Doug Beilstein,
AHS President

President's Message

September 2012

Dear Fellow Members and Hostaphiles:                                        

It's been raining off and on for days now - remnants of Hurricane/Tropical storm Isaac. My foliage friends while welcoming the drench are starting to change to brown and curl their edges after being watered repeatedly this summer by hand. That is at least three weeks early. I've noticed in some gardens as well as my own, that we have a very limited display of nematodes this year. I'm wondering if the harsh summer heat has disrupted them too!!

As  a hybridizer, the color of the fall-blooming hosta take first prize. Spider-shaped flowers and various shades of purple and red in the flowers and scapes make them attractive to my eyes. 

At this time, I always make a mental note on which cultivars look just plain beat up!! These are excellent candidates to replace when I start looking at those catalogs this winter.  Don Dean, Don Rawson and others are pushing the blues to last into the fall making for super replacements.   

Fall Forum hopefully was on your calendar. What a treat to end the season with lectures, vending, good food, and great company!

What other plant society has conventions throughout the year? January through September. We have  Winter Scientific, Hosta College, First Look, AHS National Convention, Dixie Regional, Midwest Regional, Great Lakes Tailgate, and the Fall Forum - all for your enjoyment.

Second year seedlings under evaluation in the Beilstein gardens.
Photos courtesy of Doug Beilstein.

I'm dreaming of Fall now as rain tends to make me do that. Let's see... I should remove any diseased (nematodes) leaves before fall clean up! Extra watering is essential - do it. I must take a couple of last photos - never enough. Removing the rest of hosta leaves (and the slugs in them) out of the garden is a must for me. Finally I must clean up the garage so I can get the truck back in! You just gotta love Fall!  

I've just received The Hosta Journal.  A WOW issue!! For all of our mini hosta lovers, please enjoy all of the articles and photographs. Super job, Bob and Crew!! Along with the Journal came a reminder to RENEW your membership. You, our members, are our lifeline. Most groups are losing members. Help the AHS buck that trend, make a difference: re-up your membership today.

Remember our final Journal of the year - Convention Special. Our Online Journal will be available Thanksgiving Day - November 22, 2012. Go to American Hosta Society.

Now back to the articles on minis in the Journal. It is still raining outside.....

Later, Doug                                         Contact Doug Beilstein

Cindy Tomashek,
Vice President, Conventions

By now you’ve heard what a great convention took place in Nashville this summer…

All the fun is being captured in a "Blurb Book" that many of you contributed photos to. The final product will be about 100 pages and will cover all aspects of the convention plus some info on Nashville. The goal is to have it completed by mid-October at which time an email will go out to all convention attendees with information on how to order one. Anyone who didn't attend the convention can access the information on how to purchase the blurb book on the AHS web site.

You will also be able to check out complete convention coverage in the upcoming Online Journal that is scheduled to go live late November.

If your group would like to create an equally memorable convention by hosting a future AHS convention, give me a call or send an email today. We are seeking hosts for the year 2015 and beyond. With a wealth of past convention experience to help you through the planning process, hosting a convention has never been easier – and don’t forget that the AHS now handles the major duties of the Hosta Show and the Auction!

With great memories of Nashville to revisit, I’m eager for next summer’s ‘Escape to Wisconsin’. Be sure to save the dates: June 13-15, 2013. Having seen the promo, I guarantee you will enjoy the wide selection of beautiful gardens and other well-planned convention activities. I’ve already started researching how to make the most of my ‘Escape to Wisconsin’…have you? Registration forms were included in the most recent Hosta Journal, so it’s not too soon to make your plans. As always, stay tuned for convention updates!

2012 “Hostas, Friends and Music”, Nashville, TN

  ___ 2013 “Escape to Wisconsin”, Milwaukee, WI

  ___ 2014 “Czech it Out!”, Cedar Rapids, IA

  ___ 2015 “_________”, ____________, __

  You can do it – even without a group backing you up
         (Tom and Jack are) – the AHS will help!

