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  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 18:28:15 -0400

Well Chick,
       To answer your question about people thinking streaked plants are a
rarity, I doubt it. Bill Nash has been peddling and giving away his 'Let's
Streak' seed everywhere for years so everyone that had a few dollars could
raise some streaked seedlings. Older streaked plants like 'Iron Gate
Supreme' and 'Swoosh' don't fetch more than $15 or so these days too. It's
been that way for years. Generally newer streaked varieties go for a higher
price because of scarcity. Most aren't TCed so they're OS to begin with (see
your website for the difference in price between OS and TC of the same
plant) and not all divisions of a streaked plant are suitable for sale if
you want a happy customer. As for the TC ones, only a fairly small
percentage of a streaked plant's TC's show good streaking, often less than
half. This make the price higher for the good ones. That explains why people
charge more for them. If people are willing to pay that amount, it might be
that they want them for breeding, for collector value (including trading),
or maybe they just like the way they look. If no one was willing to pay the
higher prices, then the prices would either go down or no one would sell
       First item - Some people are of the opinion that seedlings which are
chimeras of any type from the first leaf are still sports - just ones that
happened very early in the plant's life. I agree with them unless evidence
someday proves otherwise. That makes it a sport even though the normal
solid-color plant ceased to exist.
       Second item - You said "0017 is one of my best breeders but has not
stabilized yet" which I take to mean as it remaining streaked and not
forming any margin or edge types. This would make it a plant in which the
streaking is fairly stable, say at least as good as 'Fascination'. A very
unstable streaked plant would be 'Flamboyant' which has a very strong
tendency to form a margin and give up being streaked. "Unstable" and
"streaked" do not mean the same thing.
       Third item - If you don't give proper names to your plants someday
someone else probably will if they are getting around and stay popular. This
has happened before and will again. Calling a plant xxxxxxx Streaked is not
giving it a name as far as registration is concerned. If you change your
mind and want to register it, or die and someone else wants to register it,
it will need a real name. Why put plants out without giving them real and
legal names? The restrictions aren't that bad. It's actually fairly
difficult to find a name that wouldn't be allowed.
       BTW, I think a lot of people would be interested in a streaked
'Little Town Flirt' or a streaked 'Lovely Rita'. What would be wrong with
selling them if people wanted them? If the stable forms are great plants,
what's wrong with the streaked forms, especially if they're fertile? It
doesn't make any sense to me not to sell the streaked form of a plant that
is good enough to name, except maybe if it is too unstable to stay streaked
for long or it's infertile. People are smart. They'll decide for themselves
if they want a plant, so if you like the stable form, what's so unlikeable
about the streaked form?
                                                 .......Bill Meyer

> As I said, I really don't care if anyone agrees, it's just what I think
> and its why I haven't introduced a single streaked plant out of the
> thousands and thousands I have grown.  You can introduce as many as you
> like.  I happen to be a great fan of 'Sea Prize' and have no problem with
> it being in the trade because I think it is a great breeder.  I may name
> and introduce some of my favorite breeders if I have a surplus and I may
> give them a name of their own if I feel like it.  I'm not making any
> rules here, just stating an opinion.
> It seems that you are always searching for some ulterior motive in my
> pronouncements.  I'm not jumping through hoops to support anything. I
> just explained the way I handle these plants.
> I'm not sure I am making a distinction between streaked and unstreaked
> plants.  It just seems to me that a plant shouldn't be introduced just
> because it's streaked any more than a seedling should be introduced just
> because it's blue, or variegated for that matter.  I'm not a great fan of
> introducing all these streaked plants because it seems to me that nobody
> would be paying these rather unusual prices for ordinary streaked plants
> if they were familiar with how common it is, and I wonder if these plants
> would be introduced if they brought what they were worth. If these plants
> were selling for ten or fifteen bucks, I wouldn't have a problem with
> it.  And I'm not talking about every streaked plant that has a name. Some
> are better than others, some, to me at least, don't show me a thing.  I
> didn't say the practice should be banned, I just said I'm not a big fan
> of it. I think that's ok for me to have an opinion without looking for
> ulterior motives.  Far be it from me to make rules.
> You jump to a few conclusions below.  First of all, I do occasionally get
> stable, margined or centered seedlings, and 'Sergeant Pepper' is a
> seedling.  It did not come from a streaked plant, and is not a sport of
> anything.  It was one of the first seedlings I ever selected, and at the
> time I was not breeding with streakers. I have others that germinated
> with margins or centers, but they have not been introduced.  Obviously
> it's not as common as streaking, but it happens.
> Second, 0017 is not "pretty stable", whatever that means,  I never said
> it was.  I don't know why we wouldn't be having this conversation if it
> didn't behave just like all the other streaked plants, that's the point.
> I'm not saying unstable streaked plants shouldn't be introduced.
