 until it was turned over to Jim Wilkins who was the predecessor of the current Registrar, Kevin Walek. Mervin Eisel was the first Registrar starting in 1974.

One of the founding members of The American Hosta Society. He was also a hybridizer of lilies and introduced such cultivars as Lilium 'Nutmegger', L. 'Connecticut King' and L. 'Red Velvet'.

Introduced several cultivars and registered them in the name of his Piedmont Gardens nursery which was located in Wolcott Connecticut and operated in partnership with Philip Payne. The cultivars included H. 'Carrie Ann', H. 'Pearl Lake' and H. 'Sunnybrook'. Some of the plants were registered posthumously by Peter Ruh on behalf of David Stone.

Cultivars named in his honor include H. 'David Stone' from Alex Summers.

Hybridizers from Iowa City, Iowa, they have introduced cultivars including H. 'Misty Regal' and H. 'Wylde Green Cream'.

Hybridizer from Alabama who has introduced cultivars including H. 'Alabama Gold'.

Hybridizer from Okazaki, Japan who has introduced cultivars including H. 'Doctor Fu Manchu' and H. 'Raspberry Parfait'. In the 1980s, he sent hosta seeds to Peter Ruh who germinated and grew them on. After evaluation, Ruh subsequently registered several cultivars from the seedlings. These are often listed as being originated by Hajime Sugita.

At the January 19, 2013 Hosta Scientific Meeting in Lisle, IL, Mark Zilis showed an image of H. 'Miracle Lemony' which Mr. Sugita hybridized. It has YELLOW flowers. Zilis hopes to introduce it into the U.S. in a couple of years.

Alex was considered the "Father" of The American Hosta Society. He and several like-minded enthusiasts met in 1968 to organize a society for the genus, Hosta. He served as the first AHS president from 1968 to 1978 and was the first editor of The American Hosta Society Bulletin which was the precursor to The Hosta Journal. He received the first Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award in 1982.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "He also maintained the world's largest collection of hostas in the 1960s and 1970s in Roslyn, New York. In the early 1980s, he moved to Bridgeville, Delaware..."

Alex was both a hybridizer and a person who helped others register their plants in the early days of the society. He introduced or registered for others such cultivars as H. 'Chinese Sunrise', H 'Ginko Craig', H. 'North Hills' and H. 'Snow Mound Variegated'.

Cultivars named in his honor include H. 'Alex Summers' from Vic Santa Lucia.

Hybridizer and owner of Coastal Gardens nursery in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina who introduced several cultivars including many in the PeeDee Series of hostas.

The name comes from two local rivers, the Greater Pee Dee River and the Little Pee Dee River. The first hostas in this series were registered with the term, "Peedee" in their names in accordance with the naming rules of that time. Later, in 2007, after the naming conventions were changed, the Registrar allowed for renaming cultivars using the term "PeeDee".

Non-PeeDee cultivars included H. 'Summer Dress' and others.

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