  ___ 2016 “_________”, ____________, __

  Contact me soon to fill in these blanks and get started!

Conventionally yours, Cindy                            Contact Cindy Tomashek

Sandie Markland,
Membership Secretary


It is important to keep the AHS Membership Secretary informed of changes in your contact information. If you do not receive AHS mailings due to an unreported change of address, a $6.00 payment is required to cover the cost of shipping and handling for the replacement issue. Please send address changes to as promptly as possible. Individuals who travel between summer and winter homes should advise the Membership Secretary of their change of address approximately 6 weeks in advance of each address change.

Time to Renew!

All AHS Memberships run from January 1 through December 31 regardless of when an individual joins or renews. The year of your membership expiration immediately follows your name on the mailing sheet which accompanies each mailing you receive from the AHS. The second Journal mailing of each year (due out in late summer/early fall) is always accompanied by a renewal form --- you probably just received your issue within the past few weeks. It is important to renew in a timely manner in order to avoid the $5.00 late fee which MUST be applied to all renewals mailed or entered online after January 15 of each calendar year. As always, feel free to contact Sandie Markland with any questions about your membership at

AHS Memberships make great gifts for your gardening friends -
or great door prizes for your local club events!

Sandie                                               Contact Sandie Markland

Rob Mortko,
Vice President, Genus Hosta

HVX Research Update

The current AHS sponsored Hosta Virus X (HVX) research project with Dr. Ben Lockhart at the University of Minnesota has made good progress during its first full growing season.

1.  Soil transmission of HVX from infected residual root debris
We now have good evidence that HVX can be transmitted by root contact between replacement hostas and residual bits of HVX-infected plants that have been removed. At the end of this growing season, we will be testing the plants put in during the original AHS Phase 1 research project plus those that we have put in for a repeat of the original experiment. We have a greenhouse experiment in which healthy 'Honeybells' test plants were put in pots containing a graded series of clean soil/infected root pieces. This experiment will be continued in the greenhouse throughout the winter. The plants are checked weekly for any signs of symptoms and will be virus-tested whenever virus-like symptoms are noticed.

2. Seed transmission of HVX in hostas
It had been planned to collect seed from infected 'Blue Cadet' plants and test the resulting seedlings for presence of HVX. 'Blue Cadet' had been selected because this is the variety mentioned in the report from Korea on seed transmission of HVX in hosta. Unfortunately, we were unable to get any quantity of seed from HVX-infected 'Blue Cadet', and we will be using instead seed from infected 'Krossa Regal'.

3. Transmission of HVX by root inoculation
We have inoculated (mechanical inoculation using an abrasive) roots of 'Honeybells' and 'Frances Williams'. In another version of this experiment, we have mixed together roots of healthy and HVX-infected 'Honeybells' plants and washed them using a power washer as would be done in commercial operations. This experiment is designed to test whether HVX infection could occur via surface wounds created by power washing.

4. Transmission of HVX on contaminated cutting tools or fingers
The 'Honeybells' plants in this experiment will be all tested in late October for HVX infection. These plants will be left in the field plots over the winter and monitored once again next spring.

5. Pathogenic variation among HVX isolates
We have made a collection of 13 HVX isolates from different hosta varieties. These HVX isolates were propagated in 'Honeybells'. These HVX isolates differ in the type of leaf symptoms they induce as well as the rate at which symptoms appear. So far no detectable virus genome sequence differences have been associated with these differences. We will document the differences in foliar symptoms caused by the 13 HVX isolates next spring when symptoms appear in new growth.

6. Susceptibility of other shade perennials to HVX infection
The other shade perennials inoculated with HVX have been inspected regularly for any signs of possible symptoms. None have shown any signs of HVX infection
so far. Two have been tested for HVX and found negative. The remainder will be tested at the end of the current growing season. The short-lived species (e.g. lilies) will be tested after their bulbs have been overwintered and germinated in early spring.