> Third, I have no intention of registering 'Graceland Memories' or
> 'Graceland Streaked' or a streaked 'Graceland' of any other name.  So I
> pretty much can call it anything I want.
> Chick
> Bill Meyer wrote:
>   Hi Chick,
>         The problem I have with that thinking is that you seem to see
>   plants as some different kind of animal, rather than just another type
>   hosta like the "stable" types. A different type altogether that
>   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
>          We haven't made any efforts really to breed for stability in
>   plants. We just assumed that since the first ones that were named were
>   fairly unstable (but not so unstable that they have disappeared after
>   years) that all the others would be equally unstable. Your experience
>   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.
>   might some day, but then so might a lot of solid-color ones sport to an
>   or even a streaked form. I can't say I know which might happen first.
>   of the margin or center forms from streaked plants can also be very hard
>   stabilize so they don't keep reverting to streaked forms. In the
>   Hyacinthina' fields at Walters Gardens, plain old green 'Hyacinthina'
>   like crazy with sports in at least one plant out of ten. That's more
>   some streaked forms manage. Dan can back me up on that since he was
>   too. Does that make FH a stable form or an unstable form?
>          In my opinion, streaked forms are just another pattern, but one
>   has the added bonus of yielding streaked seedlings. I don't see any
>   why they should be treated differently when it comes to naming them.
>   like 'Fascination', can make fairly stable garden plants for those who
>   like their looks. In the future, I think we'll see more streaked plants
>   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
>   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
>   you could call it 'Graceland Memories' or some such. Kevin Vaughn put
>   '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
>   the connection. If you just name things this- or that- Streaked, you'll
>   to rename them later if you want to register them. It works the same way
>   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
>   that way.
>        That's why we decided not to put things like 'Graceland Streaked'
>   the HostaLibrary. They will only be renamed later so they can be
>   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
>     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
>     can keep track of it's seedlings. I don't like to name them because
>     are unstable and will eventually change to a stable plant. Actually
>     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
>     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
>     It's just my preference, but I would prefer to name the stable plant
>     refer to the streaked form as 'Stable Plant Streaked' or some such
>     thing.  That way, there is a connection between the streaked and
>     plant. '9944' stabilized and the margined form is now 'Graceland',
>     never left my nursery and it became 'Graceland Streaked' and anyone
>     probably recognize the relationship.  If you disagree, which I'm sure
>     do, that's fine.
>     I'm amazed by the prices people are paying for streaked plants that
>     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
>     I don't see where the value comes from.  I hate to imply that I'm
>     to separating a sucker from his/her money, but for some reason this
>     just bugs me.
>     And so that's the reason I'm not a big fan of "naming" so many
>     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
>     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,
>     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
>     have been introduced and haven't sold it for years.  Surprisingly
>     I still get calls from people in Minnesota and thereabouts asking if
>     can buy it because they saw it in someone's garden up there.
>     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
>     just 'Patriot' around here. So sue me.  By the way, my catalog
>     description of 'Admiral Halsey', when I did sell it, indicated that
>     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
>     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
>       center, or solid-color plants if they were not truly unusual and
>   outstanding
>       for some reason too. Except maybe 'Admiral Halsey'. :-) The
>   for
>       streaked plants apparently is that must also give good offspring.
>   not
>       enough that they could be very attractive, have very stable
>   be
>       good growers, have a unique look, etc. Why do they have to meet
>   standards
>       higher than other types? Just wondering what the difference is in
>   eyes.
>            Also, I'm not sure why you would think 'Bridgewood 0017' would
>   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
>   it
>         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
>         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
>   that
>         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
>   the
>         future.  Generally I number the seedlings I use for breeding and
>         give them a name unless they stabilize into something I find
>         interesting.  I think I was once told that I could not name a
>         'Bridgewood 0017 ' legally because it didn't conform to the rules.
>         would seem to me that if 'Apolo 13' is legal, then 'Bridgewood
>         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
>   digits
>           are allowed in hosta names?  That's really all I was wondering
>   about.
>           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
>       question!
>           The relevant sections ("articles") of the 2004 version of the
>       follow:
>           19.15 For a cultivar name to be established on or after 1
>   1996,
>       its
>           epithet must
>           consist of no more than 30 characters (Roman letters, numbers,
>       permitted
>           punctuation marks or symbols) overall, excluding spaces and  the
>       demarcating
>           marks.
>           Ex. 24.  After 1 January 1996 a name with the  cultivar epithet
>   "Madame
>       la
>           Comtesse Oswald de Kerchove de Denterghem" could not  be
>   established.
>           19.16. A cultivar name may not be established if on or after 1
>   January
>       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",
>   Ocean
>           Boulevard", "77 Sunset Strip", "Apollo 13", "Catch 22", "Henry
>   VIII",
>       "Pope Leo X",
>           "4th July", and "Happy 21st Birthday" could be established.
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