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.

Owner of Wade and Gatton Nursery and Wade Botanical Gardens in Bellville, Ohio, Van Wade has been extremely active with the genus, Hostas for decades. According to Mark Zilis in The Hostapedia (2009), the nursery display gardens (recently designated the Wade Botanical Garden) are the largest single hosta collection in the world with over 3,200 different types.

Van has been an active hybridizer for decades and has introduced many new cultivars. He has several collections including the American Indian Series, Richland Series and the American Series. Among the cultivars he has introduced include H. 'American Choice', H. 'American Misty', H. 'Chief White Cloud', H. 'Gemini Moon', H. 'Richland Gold', H. 'Van's Baby' and H. 'Wyandot'.

Cultivars named in his honor include H. 'Van Wade' from Bob Kuk and H. 'Van Wade Blue' from Mark Zilis.

Van was given the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award in 2002.

Kevin is the current (as of 2012) International Registrar for the Genus Hosta. He is a past AHS president serving from 2003 to 2005 and the recipient of the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award in 2005.

In addition to his responsibilities for the genus, Hosta, Kevin is also the Registrar for the Genus, Hemerocallis (daylily).

As a hybridizer in Virginia, he has introduced several hosta cultivars including H. 'Dee's Golden Jewel', H. 'Dream Weaver', H. 'Gilt By Association' and H. 'Jewel of the Nile'.

A retired medical doctor from Ohio, Dick Ward is the 2010 recipient of the Eunice Fisher Distinguished Hybridizer Merit Award.

Since his retirement, many of his original plants have been moved to the Wade Botanical Gardens at Wade and Gatton Nursery and Wade Botanical Gardens in Bellville, Ohio.

The cultivars he and his wife, Jane, have introduced include H. 'Alice Gladden', H. 'Fat Cat', H. 'Godzilla', H. 'Jane Ward', H. 'Mood Indigo', H. 'Saturday Night Fever' and H. 'Winsome'.

Cultivars named in his honor include H. 'Dick Ward' from Handy Hatfield.

Hybridizer and owner of Bridgewood Gardens who has introduced several cultivars including H. 'Admiral Halsey' and H. 'Tupelo Honey'.

Mr. Watanambe operates the Gotemba Nursery in Gotemba City, Japan. He is a hybridizer who has introduced several cultivars including the classic H. 'Sagae' which was formerly known as H. fluctuans 'Variegated'. 'Sagae', which is named after a town in Japan, was the 2000 "Hosta of the Year".

At the January 19, 2013 Hosta Scientific Meeting in Lisle, IL, Mark Zilis referred to Mr. Watanambe as the top hosta expert in Japan.

Hybridizer from New York who introduced such cultivars as H. 'Edward Wargo' and H. 'Margie Weissenberger'.

Hybridizer and owner of Whitmore's Dogwood Farm nursery in Brazil, Indiana, who has introduced such cultivars as H. 'Bodacious Blue', H. 'Indy Finish Line' and H. 'White Bikini'.

A dermatologist by profession, Jim Wilkins of Jackson, Michigan got involved with hostas in the 1980s after being introduced to Herb Benedict. He is a past president of The American Hosta Society serving between 1998 and 2001.

Jim is also a past International Registrar for the Genus Hosta (succeeded by Kevin Walek) and was the recipient of the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award in 2007.

Among the cultivars Jim has introduced would be H. 'Curtain Call', H. 'Fort Knox', H. 'Leading Lady', H. 'Spartan Glory', H. 'Ultraviolet Light' and H. 'Wolverine'.

Cultivars named in his honor include H. 'Jim Wilkins' from Dr. Ralph (Herb) Benedict.

Sandy was very active in the Indianapolis Hosta Society and was the founder of the annual Hosta College held on the third weekend of March in Piqua, Ohio. She is married to fellow hostaphile, Dr. Jim Wilkins and they have jointly registered several new hosta cultivars.

Hostas named in her honor include H. 'Straka Gold' by Clarence Owens.

Daughter of Frances R. Williams who registered H. sieboldiana 'Frances Williams' and other cultivars on her mother's behalf.

Cultivars named in her honor include H. sieboldiana 'Connie' from Ralph (Herb) Benedict.

Frances Williams from Winchester, Massachusetts was one of the first landscape architect graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She wrote several articles about hostas for major magazines in the 1960s including The New York Botanic Garden Journal, Horticulture Magazine and Popular Gardening. Her letters about hostas are archived at the Anderson Horticultural Library at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), Frances was "...the most influential person in the modern history of hostas. Her correspondence with other collectors, hybridizers, and botanists from the 1930s until her death in 1969 fanned the flames of interest in hostas and let to the formation of The American Hosta Society."

She received the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award posthumously in 1986.

One of the most famous early variegated hostas was discovered by Mrs. Frances Williams while visiting the Bristol Nursery in Connecticut. This beautiful plant was a sport of Hosta sieboldiana which had a yellow margin variegation. The combination of the blue base color and the yellow margin formed a striking plant.

Over time, a piece of that hosta made its way to the gardens at Oxford University in England and a famous English gardener, George Robinson, named it in honor of its discoverer, H. 'Frances Williams'.

Her hybridizing efforts resulted in several cultivars including H. 'Beatrice', H. 'Dorothy', H. 'Green Piecrust', H. 'Sentinels' and H. 'Sweet Susan'.

Known for his original cartoons which appeared in The Hosta Journal for several years, Glen is a retired teacher. He was also the co-editor of the Q&A column in the Journal. His garden is in Vermont.

Hybridizer who introduced cultivars in the 1970s including H. 'Brenner Pass', H. 'Pebble Beach' and H. 'Thai Brass'.

She was also a garden writer who according to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), authored an article entitled, "Plantainlilies - Bold, Profuse Flowering and They Do Thrive in the Shade" that appeared in the March, 1933 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

Hybridizer and owner of the Azalea Patch Nursery in Joppa, Maryland known for being one of the pioneers in developing the red color in hostas.

He has introduced several cultivars including H. 'Candy Dish', H. 'Designer Genes', H. 'Miss Ruby', H. 'The Perfect Storm', H. 'Wrede, White and Blue', H. 'Miss Linda Smith', H. 'Miss Missy' and H. 'Smokey'.

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