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.

Hybridizer from N. Syracuse, New York, has introduced cultivars including H. 'Dancing Queen', H. 'Marrakech' and H. 'Wild Thing'.

Hybridizers from Falls Church, Virginia who introduced cultivars including H. 'Guardian Angel' and H. 'Striptease' the 2005 "Hosta of the Year".

A student of Linnaeus, Thunberg was a medical doctor, botanist and plant explorer traveling with the Dutch East India Company. In addition to Japan, he explored parts of Africa and other regions of Asia for new plants to bring back to Europe. Later in life, he was a professor at the University of Upsala succeeding Linnaeus.

He wrote the classic book on Japanese plants, "Flora Japonica" which was published in 1784. Thunberg is credited with introducing Rosa rugosa from Japan to Europe.

Thunberg visited Japan in 1775 and sent herbarium specimens back to Sweden which included some of the first Hosta plants such as H. 'Lancifolia' and H. 'Undulata'.

Plants associated with his name include the genus, Thunbergia, and species such as:

  • Allium thunbergii
  • Astilbe thunbergii
  • Berberis thunbergii
  • Fritillaria thunbergii
  • Hemerocallis thunbergii

Cynthia Tompkins was one of the first people who actively hybridized hostas back in the 1940s in Oregon. Her son, Chet, continued this legacy and also produced many new hostas.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "Cynthia Tompkins was way ahead of her time, considering that 'Snowbound' and many of her other cultivars predated the formation of The American Hosta Society by more than thirty years. In fact, one could make a case for her being considered the first American hosta hybridizer. The only difference between her and people like Frances Williams, Elizabeth Nesmith, and Eunice Fisher was the lack of publicity for her plants."

They introduced cultivars including H. 'Arctic Circle', H. 'Lakeport Blue' and H. 'Sunny Smiles'. Several of his cultivars were registered by Peter Ruh on Chet's and Cynthia's behalf.

Hybridizer and owner of Tower Perennial Gardens nursery in Spokane, Washington, has introduced cultivars including H. 'Nancy' and H. 'Triumph'.

An Austrian botanist, who proposed the genus name Hosta to honor a fellow botanist, Nicholas Host.

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