Your best streaked hostas that haven't reverted to green.

hostaLes(5)July 6, 2012

I have ~65 hostas now and the only one I consider having streaked leaves is a young Guardian Angel. I have read a lot of comments in HF about streaked hostas reverting back to green (being unstable).

Which streaked leaf hostas have you had experience with where stability has not been an issue. Pictures would be appreciated and totally enjoyed. Hopefully you will keep me busy in the Library for a few of these terribly hot days.



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bernd ny zone5

No part of my 2 H.'Guardian Angel' have become a solid color yet. I have young streaked seedlings grown from seeds from H.'Dorthy Benedict', 'Blue Lightning', etc. Those seedlings will not 'revert', but in some year in part or totally will stabilize to solid color (green,blue,yellow) or variegated plants. This is an interesting process, creating new cultivars, right now I enjoy the streakers. You can buy seeds from streakers on the internet and grow seedlings over winter.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 7:43AM
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MadPlanter1 zone 5

I'd like to know the answer to Les' question, too. My favorite hosta place advised against Galaxy and Starship, saying theirs often reverted to green and and not to waste my money. I'd love to get Gunther's Prize, but am worried about paying $80. for what will someday be a plain green hosta.

Korean Snow isn't very flashy, but it is streaked and stable if you want thin white lines. Split Milk isn't bad, either. I just want one of the showy gold and green streakers.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 8:54AM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

That's an easy question. I only have one streaker,and it is Korean Snow. It never reverts to all green. It gets darker,but remains streaked,year after year. Phil

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b


All Hosta are unstable. Some are more unstable than others. Streakers are generally among those that are more unstable. However, these are easily controlled by removing the all green eyes that appear by yanking and twisting them out.

The value of streakers for many Hosta lovers is that they are the most effective way of growing new variegated seedlings. In other words you have to have a streaked pod parent to develop streaked or variegated babies.

There are a few streaked plants that have been tissue cultured and are generally available. However many of the most attractive (IMO) streakers have not been able to be TC'd and are only available as divisions from the original plant. These streakers tend to be quite expensive. A good example of this is Gunther's Prize.

In fact the garden of hybridizer Rick Goodenough (from whom the above pic of GP comes) was full of beautiful and fertile streaked plants. Here's a few pics.

Green Harbor

Horsetail Sky

Motley Crew

Galaxy (mine is not this nice)

Brant Rock Jetty

Ancient Mariner

Abigail Adams

This Unnamed beauty is breathtakingly beautiful,

Living Large

You won't find many of these streaked plants in the Library or anywhere else for that matter. Sometimes some of these will show up at an auction somewhere and will end up selling for hundreds of dollars.

Last fall I went back to visit Rick's garden after the convention had finished. I took a few more pictures and had a wonderful afternoon talking about Hostas with Rick. As we were walking through his garden of gorgeous streakers Rick reached down and snapped off a scape from one of these beauties called Epsom Derby and gave the scape to me. That scape was full of open pollinated seeds. I brought it home allowed the seed to mature and then harvested them in the fall. I planted them last winter and grew them under lights. The result was a number of streaker babies. If you really want some nice streaked plants, try growing your own. Seed is inexpensively available online.

Here's two of the Epsom Derby seedlings.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 11:50PM
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No wonder I have always had a hard time locating streakers and never have found them for sale locally. So if by some freak chance I come across one with some sported eyes I might have some success buying it and removing the solid colored eyes; I MIGHT BE ABLE TO HAVE A STREAKED HOSTA, as long as I keep removing the solid eyes? The bottom line though is that, for all PRACTICAL purposes, streaked hostas are usually no more than selectively pruned hostas that tend to sport more than others of the same non-streaked cultivar?

I fully understand what you have said Steve and appreciate your presenting the fantastic collection of photos. I was just letting my mind float for a couple of seconds. I am not sure that at this point I would want to tackle something so labor intense.

But they sure look gorgeous!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 6:53AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

It's not that hard to grow seed. If Bernd can do it anyone can. :) Just stay away from the Bone Meal.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Steve, your photos of Rick's hosta are absolutely awesome!
You did a great job of growing the 'Epson Downs' seedlings!!!!
I agree with Steve-growing hosta seeds is one of the best ways to get a streaked hosta.
There are many hosta seeds for sale on the Hosta Library late summer to fall after the seeds have matured. But here again beware and buy from a reputable seller, as some of the sellers the seeds are not what it says to be. Ask around on the hosta streets (circles) and you will get the word on this.

