Warren's column covers a wide range of
topics of interest to hosta afficionados
This and That: 2013
Warren I. Pollock
Glen Mills, PA
Kevin C. Vaughn and Florence M. Shaw
Now Credited as Originators of
Some of Paul Aden's Registrations
report of the AHS Cultivar Origination
Commission, printed in the 2012 edition of The
Online Hosta Journal and
reprinted in the Registrations 2012
issue of The Hosta Journal, (Vol.
44, No. R, p.
5), credits Kevin C. Vaughn and the late Florence M. Shaw (Oct. 26, 1906 - June 30, 1975) as originators of some
Accordingly, several originators
in “Index Hosta
Photographs” in the Spring 2013 issue of The
Hosta Journal (Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 81 & 82) that were
“Unknown”, are out of date. Vaughn should be credited as originator of
H. ‘Fragrant Bouquet’
and H. ‘So Sweet’, and Shaw as
H. ‘Sum and Substance’.
Walters Gardens, Inc., Zeeland,
Michigan, updated originator credits in its Summer 2013-Spring 2014
Catalog. Now, Vaughn is cited in the descriptions of H.
‘Fragrant Blue’ and H.
Bouquet’ and Shaw in the descriptions of H.
‘Blue Angel’, H. ‘Big
Daddy’, H. ‘Blue Umbrellas’, and H. ‘Sum and Substance’. Previous
catalogs cited Aden.
See article elsewhere in this journal
titled “Summing Up: Origin of H.
(Note: Florence Shaw's middle name is Margaret. Previous articles had her middle initial incorrect as N.)
|H. 'Fragrant Bouquet'
Naming Hosta for Andy Murray,
Briton for 77 Years to Win
Single Title at Wimbleton
British Hosta and Hemerocallis
Society is naming a hosta ‘Andy Murray’ in honor of the winner of the men’s tennis singles
title at Wimbledon
in 2013. Andy Murray was the first British male
to win a Wimbledon
Championship title in 77
years, and the first Scotsman ever to have won. In
won a Gold Medal at the Summer
Olympics in London, also held at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in
Green Hill Farm in Franklinton, North Carolina, very kindly submitted a
candidate hosta, and it was selected unanimously. “It
is a variegated seedling,“ Bob explained, “from my ‘Longiana’ line,
Smith’s ‘Tardianas’, but using H.
‘One Man’s Treasure’ instead of H.
‘Tardiflora’. It is a medium to large hosta, with unique yellow and
variegation from a sport of H. ‘Big
Boy’ that I found. Leaves are blue-green and the margin is yellow and
with the white on the inside of the yellow toward the leaf center.”
“The yellow exterior variegation of the leaves will represent Andy’s
Olympic Gold Medal and the Gold Challenge Cup he received at the
final this year,” said Diana Grenfell, BHHS Vice-President and
of several popular books on Hosta.
has a small number of ‘Andy Murray’, which
will be available in Spring 2014 for presentation and publicity
purposes in the
U.K. Quantities of the hosta will be in production for future mass
Europe and North America.
|H. 'Andy Murray'
'Abiqua Drinking Gourd'
2014 AHGA Hosta of the Year
At the 2001 AHS
National Convention in Raleigh, Robyn Duback of now-shuttered Robyn’s
Nursery in Vancouver, Washington (located across the Columbia River
Portland, Oregon), asked me, “Why are so many people pronouncing
wrong?” She was referring to Walden West nursery’s popular hosta, with
bluish, deeply cupped, heavily seersucker leaves that Charlie Purtymun
named Hosta ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’
registered in 1989.
correct pronunciation,” she said, “is
A’bi-qua. The a is like a in at.
is like b in big,
is pronounced, as you
would expect it to be, quah.
should know, being from that part of
the U.S. Abiqua is a Native American word, the name of a mountain
stream in the
foothills of the Cascades, near Scotts Mills, Oregon, where Walden West
late Dr. Charles Purtymun, a former
dentist who founded Walden West, used Abiqua in the names of many of
cultivar introductions. Twenty-five hostas are registered with Abiqua
nineteen are listed in Hosta Finder 2013 (Sudbury, Mass.: Steven H. Greene)
being available in the trade. In addition to H.
‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’, also popular are H.
‘Abiqua Blue Crinkles’ (1999), H.
‘Abiqua Moonbeam’ (1987), and H.
‘Abiqua Recluse’ (1989).
‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is the American Hosta Growers Association’s
of the Year (HOTY). Oft-told is that this hosta received its name when
saw a dog drinking water from one of the leaves after a rainstorm.
Nest and Walden West nurseries
were on tour at the 1996 AHS National Convention, held in Portland.
Charlie (or Chuck as he was also called) passed away in 2007, Jay
had been with Walden West since the late 1990s, became proprietor. Sadly, the nursery closed
with long memories may recall
that an item in the Fall 1995 issue of The
Hosta Journal (Vol. 26, No. 2, p. 58) pronounced Abiqua
if you go to http://www.stevensauke.com/say/northwest.html,
it says AB-ih-kwa. Yet another authority (http://www.babynamespedia.com/meaning/Abiqua)
gives both pronunciations with AH-bi-qua
as first choice. Nevertheless, I’m
sticking with Robyn’s
By the way, ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd’ is
Walden West’s second Hosta of the Year selection. H.
‘Paradigm’, a sport of ‘Abiqua Recluse’ registered in 1999, was
the AHGA’s 2007 HOTY. It is a favorite of Bob Axmear (Waukon, Iowa),
co-founded, with Carol Brashear (Woodbury, Connecticut), the online
Santa Lucia's Daylily Wins Stout Medal
to Victor Santa Lucia. His
daylily, ‘Carnival in Mexico’ (pale rose flowers with bright red
eyezones), won the 2012 Stout Medal of the American Hemerocallis
is the highest recognition awarded to a daylily.
was president of The American Hosta
Society, 1989-1992. He shared a house with his sister and
and Pat Stamile, the well-known daylily hybridizers, in Setauket, New
charming hamlet along the western end of Long Island’s north shore. All
teachers in the local schools and took early retirement in 1991-1992.
Stamiles moved to Florida, taking their daylily business with them. Vic
to Kings Mountain, North Carolina, forming a partnership with Van M.
Iron Gate Gardens. In those days, Van’s nursery was renowned for both
cutting-edge hostas and daylilies; today it’s just daylilies.
Sellers is well-known for introducing
the Hosta Iron Gate series: Hosta
‘Iron Gate Bouquet’ (1983), ‘Iron Gate Delight’ (1981), ‘Iron Gate
(1981), ‘Iron Gate Supreme’ (1980), and, with Vic Santa Lucia, ‘Iron
Special (2009). All have fragrant flowers from H.
Santa Lucia is principally noted for
introducing Hosta ‘Alex Summers’
(1989), a popular variegated-leaved sport of yellow-leaved ‘Gold
registered by Paul Aden in 1974. Leaves of ‘Alex Summers’ are medium
a chartreuse-yellow margin, about 5 inches wide and 7 inches long. As
pointed out before in The Hosta Journal,
this sport often reverts to all-yellow leaves, like its parent. Unless
completely removed – and I mean completely
– using, for example, a sharp paring knife or X-Acto™ cutting tool,
first develop, the entire clump may eventually become all-yellow
'Carnival in Mexico'
was the principal organizer of the
1983 AHS Mini-Meeting on Long Island, July 9th.
It was described as
a “one-day meeting with all the excitement of a ‘full’ national
only compressed into less time.” I attended the highly successful event
recall touring Vic’s and the Stamiles’ garden, along with Paul Aden’s
Baldwin, George Rasmussen’s in Farmingdale (mostly daylilies in bloom)
Foster’s in Kings Park, all on Long Island.
Stamile-Santa Lucia property, bordered
on Setauket Harbor, which majestically opens onto Long Island Sound, an
picture-postcard setting. In the sunny areas the Stamiles showcased
in the shady sites, Vic grew hostas.
