New Hostas From Seeds
Clarence H. Falstad III
Hostas are the number-one-selling perennial in North America, and much of that is attributed to cultivar diversity as well as hardiness and ease of use in the landscape. Much of the recent interest is in new distinct cultivars. There are about 250 new cultivars registered each year bringing the current total to about 3000 different cultivars.
Hosta cultivars can be propagated by division and tissue culture, or also by seed for those few species that have a market. The diversity and unpredictability of sexual propagation does not lend to production of true-named cultivars, however it is an excellent source of new and improved cultivars.
Breaking down the various characteristics into all the possible forms shows a huge potential for different cultivars. If we examine the various attributes of hostas we find there to be conservatively 136 different traits. Assuming half of these to be linked, i.e., large plant size with large leaf size, or lance leaf shape with tapered leaf
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