The Hosta Seeds Growers are possibly going to have a seed auction in the fall too. Look for some very nice seeds from Streaked seedlings on this auction!

'Christmas Tree Gala' has been one of the streaks we have that hasnt reverted to green, but that has not always been the case for other folks.
Streaked hostas are not the most stable hostas. I take out the green reversions Ken's way, just grab the green division/twist and yank out.
Photo is of my Streaked seedling from one of Mary Chastain Lakeside Breeders she sold on the Library auction a few years back.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 6:52PM
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hostared(Z5, IL)

chimming in, Ice Age Trails (and many babies are stable)
Kalidochrome, Hida No Hanna (took 2 years for me to like this one), Hyuga Urajiro (6 yr old and beautiful) and many streaker sport babies from a Gold Standard.
Don't like Guardian Angel (gave it much green)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 7:32PM
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bernd ny zone5

Look what you can get with a few trays over winter after 6 months growing. Look at my babies. Half of the streaked ones are via seeds from Trudy, the other half of the streakers are from seeds sent to me by Mr.Hosta, ak Jeff Miller from LOFTG Hosta Farm. I just brought them to bed, but had to take these photos. In a few years they will look quite close to the above large plants, I dream.
Trudy and Mr. Hosta are main contributors at the Hosta Seed Growers Forum.
The other seedlings are from Big John, Uncle Albert, Starboard Light, Warpaint, Sally& Bob and also single color from streaked mothers.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 8:04PM
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I definitely will have to try seeds. What is there to lose?

I have not paid attention to where seeds are available and will have to look into it.

I really love streaked hosta.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 8:35PM
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I have had Ice Age Trail and Galaxy for about 3 years now. Ice Age Trail has never reverted to solid, and Galaxy has had one eye turn all green that was easily removed. Both are very nice. I also have an unnamed seedling that hasn't given me any problems.

There is a section on the hosta library auction where only streaked breeders are listed. That is where I got galaxy. Some of them are inexpensive and some go up to the triple digits. I also got my seedling there a few years ago, someone had streaked seedlings for $15 each.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 8:53PM
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I wouldn't consider 'Guardian Angel' to be a streaked hosta.

I've had 'Christmas Tree Gala' for a few years and the streaking has been consistent. Also purchased 'Vivacious' and 'Kaleidochrome' last year and both seem to be doing well with the streaking.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 9:44PM
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chris-e(7 MD)

I have a question for those of you who have GALAXY. Do you mean that one or the one that is sold as GALAXY LIGHT? I have the GL that I bought about 4 years ago. You never know what you are going to get with that one! I have streaked, half dark green, half light, all green, etc.

Is ALLEGAN FOG considered a streaked hosta? Mine is 5 years old and gorgeous! No reversion. I need to get a picture on here.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 10:02PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

I think Allegan Fog is generally considered to be "misted" not streaked. I do think some peeps use it as a pod parent, however.

Galaxy Light is smaller and considered the stable form of Galaxy. Take a look at the pic above and the ones on the library. If you have an eye of your plant that is streaked you may be able to separate it and then you would have Galaxy.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 6:31AM
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A direct quote from Jane Unger of Hoot Owl Hollow Nursery, when asked if anything could be done about streakers reverting to solids, on hostapix this morning:

"Nothing can be done if there is no longer any part of the plant with
the original variegation. If you had some variegation, you could
divide off the properly variegated eyes from the rest, but once the
whole plant has changed, that's it. It is a perfectly normal hosta
evolution. The variegated form is the juvenile form and the edged or
solid is the mature form. To keep them streaked you need to maintain
the juvenility and you do that by constantly dividing off the mature

I had never heard this before. Interesting.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Here's one of several that was GIVEN to us when we, Summer before last, visited a well known hybridizer, just after his wife had convinced him that he reallllly needed to develop a cull program.