The meeting featured a Long Island
clambake, with whole steamed lobsters, clams, barbecued chicken and
cob, held outdoors at the Stamile-Santa Lucia house on Saturday
Mildred Seaver’s ‘Sea Gold Star’ (1984) was the highest bid hosta at
auction. Mark Zilis paid $410.00 for it – and
this was 30 years ago! Mildred’s ‘Sea Dream’ (1984) was
runner-up, with a
$110.00 high bid.
in Plants Lures Bees;
Pesticide Causes Bumblebee Deaths
the “This and That: 2003” column in the
Fall 2003 issue of The Hosta Journal (Vol. 34, No.
3), I wrote an item
on the benefits of spent coffee grounds applied to garden soil.
this addition kills or deters slugs.
hosta gardeners I interviewed then
told me they also noticed that bees seemed to more frequently visit
hostas that grow in soil containing coffee grounds. The benefit, they
is more open pollinated (OP) seedlings occur, but since there are a lot
benefits claimed for coffee grounds, some seemingly pretty bizarre, I
mention this one in my column.
now scientists have found that bees
like caffeine. The study was published in a March 2013 issue of Science journal. Researchers reported
that bees ingesting caffeine actually boosts their memory. They found
plants, notably coffee and citrus, attract pollinators with
nectar, which gets the bees hooked as repeat customers. So, there seems
credence for coffee grounds being beneficial to bee pollination of
American hosta gardeners can apply
coffee to their gardens, but in European Union countries it’s illegal
to do so.
Great Britain is an EU member and The Royal Horticultural Society, on
by some of its members, offered an explanation in its publication, The Garden, last year. There’s
information on this controversial issue in the “This and That: 2012”
the 2012 issue of The Online Hosta
has been a busy year for news on bees
and pesticides. Near the end of April, the European Union announced it
enact a two-year ban on a
class of pesticides known as
neonicotinoids, derived from nicotine,
thought to be harming global bee population. These are very popular
insecticides being used globally. Two major producers are the German
Bayer CropScience and Syngenta, a Swiss biochemical company.
a few days after the EU made its
announcement, a comprehensive federal study, involving the U.S.
Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other bureaus and
was released, saying the
devastation of American honeybee
colonies is the result of a
complex stew of factors, including pesticides, parasites, poor
nutrition, and a
lack of genetic diversity. The
report does not place
more weight on one factor over another, and recommends a range of
further research. Apparently, there was not enough evidence for the
support a U.S. ban on one group of pesticides. Also, the costs of such
might exceed the benefits. Since 2006, millions of bees have been dying
in a phenomenon known as colony collapse
bees were to disappear from the globe, mankind would have four years
live. That assertion, attributed to Albert Einstein, but perhaps
voiced in “More Than Honey,” a fascinating award-winning documentary,
filmed, about the decimation of the world’s bee population through
collapse disorder. Although the film doesn’t blame colony collapse
pesticides, it implies a strong connection.
Written and directed
by a Swiss
filmmaker, the movie is a 1 1/2-hour, spectacular tutorial on the
social behavior of bees and their exploitations in the age of
agriculture. It is in English, Swiss-German, and Mandarin, with English
subtitles. It was shown in America in June 2013, in limited release in
cities. I understand Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.com offer
at a Target
store in Wilsonville, Oregon, reported finding tens of thousands of
bumblebees in the store’s parking lot. Investigators learned that
the pesticide dinotefuran, sold under the trade name Safari®, had
applied to the linden trees to kill aphids. Dinotefuran belongs to the
insecticides called neonictotinoids. The
pesticide was applied
to the trees while they were flowering, an action that violates the
instructions. The large number of the trees’ flowers in bloom had
huge number of bees seeking pollen.
Allen Smith Features Proven Winners®-Branded
in His 2013 Programs;
Walters Gardens Supplies Plants in PW Containers
several years, Walters Gardens, Inc.,
Zeeland, Michigan, North American’s leading wholesale grower of
has had a partnership with Proven Winners®,
North America’s leading plant
brand. Walters Gardens is now the main supplier of perennials for the
sure you’ve see Proven Winners’ plants
in retail nurseries and garden centers. Even big-box stores offer them.
are in distinctive, stark-white pots, usually one-gallon size, with a
logo and brand name prominently printed on the sides.
for several years Proven Winners has
had a partnership with P. Allen Smith. Don’t know who he is? Here’s
information from Wikipedia:
Allen Smith (born
12, 1960) is a television host,
and lifestyle expert. He is the host of two public television programs,
P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home and P.
