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Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Posted by hostaLes 5 (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 10, 12 at 12:21

I purchased this hosta as a baby in 2009, obviously mistagged as Krossa Regal. There was a group of FW and KR next to each other so I guessed someone had switched tags. I have been calling it FW ever since. But in reading everyones comments about spring frying of the margins on FW, this has had only very marginal damage at worse.

So I would like to verify if it truly might be FW. Those leaves measure 8x5.5" at that time with 15 vp. I planted baby Blue Angels on both sides of it. Those scapes and flowers look a whole lot like the Blue Angels (at the top of the photo)and leaf shape does look similar to an Angel.

My memory is playing games with me. Have I done this before? - LOL - or did I just think about asking about it?

Francis Williams

I will not be hard to convince it is truly FW, at which time I will remove the ? after it's name forever.

Thanks much -I think this ends any ID questions I might have until I seperate the eye with the totally yellow leaves from my new Summer Breeze.

Les


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Sure looks like to me..but ,I am an enthusiast, not an expert ;)


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Here's my Francis Williams, planted last fall, growing in almost total shade, and showing the famous leaf edge melt already.
Jan

H.'Frances Williams'


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

  • Posted by babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 10, 12 at 13:11

FrancEs Williams. She has an E in her name, not an I. Even with the dessicated edges, she is still a beauty.

-Babka


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RE: Will the real Frances Williams please stand up!

Oops! Sorry Frances. Thanks Babka.

Am I to assume it is the "real" H.'Frances Williams'?

Les


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

None of the Hostas on this page resembles Frances Williams. Not even by a long shot.


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Here's one of my three 'Frances Williams' which usually do not get dessication burn. I took this picture today. One of the others has a crispy edge this year. All are planted under the same spruce trees and get filtered light.


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

This is 'Jack of Diamonds'and looks a lot like FW. I understand that J of D remains smaller. I only planted J of D last year.


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Wieslaw, you must have a really mature FW which is much more corrugated.


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

It looks like my FW, but my scapes are much shorter. They hardly get above the leaves.

Mine has little brown splotches all through the edges. The splotches are there within two weeks of unfurling. My thought was to move it to more shade, but my pecan tree doesn't leaf out until mid April and my hosta start coming up in March.

bkay


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

I think the Hosta Library photos are the authority of how a hosta should look. The last one, i.e., matches the Hosta Library photo. Most of mine look the same.

This year all my hostas have damage from tree twigs and frosts. The earliest of my H. 'Frances Williams'' actually completely got mushed by a frost, but is growing new leaves now. The other five FWs have leaves of size 18x14 inches this year, some with broader yellow borders than shown in the Hosta Library, perhaps because of the earlier spring and sufficient rain. In contrast, my H. 'Olive Bailey Langdon' has not such nice bright borders.
Bernd


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

  • Posted by babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 10, 12 at 17:55

Wieslaw59-

Please explain why you don't think the photos are correctly identified. The OP's pic might have narrower margins and a longer leaf shape, but the Hosta Library has similar ones pictured. Does it grow differently in Denmark? Please post a pic of yours.

-Babka


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Here you are:
Hosta Frances Williams

Frances Williams

Frances Williams

I could not make a picture of the whole plant because it it under an azalea bush and I only have 2 arms :-)


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

021

This is how it looked two weeks ago. I was embarassed to submit the photo for all the weeds; I haven't been physically able to maintain or water my gardens yet. But I'm getting there. Some of the leaves are beginning to show a more rounded shape typical of FW.

It is under a walnut tree, which gets its leaves late like bkay's pecan. Yet it still had only relatively little damage from the sun in spite of the early 80's & 90's temps and drought-like conditions. I've had less than an inch of rain in 4 weeks.


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Mine has been having nearly round leaves since it was small. As far as I know mine is not from TC.


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Wieslaw, your Frances Williams is really really blue! Very nice and intense color.

Why would yours have such a heavy layer of wax to create such a blue, when your latitude is equivalent to some of the folks who grow the same plant here in the US?

I thought a named hosta was the same universally. Reckon we have a little bit of "evolution" going on in the hosta patch?


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

If FW wasn't such an historical hot-mama for all it's great babies, I'd have chucked all of ours on the compost pile years ago.

For three years running I've taken a personal interest in watering the living daylights our biggest one, to no avail whatsoever. Edge dessication.

Live with it. There's some biology that makes it happen, no matter what.

Darn!

hh


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

I am fortunate because mine is happy with its home and I have never had any burn.

Frances Williams


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

I hope I don't sound stupid when I say this, but isn't Europe "cooler" then us here? Or maybe it's the humidity, more rain? Just a thought. I imagine when a plant is "cooler" it tends to keep it's color better. I imagine it is also like everything else, animals tend to have a certain different look with different genetics even though they are the same breed. Just look at Hereford cows or Dorset sheep, not only different on opposite sides of the world but even here in New England they have a certain look because we are "cut off" from the rest of the country.(sorry got on a tangent there) But can't plants do something similar?


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Frances (with an 'E') is a male name and is the correct spelling of this plant. Francis (with an 'I') is the female spelling so it must not be referred to as 'she'. It's MALE and it's a 'he'. And mine is 22 years old and 5 feet across, 3 feet tall, and burns on the edges since I lost the protection of a tree. I'd move it but there are a million eyes and I need to hire somebody to do the deed. I'm desperate to get it moved to more shade. I'm now covering it daily with a screen - ugly, but it helps. No idea why I'm doing that - it just bothers me that it melts! I guess since we are putting the house up for sale soon, I'm trying to keep the blues blue as long as possible!

