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  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 10:01:18 -0400

Hi Chick,
      The problem I have with that thinking is that you seem to see streaked
plants as some different kind of animal, rather than just another type of
hosta like the "stable" types. A different type altogether that apparently
has no merits of its own. Why do you use the word "stable" as if it is a
black-and-white thing? Stability is relative in hostas, and there are
probably no hostas that are 100% stable. 'Sergeant Pepper' is a sport of
either a gold or a light green seedling. I don't know if you ever saw or
still have the solid-color plant it sported from, but seedlings don't
normally appear with ready-made margins. Was the solid-color "parent"
unstable? Obviously, since it sported to a "stable" form it must have been.
       We haven't made any efforts really to breed for stability in streaked
plants. We just assumed that since the first ones that were named were
fairly unstable (but not so unstable that they have disappeared after 20-30
years) that all the others would be equally unstable. Your experience with
0017 points out that some can be pretty stable as a streaked form or we
wouldn't be having this discussion. I have some streaked plants too that
have not come close to yielding a "stable" form after 10 years or more. They
might some day, but then so might a lot of solid-color ones sport to an edge
or even a streaked form. I can't say I know which might happen first. Some
of the margin or center forms from streaked plants can also be very hard to
stabilize so they don't keep reverting to streaked forms. In the 'Fortunei
Hyacinthina' fields at Walters Gardens, plain old green 'Hyacinthina' sports
like crazy with sports in at least one plant out of ten. That's more than
some streaked forms manage. Dan can back me up on that since he was there
too. Does that make FH a stable form or an unstable form?
       In my opinion, streaked forms are just another pattern, but one which
has the added bonus of yielding streaked seedlings. I don't see any reason
why they should be treated differently when it comes to naming them. Some,
like 'Fascination', can make fairly stable garden plants for those who just
like their looks. In the future, I think we'll see more streaked plants that
are like 'Korean Snow' and stay streaked very well. We haven't really
started breeding with that as a goal yet.
       I think you are just jumping through hoops trying to avoid naming
them to support the concept that they are significantly different from other
hostas in some way. You could just as easily use real names rather than
xxxxxxxxxxxx Streaked to name your streaked introductions. Instead of
'Graceland Streaked', which is not a legal name for registration purposes,
you could call it 'Graceland Memories' or some such. Kevin Vaughn put out
'Delta Dawn' some time ago but when Q and Z wanted to sell the streaked
form, they asked him to name it and he called it 'Delta Force', thus keeping
the connection. If you just name things this- or that- Streaked, you'll have
to rename them later if you want to register them. It works the same way in
reversed form too - If you like and name a streaked plant like 'Dorothy
Benedict', you can't name a sport 'Dorothy Benedict Stable' and register it
that way.
     That's why we decided not to put things like 'Graceland Streaked' in
the HostaLibrary. They will only be renamed later so they can be registered,
and the listing in the Library would have to be changed.
                                             ........Bill Meyer

> Ah, the inevitable challenge from Mr Meyer.  Don't you have anything to
> do?
> I'm trying to get my fall list out now, so I'm afraid I don't have too
> much time to argue with you on this one.
> Yes, 'Bridgewood 0017' is a name. I guess you got me on that one.
> I put a number on a streaked plant once I decide it's worth keeping so I
> can keep track of it's seedlings. I don't like to name them because they
> are unstable and will eventually change to a stable plant. Actually the
> plant is just labeled 0017, but if I do sell or give it to anyone, I
> don't think that's sufficient and would attach "Bridgewood". And I also
> don't care to debate whether 0017 is a number or a name. The reason I
> asked the question is that 0017 is one of my best breeders but has not
> stabilized yet and I don't want to give it a "real" name until it does.
> It's just my preference, but I would prefer to name the stable plant and
> refer to the streaked form as 'Stable Plant Streaked' or some such
> thing.  That way, there is a connection between the streaked and stable
> plant. '9944' stabilized and the margined form is now 'Graceland', '9944'
> never left my nursery and it became 'Graceland Streaked' and anyone can
> probably recognize the relationship.  If you disagree, which I'm sure you
> do, that's fine.
> I'm amazed by the prices people are paying for streaked plants that don't
> look like anything special to me, and I wonder if it's because they've
> been led to believe that streaking is unusual.  If I get around to
> planting all the seeds I take this year, I can produce literally
> thousands of streaked plants, but IMHO, unless they prove to be good
> breeders or stabilize to something interesting, which most of them don't,
> I don't see where the value comes from.  I hate to imply that I'm opposed
> to separating a sucker from his/her money, but for some reason this trend
> just bugs me.