Allen Smith’s Garden to Table,
syndicated 30-minute show P. Allen Smith Gardens. His
television show P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home has
been shown on PBS-member
stations and in syndication
on other networks. Smith
is one of
America’s most recognized garden and design experts, providing ideas and
inspiration through multiple media venues. He is also the author of
the best-selling Garden Home series of books published by Clarkson
described as the “Martha Stewart of the South.” He lives in Little
he has “a 650-acre estate, punctuated with 175,000 daffodils and a
three-story Greek Revival retreat.”
In 2012, a
survey was taken of thousands of Arkansas residents asking who the
famous Arkansans are. The consensus: P. Allen Smith, Sam Walton, and
Clinton in that order. Walton, who
founded Walmart and Sam’s Club, died in 1982. Although he was born in
his first Five and Dime store was in Bentonville, Arkansas, where the
world headquarters are today. The former U. S. President is a native
born in Hope; he now lives in New York State. is foundation offi
P. Allen Smith
features a Platinum Collection of specially selected Proven Winners
shrubs, annuals, and perennials. I
that Smith himself selects them; there has to be a huge number of
people behind the scenes originating and maintaining his huge
output. However, if it’s Proven Winners’ perennials he’s hawking,
Walters Gardens in PW containers and, furthermore, protected by issued
patents or pending applications.
hosta chosen for his Platinum Collection was Hosta
one of Walters Gardens’ own introductions. It’s a sport of
popular ‘First Frost’ (P. Scolnik - 2002),
with a wider yellow margin that lightens to creamy white later in the
season. H. ‘First Frost’ was the
Hosta Growers Association’s Hosta of the Year (HOTY), and in 2013,
Frost’ received AHS’s coveted Benedict Garden Performance Medal. (See
Scolnik’s acceptance speech in this journal.)
|H. 'First Frost'
Platinum Collection selection for 2013 is H.
‘Empress Wu’PP20,774, a dark green-leaved
seedling from ‘Big John’
(C. Owens - 1986) × ‘Big John’. H.
‘Empress Wu’ was developed by Brian and Virginia Skaggs of Lowell,
registered it in 2008. (Sadly, Brian passed away in May 2011.) This
claimed to be the largest hosta in commerce – and might be. It will
grow to 3
to 4 feet tall in about five years in the landscape, given ample water
Hosta lover’s dream!” Smith reportedly exclaimed. “It is always a ‘jaw
when guests see the size of her leaves and flowers on five foot tall
‘Empress Wu’ clump I saw was in Kathie Sisson’s garden in Avon,
tour at the 2011 AHS National Convention, held in Marlborough,
and others exited the tour coach at her house, we were alerted to see
‘Empress Wu’ clump in the backyard near the deck. Accordingly, there
beeline to this site. I was amazed at its size and beauty, as were
others. H. ‘Empress Wu’ was a
principle topic of
conversation when we returned to the coach.
|H. 'Empress Wu'
asked why Smith’s Platinum Collection shifted to ‘Empress Wu’ from
Frost’, I’d say it was probably because of higher sales for ‘Empress
has become very popular.
might be P. Allen’s next hosta
selection? My guess is it could be Bill Meyer’s popular H.
‘Wheee!’PP23,565 – which I’ll harshly state is
unregistered in November 2013, even though Walters Gardens exclusively
introduced it years ago! Its green leaves with cream colored margin,
ruffled from leaf tip to petiole, are notably eye catching. Further
its market appeal is the ruffling that is evident in juvenile plants.
small to medium size is advantageous when planting space is limited.
Hosta Pyramid Showcased Plants
front cover of the Spring 2013 issue of The
Hosta Journal (Vol. 44, No. 1) has a photograph of a
of potted hostas in our (Warren
Pollock’s) former garden in Wilmington, Delaware.
It was taken by Bob Olson the Sunday
the 2007 AHS National Convention, held in southeastern Pennsylvania and
northern Delaware in June. The pyramid was at the rear of the driveway
the west property line, receiving full afternoon sun.