We adopted as many of the 'culls' as we felt comfortable accepting, and smiled for hundreds of miles taking them home to plant here to allow the bees and birds a new place to show us new possible varieties ;-!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:23PM
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Thanks Bernd for the nice comments on the streaked seedling. Looks like your seedling program is on it's way to a great year!

Not sure 'Guardian Angel' is considered a streak hosta, and 'Allegan Fog' would be in the misted category, I believe folks have gotten some misted seedlings from AF.

Good luck everyone on their streaked hostas.
I remember when some of my friends where buying streaked hostas, my thought was why are they paying so much for those things. Then one day I was at Naylor's Creek booth at a convention, saw 'Christmas Tree Gala'.....oh me oh my was I ever hooked and in LOVE!
Pix is of Dorset Clown OP seedling.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:38PM
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hh, nice streaked hosta!

Nice to have friends who need some culling done. I am always grateful for friends who accept my culls!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 8:55AM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

Trudy, that's a beauty!


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Thanks Deanna!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 5:37PM
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idiothe(4 MN)

For stable streakers that just seem to stay streaked... I've grown Kisuji for at least 15 years with no stabilization and no solid sports.

Ditto Korean Snow... shiny, streakier in spring, less striking later in season, but great shiny leaves and late yingeri-flowers.

I've had Swirls for several years and divided it several times, still no stabilization or solids.

Kaleidechrome - two plants since 2009 with no stabilization and really good streaking.

Starship - ditto. I keep watching for stabilization, but no sign so far.

Ice Age Trail is one of my problem plants - have to take off solid eyes every year. Galaxy - ditto. Same with Savannah Supreme - solids and the stabilized white margin form, Savannah. Sea Prize - lots of solids. (worth the trouble - very fertile, lots of neat streaked seedlings) Blizzard - a few solids but mostly apple green with yellow/cream margins - meaning Winter Snow.

I'm going to caution about the use of the word reversion. I never use it (except maybe to curse a little bit that the oldtimers continue to pollute newer hosta people with its imprecision.)

First of all, it could only be used if the belief is that part of the crown of a sport is going back to the exact same plant as the parent... June sported from Halcyon, so some believe the blue sport that appears on June is a "reversion" to Halcyon. I would argue that only a dna test would demonstrate that. For all we know, it is a new sport and will be bigger or smaller than Halcyon, or have more wax, or or or... I think there is a lot of variation in the market in what people are calling "Halcyon" because so many of the plants are tc culls from June - and I don't believe they are all identical to June's parent.

This has gotten even crazier. Paul's Glory was a variegated sport from Perry's True Blue. I'm sure over the years people have removed solid blue sports from PG and relabeled them as PTB. But the tc process of PG resulted in lots of solid blue plants... but Zilis decided to call those a "sport" and registered it as Wheaton Blue.

So why are those a sport, while the blue ones from June are a "reversion"? I should have asked Mark that at the convention. I just might email him about that!

Reversion was a term that made a lot more sense in the "old days" when a variegated plant was usually propagated by dividing it off its solid parent - easy enough to see how some crown tissue from the parent could go along with the division... its a lot harder to explain how Halcyon genes make it through a tissue culture process of a June meristem, I think.

Galaxy was a cross between a seedling of another streaker, Beatrice, and Frances Williams. It frequently stabilizes to an all green plant. What would it be "reverting" to? It never came from a green plant.

But the biggest reason I hate the term is the way it gets used for plants that can't possible be "reverting" to anything. A seedling, for example - can't revert as it never came from another plant. Gunther's Prize is a streaked Sum & Substance... it might stabilize to a margined hosta or a centered hosta or a solid - but unless the solid the the chartreuse yellow of S&S, there is no way to call it a reversion - and, of course, even if it did end up gold, would I know for sure it is just another S&S? I don't think so.

So - some streakers are more stable than others, and a home gardener not interested in growing streaked seeds would do well to purchase one of the more stable ones I mentioned at the top... but lets stick to asking about "stabilization" - not "reversions." Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:28PM
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leafwatcher(zone 5)

I have a few streaked foreign exchange Hosta seedlings from Trudy as well

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:59PM
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Jim, 'Korean Snow' and 'Swirls' are very good choices for those who want a nice streaked hosta which are stable.

leafwatcher, hope yours are growing nicely :)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 9:25AM
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