> And so that's the reason I'm not a big fan of "naming" so many streakers.
> Maybe I should just shut up and start selling them too.  I can use the
> money as much as anyone.
> And actually, I don't have the same standards for stable plants. I've
> said many times before that I think don't think there's anything wrong
> with introducing plants that are not fantastic new breakthroughs in the
> world of hostas, as long as the plant is described as honestly as
> possible. And before you write a 3 page tome disputing my logic, remember
> I said I don't really care.  I know there are those who feel there are
> too many hostas, I just don't agree.
> As for 'Admiral Halsey', I agree with your implication that it shouldn't
> have been introduced and haven't sold it for years.  Surprisingly though,
> I still get calls from people in Minnesota and thereabouts asking if they
> can buy it because they saw it in someone's garden up there.  Apparently
> the creamy gold margin I saw when I named the plant is dependent on
> temperature, and some people up there like the plant. In most years it's
> just 'Patriot' around here. So sue me.  By the way, my catalog
> description of 'Admiral Halsey', when I did sell it, indicated that the
> color was much more apparent in cooler areas and ended with the
> following: "I don't know if the world needs another 'Patriot' variant,
> and I had planned to keep this one to myself, but people who have seen it
> at the nursery have asked for it."
> Chick
> Bill Meyer wrote:
>   So Chick,
>        I would assume that you are also not a big fan of naming margin,
>   center, or solid-color plants if they were not truly unusual and
>   for some reason too. Except maybe 'Admiral Halsey'. :-) The difference
>   streaked plants apparently is that must also give good offspring. It's
>   enough that they could be very attractive, have very stable streaking,
>   good growers, have a unique look, etc. Why do they have to meet
>   higher than other types? Just wondering what the difference is in your
>        Also, I'm not sure why you would think 'Bridgewood 0017' would not
be a
>   name. If it isn't a name, what is it?
>                                        .......Bill Meyer
>     Thanks Kevin,
>     I have to admit that rules irritate me, but in this case I asked for
>     so I have only myself to blame.
>     The reason I'm asking is that I am not a big fan of naming, nor or
>     registering, streaked plants unless they are truly unusual and
>     outstanding for some reason.  Obviously there are many who disagree
>     because I see all kinds of plants being named that don't look any
>     different than the hundreds of streaked plants I produce every year -
>     thousands if you count the ones I throw out. I can't see any reason to
>     introduce a streaked plant unless it's an outstanding breeder, and
>     doesn't mean just any streaked plant that will produce additional
>     ordinary streaked plants.
>     Anyway, I digress (does it seem that there's always a rant attached to
>     my questions?).  I do have some streaked plants that I consider
>     outstanding breeders and I have considered offering them for sale in
>     future.  Generally I number the seedlings I use for breeding and don't
>     give them a name unless they stabilize into something I find
>     interesting.  I think I was once told that I could not name a plant
>     'Bridgewood 0017 ' legally because it didn't conform to the rules.  It
>     would seem to me that if 'Apolo 13' is legal, then 'Bridgewood 0017'
>     would be too.  Yes?
>     Chick
>     Giboshiman@aol.com     wrote:
>       In a message dated 8/28/2004 2:36:19 PM Eastern Standard Time,
chick@bridgewoodgardens.com       writes:
>       Actually, I'm not bored.  Does it say anywhere in there whether
>       are allowed in hosta names?  That's really all I was wondering
>       Chick
>       Chick I know it scares you when I send anything that relates to
rules but
>   in
>       this case I think you will like the answer I am giving you to your
>   question!
>       The relevant sections ("articles") of the 2004 version of the code
>   follow:
>       19.15 For a cultivar name to be established on or after 1 January
>   its
>       epithet must
>       consist of no more than 30 characters (Roman letters, numbers,  and
>   permitted
>       punctuation marks or symbols) overall, excluding spaces and  the
>   demarcating
>       marks.
>       Ex. 24.  After 1 January 1996 a name with the  cultivar epithet
>   la
>       Comtesse Oswald de Kerchove de Denterghem" could not  be
>       19.16. A cultivar name may not be established if on or after 1
>   2004
>       its epithet
>       consists solely of a single letter or solely of Arabic or  Roman
>   numerals.
>       Ex. 25.  Names containing the epithets "K", "400", and  "MMIV"
cannot be
>       established, but the epithets "Hundred", "10 Downing Street",  "451
>       Boulevard", "77 Sunset Strip", "Apollo 13", "Catch 22", "Henry
>   "Pope Leo X",
>       "4th July", and "Happy 21st Birthday" could be established.
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