Our garden was
not on the convention’s scheduled tours becaues it could not
accommodate the anticipated 450+ attendees, being quite small, with
one-person-wide dead-end paths. Instead, on Sunday morning we invited
attendees, our closest hosta friends, for a sit-down, special catered
and coffee breakfast.
Soon after the
Spring 2013 THJ issue was in
mailboxes, several people contacted me, asking that I identify the
the pyramid photo. Unfortunately, I am not able to do this. In
pyramid each year, I made significant rearrangements, based on which
the time looked best for their heights and widths, as well as foliage
perfection, and kept no records.
Furthermore, the pyramid has not existed
for several years. Nonetheless,
I do recall the huge top-most plants because they were the same each
wide-spreading yellowish-leaved hosta at the apex is Hosta
‘Golden Sculpture’ (K. Anderson - 1982). Next row down, to
the extreme left of ‘Golden Sculpture’, is ‘Sagae’ (Unknown - 1996). To
extreme right, also in that row, somewhat hidden, is another huge
hostas were growing in approximately 20-inch-diameter, sturdy, plastic
pots for more than 10 years. To give them the height needed to create a
vertical pyramid, they sit on upside-down pots of the same size.
hostas in this photo (and also in
the bottom photo on page 24 of the Spring 2013 THJ)
were overwintered in our unheated garage. See “Q&A: AHS
Ask and Answer” column, also in the Spring 2013 THJ,
page 16, and the article titled “Growing
Hostas in Containers” in the 2011 edition of The
Online Hosta Journal.
Using Pre-emergent Herbicides
the item titled “H. ‘Fragrant Queen’PP19,508
Tetraploid Sport of ‘Fragrant Bouquet’ …” in the “What’s in a Hosta
column in the Spring 2013 issue of The
Hosta Journal (Vol. 44, No. 1, p. 71), I stated that
oryzalin, trade name
Surflan®, is the pre-emergent herbicide in Preen®. It isn’t.
pre-emergent herbicide in Preen is trifluralin, tradename Treflan®. It is a different chemical
though there is some similarity in chemical structure. Treflan and
manufactured by different companies.
oryzalin in the Hosta ‘Fragrant
Queen’ item because it probably was used to induce tetraploidy. I have
literature reference that trifluralin would do this, too.
and partner Bill Meyer, who live in Woodbury, Connecticut, report that
pre-emergent herbicides in hosta gardens are amazing. Carol has a very
informative “how-to” article, with photos of the chemicals and
sprayers, in the
2011 edition of The Online Hosta Journal.
It’s titled “One
Cold Day in
March,” and you’ll find it in the CULTURE section.
Also, check out Bill’s article in
Look’s Reading Room on the Hosta Library. It’s
loaded with technical information. Click HERE
to access article.
success with pre-emergent herbicides is soil temperature. They need to
applied early in the season, when the soil is just beginning to warm
claims. In 2013, he and Carol applied Surflan with a sprayer in their
England garden during the week before Easter (in other words, the first
April). Because of the late spring, this was about two weeks later than
is that the pre-emergent chemical needs to be watered in soon after
application. Don’t wait for rain that may not come until a week or two
Brashear’s tip: “Apply Surflan before
forsythia bushes bloom. Applying Surflan when forsythia is in bud is
but once this harbinger-of-spring blooms, the soil has warmed up enough
weeds to have germinated. The pre-emergent herbicide must be down for
weeds’ root tips to grow into and get burned by the chemical. That’s
chemical works. Remember, weeds put down roots first and then make
skimp on application rate. Follow manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll
disappointed in the results, if too little of the active chemical is
and Preventive Treatment of Hosta Petiole Rot,
Southern (Stem) Blight
the March 2013 issue of “The Green Hill Gossip,” his nursery’s
catalog, has a front-page commentary, titled “Hosta Pests...The Fear
Discussed are fungal infections, in particular, devastating Petiole Rot
by the fungus Sclerotium rolfsii
There are many
names for this disease: Southern Blight, Southern Stem Blight, mustard
fungus, and even crown rot. The later designation can be confusing,
it’s the petioles that are seriously affected by the fungal disease.
usually refers to leaves turning yellow and wilting, with roots turning
or brown with rot, due to excess soil moisture, excess fertilizer, high
pH, cool soil temperature, or plant stress.