 Rob                                                             Contact Rob Mortko

Chuck Zdeb,
Vice President,
Judging & Exhibitions

Judging and Exhibitions

Debbie Bocknek has resigned as Show Chair for the American Hosta Society. She has served as the person who approved all the Leaf Show schedules since 2001 when she took over that position from Wanda Dove. In addition, she has shipped thousands of show entry cards to leaf shows all over the United States. She may be the longest serving committee chair that the AHS has had. Countless hours over these past 12 years have been spent at her job. The American Hosta Society cannot express thanks enough for all she has done.

Claudia Walker of the Georgia Hosta Society has agreed to fill the position. Claudia is a past Judges Training Chair and has served as Ombudsman for the AHS. She is the veteran of more than 25 Hosta Shows and served as Co-Chair of the AHS  convention show in Nashville.

Claudia is a longtime friend of the AHS and her addition is warmly received. Good Luck to her and Welcome!

Chuck           Contact Chuck Zdeb

Hosta Show at the AHS Convention
in Nashville

Photo by Randy Goodwin

Josh Spece,
Web Editor-in-Chief

2012 AHS Popularity Poll

It is time to cast your votes for the annual AHS Hosta Popularity Poll! Now that it's Fall, take a 'mental' stroll through your garden to refresh your memory of your favorite hostas, then log on and vote.

Popularity Poll voting is only open to AHS members so once you are on the American Hosta Society website (click on the link below), click the “Members” link along the left side of the page. You will then need to enter the member's password. The password is published in The Hosta Journal. If you do not have your journal handy, you can contact the AHS Membership Secretary for the password. Once you enter the password, click “Submit”.           

You are now logged into the "Members Only" area of the website. You can access the Popularity Poll voting page by clicking the “Popularity Poll” link on the left side of the page.

Once you are on the Popularity Poll voting page scroll down to the bold heading that says “OnlineVoting” and follow the instructions on the page to cast your votes.

It is very important to NOT press the Enter or Return key on your keyboard after you begin entering your votes! Doing so will submit your ballot before it is complete. (Unfortunately, this is a “feature” of the polling service the AHS uses and is beyond our control.)

Anyone who has trouble voting is more than welcome to contact me for help!

Josh             Contact Josh Spece

Michael Shadrack,
Vice President, Awards & Honors

Outstanding Contribution Awards
"The President's Wall"

The first annual cycle of the AHS Outstanding Contribution Awards is drawing to a close. Local Hosta Societies are the lifeblood of the AHS and the National Society wants to acknowledge those formally unsung heroes of local clubs who work so hard to ensure their success and smooth administration.

Nominations were sought from all the local societies and 22 local societies nominated 43 members to receive the award. Certificates were prepared and these have all been mailed to nominating Societies. In most cases, communication has been by snail mail to Society Newsletter Editors as, in an everchanging world, this is our most up-to-date list of contacts.

Most local clubs indicated that they would arrange some form of local presentation. Early in the New Year the names of all those honored will appear on the AHS website. It is envisaged that there will be a "President’s Wall" and each person honored will have their details inscribed on a brick in the wall. Additional bricks will be added each year and the wall will form a permanent record.

However, there have been some teething problems.  At least two nominating Societies did not receive their award certificates. For this I apologize. I now worry that more may have slipped through the net.

If any reader is aware that their Society nominated members for this award and they have yet to receive the certificates in the mail, please do not hesitate to contact me, and I will put the matter right.

The Online Hosta Journal, to be published in late November, will contain an item seeking a fresh round of nominations from local Societies for the 2013 awards, and I will again write to each local newsletter editor early next year. Hopefully, the improved administration system recently adopted will mean that each Society will get their certificates in good time.

