Hosta with blue flowers?

donrawson(Z 5)October 4, 2010

Just heard about a new hosta with blue flowers. Anyone know anything about it? There are pics posted at this link. You have to register as a forum member to view the pics. This looks like a real breakthrough in the world of hostas.

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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

Don, Jerry Briant posted these on Hostapix as well, where a member identified it as a photoshopped prank....


    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 9:46PM
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I posted the pictures in booth locations. If someone said on Hostapix that it was a photoshop prank I never saw the post. Someone did say that their cousin would pull a prank or something similar to that, but I saw no one stand up and say it was fake or I would have challenged them on the point, as I am right now.

I can 100% guarantee you that it was not edited other than to reduce the size and recenter to posting.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 1:20PM
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donrawson(Z 5)

I hope you don't mind me posting the pics here since many GardenWeb users may not be members of the Hosta Hybridizing Forum.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 1:34PM
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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)


    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 10:21AM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)


    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 11:51AM
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Babka NorCal 9b



    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 12:40PM
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Is it for real?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 6:01PM
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I just don't believe in a true-blue hosta flower. Would have to grow it to believe it. I'm not saying you're fibbing but color photography is often not true color.

True blue flowers are uncommon and impossible to create. Those sold as such, hostas or otherwise, are usually tinged with purple, magenta or some other color.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 4:54PM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

FWIW, while the colour temperature of the images shown may be off somewhat -the skin tones are too blue- in order to get the shade of blue shown through computer manipulation all the other colour values would be thrown off.

Here's a composite image showing how colour temperature influences how 'blue' things look. The larger image is with a much lower colour temp, the small inset is much higher. Notice the skin colour difference between the two.

I have no doubt the flower's colour is blue. Whether it's the shade of blue you see on your monitor all depends on how well-adjusted your monitor is, and most are set WAY too high -too blue- in colour temperature.

BTW, I rather suspect the actual colour is closer to what you see in the larger picture. Then again, my monitor is set @ 5500 Kelvin.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 8:27PM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

Very interesting Pieter.
I recently heard a speaker talk about photography in the garden. He did spend some time talking about white balance. I could totally see that if a person had the wrong setting on their camera how you could get a blue pic from it.... I mean, on occasions when I've had my camera set for "indoor" when I was shooting outside, those pics were blue!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 1:43PM
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I don't know, Pieter. I think they were really pink...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 10:03PM
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Wow! you guys are really funny.

The flower is as blue as a sky blue hosta.

Believe what you want.
I posted some more pictures here.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 9:59AM
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nmb_48150(5 MI)

What would it take to get some of the seed???

can you imagine that blue on a white centerd hosta


    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:41AM
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IâÂÂm a newbie when it comes to Hostas so I canâÂÂt comment on the possibility of blue flowers, but wouldnâÂÂt it be nice if Hosta flowers came it all kinds of colors and designs? :)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 6:08PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Oooooooooooooooo. With stars!


    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 10:43PM
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bernd ny zone5

There is no need to limit stars to flowers, why not design leaves with stars and more stripes.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 11:16AM
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donrawson(Z 5)

Hi Jerry,

Over the years, I've compiled many HOSTA LISTS to help hosta gardeners everywhere. Perhaps you're familiar with these lists. There's a link to the Hosta Lists on the Hosta Library at I update the lists annually, and offer paper copies to gardeners and clubs at printing cost. The current edition contains 75 lists and a total of 108 pages.

This year, I've written a brief description of your friend's blue-flowered hosta and have included it as part of the HOSTA LISTS. And now I have a request- can I use the photos you posted to accompany the description? The pics would be posted here under the heading, "Blue-flowered Hostas".

Thank you for considering my request. Please send me an email. Someday, I would like to see those flowers myself!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 11:57AM
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I live in Fort Worth,TX. I saw with my own eyes the hosta with deep BLUE funnel flowers in the garden patio of Chadra Restaurant at 1622 Park Place Ave, Ft. Worth, TX 76110, near the Camp Bowie Circle. 817.926.3992. I will call when the owner is there and see if he/she knows the name of the hosta. Here is a pic I took.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 1:45PM
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donrawson(Z 5)

I was planning to wait until I updated the BLUE-FLOWERED HOSTAS list before posting the following information, but I will do so now.

John Soucek of Avon, Ohio emailed me the following information on 5-11-12:

"I noticed your article on the flower color with the pics from Jerry Bryant- the hosta pictured will be registered as 'St. Bernadette' and was hybridized by my daughter. The color is true-blue as the sky and so is the scape. My daughter is a graduate of Miami Ohio in Botany and had the same professor as Kevin Vaughan. We are also patenting the plant as well as doing our own tc. The marketing of the plant is up in the air for now. It is fertile both ways."