petiole fungal disease often is as prevalent in the northern U.S. as in
southern U.S., “Petiole Rot” or “Hosta Petiole Rot” is now the
Iowa State University helped coin the term when it studied the fungal
in the 1990s and 2000s, because it had become a serious problem in the
state. Petiole is a better term,
since stem usually refers to flower
stem, and rot is a more definitive
comprehensive studies led to Iowa State Univ. Extension, in conjunction
North Carolina State Univ. Cooperative Extension and Clemson Univ.
publishing a very helpful booklet, “Hosta Diseases and Pests,” in
color photos and glossary of terms are first class. The booklet is
print, but now is also available online.
To view it, click HERE.
the way, Bob Solberg contributed the cover photo.
Petiole Rot and found that Iowa State University issued an alert
this fungal infection in 2013. Click to view
the bulletin states, “apparently occurs primarily in the northern U.S.,
a closely related fungus, Sclerotium
rolfsii, occurs primarily in the southern U.S.”
The Gleason Lab
in the Department of Plant Pathology at Iowa State University currently
Ph.D. candidate studying the two fungi.
recommends drenching the soil around an affected plant with a gallon or
10% solution of household bleach. He points out that he does not like
this because it kills earthworms (and other beneficial soil organisms),
rationalizes, “The hostas must be saved.”
Rot can be very
difficult to control once it appears in a production field or garden,
sclerotia of the pathogen may persist for long periods. My
controlling this disease is to apply a systemic fungicide a month or so
the bleach sterilization, and also to apply the fungicide in the spring
next couple of years.
There are many
systemic fungicides available these days, but my favorite for Petiole
Cleary® 3336®. However, you won’t find Cleary 3336, also designated Thiophanate-Methyl™,
local retail nurseries or garden centers. You’ll have to go online or
find a company that specializes in supplying the nursery (greenhouse)
(Woodbury, CT) alerted me to a 1998 study by the Alabama
Experiment Station at Auburn University titled “New Fungicides Provide
Control of Southern Blight on Container-Grown Aucuba.” You can view it,
found that Terraclor®
75W, which was applied at twice the labeled drench rate, failed to
acceptable level of southern blight control on aucuba. On the other
ProStar® 50W and Fluazinam 500F, over a range of application rates,
consistently controlled this disease.
(pentachloronitrobenzene), an old standby fungicide that’s been
newer, more costly chemicals. ProStar is flutolanil, a systemic
developed by Bayer. Fluazinam is both the genetic name and a trade
Emblem® is another trade name. As with Cleary 3336, you’ll likely need
to go on
the Internet to find suppliers of these fungicides.
I need to point out that Cleary 3336,
ProStar, and fluazinam are usually only available in containers of
concentrated formulations and thus require large dilutions, so their
purchase cost is expensive. As an example, the price on the Internet of
70, a 70% concentration, for a 3-lb. jug, the smallest quantity I could
is about $212.00. However, when diluted with water even to the label’s
application rate, treatment of a single hosta clump is only a couple of
'Striptease' is Diploid, Not Tetraploid
R. Zilis for the outstanding comprehensiveness and accuracy of
his instant classic reference, The
Hostapedia (Rochelle, Illinois: Q & Z Nursery, 2009),
but somehow, on
page 902, this slipped in: H.
‘Striptease’ (R. &. C. Thompson - 1991) is tetraploid. That is incorrect.
cytometric measurement, reported by Dr. Ben J.M. Zonneveld and me in Plant Biology 14 (2012) 972-979,
not even ploidy chimera. It is a simple diploid (L1-L2-L3=2-2-2), as is
H. ‘Gold Standard’
(P. Banyai - 1976)
from which it sported.
In Mark Zilis’s new The
Hosta Handbook, Second Edition (Rochelle,
Illinois: Q & Z Nursery, 2013), ‘Striptease’ is
correctly listed as diploid, and in the Second Edition of Mark’s The Hostapedia, expected to be published
in 2019 as two volumes, ‘Striptease’ will be listed as diploid.