Michael                                                  Contact Michael Shadrack

Don Dean,
Editor, The Online Journal

The Online Journal 2012

The Online Journal is coming along nicely. We are excited with the way it is shaping up at this time and think we have some great pieces in store for you. We even have a few new twists to picque your interest.. Look for it to go live Thanksgiving Day.

Keep those passwords that arrived as a reminder in the The Hosta Journal, Volume 43:2 It can be found on page 7. Last year’s 2011 issue is still posted on the home page of the AHS website. It will be archived in the Members’ section once this issue is launched, so you will always be able to access it. The original, first issue from 2010 remains open to the members and general public for future reference. It may be found under the home page tab entitled “Literature: AHS Publications” or by going directly to AHS Publications.

Joanna Kovalcsik's photograph of H. 'On Stage'
will grace the cover of the 2012 Online Journal.

We welcome new and innovative ideas, articles of interest, and suggestions. Continue to contact me if you have ideas by going to any masthead in any version of THJ or OLJ for the contact details.

Happy gardening on behalf of the OLJ Team,

Don                                                   Contact Don Dean

2013 AHS Convention   Escape to Wisconsin

Make your plans now for the 2013 AHS Convention being held in Milwaukee, WI, June 13-15. There has never been a national convention in Milwaukee before. We are highlighting the area’s local culture as well as having the area’s premier gardens on tour. For full information and details visit our website at

Oops! The flier that was inserted in with the fall Hosta Journal had a typo in the convention address. The correct website address is

The cost for this convention is $139 per person. A schedule of events is on our website.

The Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel is the site for this convention. They have given us a rate of $105 per night which includes a hot breakfast buffet. Book rooms early as there is an automobile race in town that weekend and rooms will be at a premium.

We have 9 beautiful gardens to tour. Tours are by carpool and maps and directions will be provided. Attendees that do not have rides will be matched with attendees that do have rides.

The garden of Owen and Sue Purvis is a city garden chock full of over 700 hosta varieties. They have their collection beautifully displayed throughout their yard.

Historic Cedarburg, WI, while being known for its quaint shops and boutiques, is also home to Jack Barta, known to many as a vendor at AHS conventions. Located just a few blocks off the main street of Cedarburg, Jack has a 3/4 acre garden. While not a traditional display garden, it is home to thousands of hostas, many of which are mature clumps. Stop by and see all the hostas.

For more information contact Tom Micheletti or Jack Barta, co-chairs of the convention.

Contact Tom Micheletti                               Contact Jack Barta

Andy Marlow,
Photo Editor, The Hosta Journal

Photos Needed

The Hosta Journal has the need of lots of photos from members. Yes, we’ll get them from the usual suspects (and they’ll be good), but we really like to get new people published, too. So send us some photos and let us decide which ones work best. The more we have to choose from, the better your magazine will look. We do have some specific needs:

1.  We’re doing a feature article and a Q & A on growing hostas in containers. We need photos to illustrate both. Include both the hosta and the container in the shot, but emphasize the hosta (naturally). Photos of groups of container-grown plants, and combinations of plants in containers and plants in the ground, are also welcomed.

2.  I’m doing a photo essay on very large hostas, similar to the one I did last year on corrugated hostas. Lots of photos are needed of fully mature, very large plants. They can be leaf close-ups, medium shots or photos of the entire clump. As a guideline for cultivars photographs to contribute, consult Don Rawson’s Hosta Lists (

3.  We need vertical photographs. It’s hard to do attractive layouts when most of the photos are horizontal, and the pages are tall. Vertical shots give us more flexibility, and a very special two vertical photos a year end up on the cover of The Journal.

4.  I am already getting some entries for the 2012 Hosta Journal Photo Contest, but more entries make a better contest. Check out the rules and categories in the last issue of The Journal. Depending on where you live, your opportunity to take photos this season may be past. But, check through your archive and get some entries in by the December 1 deadline.

