Does the Wax Really Disappear?
    Many times it is heard about blue hostas late in the season that they have "lost their wax," but is it true? "No, it's just a myth," says Bill Meyer. "Actually, the structure of the wax just changes. It's still there."
    "The wax on a blue hosta leaf has a puffy crystaline structure, like snow, that, over time the effects of sun and rain cause to collapse into a flatter compacted form that more resembles ice. The larger the crystals, the more satiny a leaf looks, while smaller crystals give a shiny look.  If the wax actually melts off as it can on hot sunny days, the leaf will look dull and burn very easily." 
 
Easy Pet-/Wildlife-Proof Vole Bait Station
    For a safe way to dispense poison for voles and mice, we asked a few nursery professionals. The best one came from Rare Find Nursery that builds them with two items hosta gardeners normally have in abundance - pots and rocks.
   Simply take two large (5 gallon and up) sturdy pots and put a large block of bait in the bottom, along with a couple rocks, if the pots fit together too closely. Then fill the upper pot with rocks. The resulting feeder will be too heavy for animals smaller than bears to tip over. Only mice and voles (and unfortunately shrews) can fit through the openings at the bottom.

There is an indie rock band called Hosta in Arkansas.

Lost in Translation?
We don't know what to make of the following text. It's part of an article we found while scouring the internet. The only explanation we could think of was that it had been translated from another language to English.

   "The Hosta Hanky Panky is a perversion of Hosta Striptease. It is a bouquet three feet wide with dark Green Leaves surrounded by a wide border of gold decoration. He also has purple flowers above two inches of stems.
   "The Hosta Harpoon is a special type of hosta that has won many awards for being the best of the new variegated hosta leaf. It is a two-inch wide clump of narrow, shiny green leaves with a narrow gold border. The purple There are flowers on the stems are forty inches tall."

  Hosta Ploidy Studies

Ben J. M. Zonneveld, in the Netherlands, and Warren Pollock, now living in Pennsylvania, are completing DNA measurements of over 150 different hosta sports and seedlings aimed at determining their ploidy, that is, the number of chromosome sets.  Although most hostas are diploid, some are total triploid, like ‘Sum and Substance’, and total tetraploid, like recently introduced ‘Woop Woop’.  In addition, some have highly unusual ploidy contents, neither total triploid nor total tetraploid, called aneuploid, which is rarely seen in ornamental perennial plants.  An example is ‘Lodestar’, a sport of 'Sum and Substance'.

A publication is expected late next year.

 There is a French health care company named Hosta

Walters Gardens + Proven Winners = ?
   Proven Winners and Walters Gardens Inc. have announced a new strategic partnership. Under this partnership, Walters Gardens, a top source for unique and exclusive perennials in North America, joins Proven Winners to market superior perennial varieties under the Proven Winners brand name.
   For Walters Gardens and its customers, this move will result in increased promotion of their highest quality perennials through one of the most recognized consumer brands. For Proven Winners, this new partnership expands the brand and helps to create more store-within-a-store destination garden centers with a focus on high-value plants.
   Walters Gardens will bring approximately 30 of its varieties, including six hostas, to the existing line of Proven Winners Perennials in 2011 and the program will expand as more new varieties are added each year.
    The hostas are:
Autumn Frost PPAF               Hudson Bay PPAF
Empress Wu PPAF                  Seducer PPAF
Goodness Gracious PPAF       Wheee! PPAF
 
Another Famous Garden Gone
   In the spring of 2010, Warren and Ali Pollock sold their well-known Hackney Circle (Wilmington, DE) home and garden and moved to a small condo in Glen Mills, PA, six miles away. Their garden was featured multiple times in the Journal and other books and magazines. Warren often referred to his collection of pot-grown hostas in his articles, and those were sold in total to a local collector. He is still able to visit his intact pot collection as grist for future articles.
   If you live near one of the famous hosta gardens of our time and have a digital camera, please consider documenting the garden with many photos at peak times of the season. It doesn't cost anything and can let hosta fans of the future visit the garden vicariously after it is gone.
   Sadly, many of the best-known hosta gardens of the last few decades, such as the Lachman's, Mildred Seaver's, and Alex Summers' have ceased to exist leaving only poor or no photo coverage to preserve their memory for posterity. In the future we will store these photos at the AHS website. Please help us with this project so that these gardens can last forever.  

In Greece there is a TV comedy called Mitsi-Hosta

Ian  Chrystal  

Noted British hosta hybridizer Ian Chrystal died suddenly on November 15.  He lived in Bedford, near Cambridge.

 
George Donsky

Hybridizer and overall hosta enthusiast George Donsky passed away on April 22nd from a stroke. He is missed by all who knew him.

   Sandra Bond's Goldbrook Plants in Suffolk introduced his cultivars.  Perhaps his most popular introduction is 'Green with Envy' (2000), a small green-margined sport of yellow-leaved 'Dawn'.  Ian was responsible for naming 'Little Caesar', a Dick Ward hybrid that he and Bond introduced and registered in 2000.  Note Dick Ward's mentioning this hosta in his acceptance speech for the 2010 Eunice Fisher Distinguished Hydridizer Merit Award printed elsewhere in this journal.     George had such a deep curiosity and desire to learn about hostas that he was forever questioning everyone he met. He had taken up hybridizing in his later years and was getting some nice results. Best known at this time are 'Lily Blue Eyes' and 'Lime Custard'. He was very active in the Western NY Hosta Society, and a well-known attendee at national and regional meetings, and was also an AHS Judge. Such was his personality that those meetings won't seem the same without him.   

At the USDA, HOSTA stands for Hazardous Occupations Safety Training for Agriculture

It’s Now H. ‘Sieboldiana’
     W. George Schmid, Tucker, Georgia, is nearing completion of his comprehensive update of Hosta species. You’ll find the studies in “Species Update” on the HostaLibrary’s website.  In his PDF files there, George included a great number of photographs, perhaps all he accumulated in originally preparing (and now updating) the monumental species analysis in his classic monograph, “The Genus Hosta – Gibōshi Zoku.”
     After a lengthy, thorough discourse on H. sieboldiana, his conclusion is that this old standby is not a species and George has reduced (transferred) it to cultivar status. It should now be written with a cultivar name: H. ‘Sieboldiana’.  This is the nomenclature now being used in AHS publications.
 
H. 'American Gothic' mystery solved
   A new hosta mystery puzzled hosta fans this year concerning an introduction named 'American Gothic'. A check of its registration says that it is a sport of 'Blue Arrow' from Greg Johnson, while the description on the website of Q and Z Nursery (where it is being propagated) says it is a seedling from Doug Beilstein.  We asked Mark Zilis and he responded:
   "The plant that the Midwest Regional Hosta Society bought from us and distributed as 'American Gothic' at the Midwest Convention this past summer is a stabilized sport of a Doug Beilstein hybrid of 'Color Fantasy' X 'Sea Drift'. The 'Blue Arrow' sport was lost and no longer exists. I'll be submitting an amended registration."

In Turkey there is a fast-food chain called Hosta Piknik

.Editors' Note: If you have short bits of news that would be of interest to our members, please send them to us. They can be included on this page as soon as we receive them. Please note that items sent will be edited to fit the space.

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