Hostapedia further states that ‘Striptease’ has “notably
(than ‘Gold Standard’). Don Rawson, Comstock Park, Michigan, measured
thickness of ‘Striptease’ and ‘Gold Standard’ using a precision
both, Don found leaf thickness was 0.0080 to 0.0105 inches (0.20 to
which is typical for diploid hostas.
queried Dr. Zonneveld about this
popular, attractive sport of ‘Gold Standard’, exhibiting a wider margin
‘Gold Standard’, and also a white line between the yellow leaf center
margin (L2). He speculated
that the increased margin has to do with the L2 being white. The L2
slower, leaving space for the L1 to divide more rapidly and occupy the
left by the white L1.
the way, the error that ‘Striptease’ is tetraploid is also in Richard
excellent new book, Hostas: An essential
guide (Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: The Crowood
Prestriptease'ss, 2010), page
179. Likely, the incorrect ploidy was obtained from Mark’s description
in The Hostapedia.)
Dangerous Are Iron Phosphate
Slug and Snail Bait Pellets in the Garden
you’re not aware, so I want to
call your attention to a most informative article Bill Meyer, Woodbury,
wrote in 2010 on the popular iron phosphate-containing slug and snail
It’s in the online Hosta Library’s Reading Room: http://www.hostalibrary.org/firstlook/RRIronPhosphate.htm.
If you use these pellets and have pets, especially dogs, I strongly
you examine Bill’s detailed assessments.
phosphate bait pellets are widely
advertised as safe for pets and wildlife in the garden. Some
even say they’re safe for children! Since iron phosphate is naturally
occurring, these baits are aggressively marketed also as “organic” and
how safe are these pellets in the garden?
to the labels, the pellets
contain 1% iron phosphate and 99% inert
ingredients. However, the initial U.S. patent, #5,437,870,
issued in 1995
and assigned to W. Neudorff GmbH, a German company that exclusively
manufactures the pellets, licensing and marketing them in huge
re-packagers worldwide, claims:
Iron phosphate is edible and non-toxic
to terrestrial mollusks when consumed alone.
Addition of another ingredient causes iron
phosphate to be fatally
toxic to slugs and
such added ingredient is EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic
common chelating agent for Fe3+. This chemical greatly increases iron
perhaps as much as three-fold. So, for iron phosphate baits to be an
molluscicide, EDTA is added to the
pellets. The bottom line:
It is iron (ferric) EDTA
that is toxic to slugs and snails.
is most concerning about using these baits in the garden is:
reportedly is toxic to animals, as well.
and this is most puzzling, labels of
iron phosphate-containing slug and snail baits say nothing about EDTA,
though it’s an essential ingredient. EDTA is not identified, apparently
it is classified as an inert ingredient. So,
although the labeling of these pellets certainly must have passed
scrutiny, the information seems untrustworthy.
Meyer alerted me to a bulletin by
Oregon State University, published in 2013. It cites molluscide animal
exposures reported to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC),
through a cooperative agreement between OSU and the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. It
specifically mentions dogs having died from
eating these EDTA-containing pellets. Click HERE
to view it.
Slug Bell Keeps Slug and Snail Baits
Dry and Safely From
Children, Pets and Wildlife
control device called “The Slug Bell,” introduced in the U.K., is
designed to protect pellets
from watering, rain, mist, dew, and dampness.
Also, it keeps
poisonous pellets safely from children, pets, and wildlife. Slug Bells
to assemble and easily moved from one place to another in the garden,
be used in containers, even small ones.
this should have considerable appeal, they are attractive as garden
Each bell is individually hand-painted and comes in different designs.
Bells are in your garden, expect to receive “What are those?” remarks
demonstration of how The Slug Bell works, there’s a YouTube
video. Click HERE
company’s website is www.slugbell.com
and gives sources in the
writing, there are no suppliers in North America. Even so, Michael
Slug Bell’s chief executive, tells me he has customers in the U.S. and
who order directly from the company. They see The Slug Bell displayed
exhibitions in England, in particular The Royal Horticultural Society
Court Palace Flower Show in July, and want them for their gardens, especially those with hostas. “A group
of customers from a club or society,” he says, “would get a better
AHS members in the U.K. have
experience on effectiveness of The Slug Bell in controlling slugs or
snails? If you do,
please contact me by