Send your digital photos full size and quality. Submit TIFF (.tif) or JPEG (.jpg or .jpeg) digital format with a file size of at least one megabyte. Of course, the larger the file size the better. You can email them to me a few at a time, send them on CD or DVD via USPS or contact me to see if you can submit them via Dropbox. Please email me to talk about any slides or print you may want to send.

Photos may appear in The Hosta Journal, The Online Journal and/or the AHS Website.

Identify the hosta as well as the garden. For garden scenes, the hostas need not be identified, just the gardener(s). And, of course, we’ll want your name as you would like it to appear as a photo credit.

Andy Marlow
10700 Minnetonka Blvd
Hopkins, MN 55305-4404

Andy                                                             Contact Andy Marlow

Don Dean,
AHS Online Auction Chair

2013 AHS Online Auction

Yes, it is difficult to imagine that yet one more year is upon us already. As I write this, the first freeze warning has been issued for the portion of Minnesota where I live. It’s time to start thinking about putting our gardens to rest and taking one ourselves.

Take a few moments before turning your back on your gardens to make note of possible donations for us to consider adding to our gardens next year. Taking such an inventory, while we can still see the plants, is a great help. Drought across much of the U.S. has also brought with it many reports of poor seed production. Have any pods formed upon a treasured plant or two? Consider cleaning those seed and offering them up to the bidders. It is a great way to get involved in the sharing of our plant, creating anticipation for winners through the often long winter months. This year in particular there is likely to be vigorous  bidding to get them delivered to a winner's home.

This as yet unnamed, unregistered Don Dean beauty with  narrow, wavy white margins and dark reddish scapes is a 'probable' entry in the
AHS Online Auction.

January 12th through 26th are the scheduled dates for this year’s event. I anticipate all things to run as in the past and am pleased to let you know that JoJo will be joining us again with her zeal for great plant descriptions. Links will be found on the AHS home page, as well as the Hosta Library home page. Bob Axmear continues to graciously allow the AHS to use his auction software. I expect to begin sending messages out to those that are on my mailing list sometime in December. Not on the mailing list? Simply send a message requesting you be added. Include your name and email address.

Seed from this Don Dean hybrid will be up for bids.
"4-31-5F" is the result of a cross of Bob Solberg's 'Party Favor' and Don's 'Subterranean Pool'.

We hope to see your donations come in, bidding go wild, and hear about your pleasure as you control becoming the winner of your next garden treasure. Both members and non-members are welcome to participate in this event.

Don                                                   Contact Don Dean

AHS Membership

The American Hosta Society (AHS) is a society dedicated to the study and improvement of the genus Hosta, and the dissemination of general and scientific knowledge about them. There are many benefits for the members that result from these efforts - both social and in nursery trade. AHS members receive several publications a year including two colorful issues of The Hosta Journal (mailed), four E-Newsletters (emailed), The Online Journal (posted on the AHS website for AHS members only). All of these publications offer articles on cultivation tips, propagation techniques, landscape uses, new cultivars and old species, pioneers and personalities, scientific advances, convention awards and gardens, and news about the AHS.


*  An opportunity to attend national meetings and conventions which offer educational and scientific presentations, garden tours, judge's clinics, and a chance to see the latest and best hosta in the hosta show.

*  A Biennial AHS Membership Directory

*  The priviledge of visiting display gardens throughout the country, many of which are only open to AHS members.

*  An invitation to exhibit your favorite hostas and compete for
recognition in various AHS National and Regional hosta shows.

*  Developing friendships with people who share an interest in growing hostas.

*  Access to the "Member's Only" section of the AHS website.

Another benefit of becoming a new member is that you receive a voucher from the AHS Membership Secretary good for $15.00 towards any purchase at sponsoring nurseries.

To learn more, go to

To join the AHS online, go to, or print the membership application and mail to the Membership Secretary listed.

Please join us today!

Photograph by Reldon Ramsey