I'm currently trying to obtain additional photos of this new cultivar, including some of the flowers and scapes.

tfnmcam, can you take some more pics of the hosta you show above including some of the flowers and leaves, so that we can attempt to identify it? Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:03PM
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I am very sorry to hear of Mr. Soucek's passing. I know a good lot of you knew him personally; I wish his family all the best. What I just learned that does make me happy, however, is that his daughter is a hybridizer as well. The more hybridizers/breeders/nurserypeople I become aware of, I also note the very high percentage of spouses, siblings and children that are in the botany/horticulture field themselves. And the type of plant they overwhelmingly seem to specialize in? Well, of course it is the hosta. That says a lot about how special of a plant the hosta is. The "friendship plant", indeed. It may seem silly to some, but hostas have enriched my life in many ways, ways I can strongly feel, but can't really put into words and explain to other people.
A very huge thank you to Mr. Soucek, and to others who had, and have, such a love for hosta that newer generations are able to freely grasp the knowledge you've given to the horticultural world, and continue to knock our socks off with beautiful introductions for us to be amazed, and inspired by. This "hostamania", if you will, seems to very naturally and easily flow down through to the children and other members of the family. It's not like a parent who makes the kids take piano lessons, there doesn't seem to be much, if anything, about it that is 'forced', if you know what I mean. At least, that is what I see and get the strong feeling of when I read interviews and articles about children of legendary hosta pioneers/advocates. They follow in their parents' footsteps so freely, and take to it with equal enthusiasm and purpose like it's something they were born to do, as opposed to simply being 'born into it'. IS there a 'hosta gene'? I don't know, but I wouldn't bet against it. I'm 43 years old, and I WISH I'd become more aware to what the world of hosta was about a decade ago (or longer), but thats OK, I know what's up now, and I'm very glad I do, thanks to folks like Jon and Rachel Soucek!

Very sorry to hear of Mr. Soucek's passing.
Very glad and grateful to hear his love of Hostas is shared by his daughter.

My deepest sympathies to the Soucek family,

Don B.
Westminster, CO.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Sat, Jan 19, 13 at 3:30

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:21PM
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Very nice note, DonB.

And this topic brought forward from last year or earlier, is very timely for me for totally different reasons.

I was mixing a blueberry smoothie tonight. The blue berries were indeed very blue. The milk was fat free. It took a matter of seconds in the blender for the combined milk and berries to become a lovely purple or lavender, but intense anyway.

It made me wonder, as this thread came in the scope of my mouse, if perhaps, with the hosta leaves being layered, having a white layer revealed somewhat in a variegated hosta, could it happen with the flowers too?

I am not being scientific here, it is not my nature actually, but I am wondering if the real flower color could be blue if there was no white present. In those blooms where there is white present, blue becomes purple or lavender? There are, for instance, blossoms which begin with a lavender tinge to them, and as the flower matures it becomes a "near white".....

As a hosta lover who is interested in the blooms and the fragrance, as well as the greenery or leafage, I hope the folks hybridizing hosta in the laboratory , the botanists like Ms Soucek too, will keep going on this.

As for St. Bernadette, I hope to live long enough to see one up close and in person.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:22PM
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russo4(n7 nj)

Known jerry for alot of years as a collector of rare hostas he would not put his reputation on the line by changing colors on a pic just my opinion.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 9:31AM
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Pieter zone 7/8 B.C.

While I was the one who posted the color-adjusted composite picture, nowhere did I suggest Jerry manipulated the picture. I said, and maintain, that the color we see is inaccurate.The original clearly shows the picture was shot with the flowers in the shade. The light we get in the shade obviously is not direct sunlight, but the light reflected from the sky. When the picture was taken the sky was likely mostly blue. How do I know? Take a close look at the original shots and you will see some leaves that clearly show direct sun exposure. That means the shade was illuminated by blue light. The color of light we throw onto a subject directly influences how the colors of the object appear to us. Look at the color of the finger visible in the first picture and I think you'll agree that color is WRONG. And if the color of the skin is wrong, everything else in the picture has the wrong color.

Taking a look at the information contained within the image file I see the picture was shot on an iPhone, not a camera, and the white balance was set to auto. A picture with the color balance set for shade would have shown a more representative color, auto is the wrong setting when you have mostly shade in the shot but still see some direct sun. It was shot Sept 10/10 @ 5.12PM. With something as important as a game changing color in hosta flowers it is imperative IMHO that the pictures be shot on a proper camera, under controlled conditions, so that what we get presented with is an accurate representation of the color of the flower. A phone should be used what it was intended for: phone calls! Anyone who tries to draw conclusions from a picture shot on a phone with all the settings on auto/auto/auto is misguided. You cannot.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 12:01PM
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