Westy


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

  • Posted by babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 11, 12 at 0:23

Westy-

The hosta Frances Williams was named for one FrancEs Williams, who found the original plant at a nursery in Bristol, Connecticut in 1936. SHE was from Winchester, Mass., and did more to promote the genus Hosta than anyone before the advent of the American Hosta Society. (I quote from Mark Zilis). You might do your own research if you doubt what I have posted.

You can do a search at the Hosta Registry to confirm the spelling. Sorry.

-Babka

Here is a link that might be useful: Hosta Registry


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Moccasinlanding, theoretically , tissue culture is supposed to produce identical clones. Unfortunately, in practice, the mass production of daylilies has shown, that it is not the case. Everybody who is interested in daylilies knows about washed out colour of daylilies from TC. The whole Europe is flooded with cheap daylilies from Holland, few people are buying them because they are plain ugly(dishwater colour). The problem is that even the slightest mutation (cells DO MUTATE) will be propagated in thousands(millions?). NOBODY is carrying out any form for selection of mutants(unless very obvious)in plugs. Perhaps it is the cause of the look of some hostas about. Frances Williams is supposed to be one of the most beautiful hostas, not plain ugly.


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Correction

Correction to my previous posting: should say 'above' not about.


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

What does "TC" mean?

Kate


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Tissue culture propagation.


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

FYI
Francis with an I is the male name
Frances with an E is the female


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Thank you, wieslaw59.

Kate


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Wieslaw, I'd like to compliment you on your FW and your mastery of the English language. I love mine and everyone else's. What a great hosta. I acquired 'Linda Sue' last summer and she's a knock-out, just like her mother.


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Irawon, thank you. I made this picture in the very late afternoon, and my camera has a mind of its own, so perhaps it added one shade of blue too much. It also changes deep violet colour to more blue, and red to more pink, and everything that is bright orange is less intense. I do not know what to do to rectify it.


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Had more spring dessication this year than I've ever had on Frances Williams - yet, recently, I thought it very photo worthy - a beautiful hosta.
Hosta 'Frances Williams'

Paul


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

She looks fabulous!


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

This is really a stray-but in going through all the replys one more time I wondered if anyone reading this remembers the movie "Francis the Talking Mule"? (Or was it "Frances the Talking Mule"?) It was a 1940's movie starring, if my memory serves me, Donald O'Connor.

Just to tie this in with one of this strings two helical threads, if Francis is the boys name, and Frances the girls name, what was Francis (or Frances), who was an army mule: the sterile hybrid created by cross breeding a 'Horse' x 'Donkey'?

Are there sterile boy mules and sterile girl mules or are all mules the same? Maybe the mule should have been named "Francee", the Talking Mule.

Les


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Les, thank you for the chuckle this morning. I remember those movies well. They made several of them and they were always a favorite when I was a kid. In fact they aired one a few months ago on some obscure channel and I made it a point to watch. Still enjoyed. Simple pleasures for simple minds. :)


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Yes, half of my Frances Williams' show the effects of spring dessication. But other hostas show the effects of heat and sun, so it is a tradeoff. But I have one which is 28 inches tall and has leaves the size of those from S&S, gorgeous. Bernd


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Les, how do you come up with these ideas so early in the morning? What a great laugh!

As for Frances Williams, mine is buried under other plants mostly out of sight, and I have never cared to retrieve her. I prefer Abiqua Moonbeam, which never burns, or Olive Bailey Langdon with her beautiful round leaves.

Steve


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Westy, you have it exactly backwards as far as the male/female name. Frances is female. Francis is male (as in Francis (Frank) Sinatra, for example). :) Good luck with keeping yours from burning and with your upcoming (?) move!

Wieslaw and Paula, your FWs are both a beautiful blue. Nice!


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Huh. This thread prompted me to go look at my various FWs. This one was FW when I planted it 15 years ago, then about 10 yrs ago I dug it up and divided it. The other two divisions are classic FW but this one.....must have been a sport and I didn't notice because it sure aint FW any more!

Sandy


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Moved this quiet a few times... Finally she is happy here with no direct sun.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Sandy, that one may be Christmas Tree.

Looking good Melati.

Paul


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Francis the talking mule was male but the mule who played him was female. :)


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Paul, when I planted that original FW I only had five hostas, and Christmas Tree wasn't available to me. Unless CT is a sport of FW, it isn't. This raggedy plant in this pic is part of that same original clump that I divided.

Nice try, tho. Thanks.

Sandy


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

buyorsell: I had to go on-line and check. Yes, Francis was a Molly named Molly, and she played in the 4th of 7 Francis movies, "Francis Joins the WACS". For you young-uns the WACS which was previously the WAAF, or Womans Army Air Force, was the Womans Air Corp where Francis who was Molly, a Molly (which is what a female mule is called) was welcomed as a pretender.
NOW ISN'T THAT CONFUSING!

I'm glad to have given you a few chuckles.

Melati, your FW is gorgeous.
evermore;my OBL is only in its 2nd season in my garden and was bought to replace FW, but it has some growing up to do. By the time it does FW's spot may already be taken by Guardian Angel or Earth Angel.

I won't be trashing FW though.

Les


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RE: Will the real Francis Williams please stand up!

Les, not all MULES are sterile. Depends on which parent was the horse, which the donkey. Many years ago now there was a great article in Sci. America about the genetics of mules, and I've tried in vain to find it. Pre computer indexing days. I KNOW I read it.

Who was the monk in Europe studying peas who with just about no equipment laid out the practical way to breed plants? Look where we are nowadays....TC and mutants and genetically engineered super crops.


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