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Re: H. 'High Kicker'

  • Subject: Re: H. 'High Kicker'
  • From: "Bill Meyer" njhosta@hotmail.com
  • Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 21:27:06 -0500

Hi John,
      I suppose that information came from Aden, and I regard it as highly
suspect. I met Aden and, well, some of his stories were more than a little
unlikely. Most information from him should be taken with a grain of salt, or
maybe a 5 lb. container of salt :-) I didn't know about Watanabe's booklet,
though. His is the premier hosta nursery in Japan, so what he says may well
be true. I see no reason to think it is impossible, or really even unlikely.
       When we think of hosta fragrance, we think of the distinctive scent
of the plantagenia species. This scent is present in most of the named
hybrids that include it in their backgrounds. I've heard people say that
some of these have slightly different smells, but my nose isn't that good, I
guess. To me they all smell pretty much the same, although some are more
       I have noticed that several other hostas without plantagenia in their
backgrounds have faint flower fragrances that are clearly different. Not all
of these are pleasant smells, but they are not in any way similar to
plantagenia. One of the pleasant ones is 'Halcyon' which smells somewhat
like lilac. The smell is faint, and may be more noticeable on cool mornings.
At times I can't smell it, but other times I've smelled it from 2-3 feet
away. Another one with fragrance is one of the plants that was going around
as rupifraga. I had brought it indoors in cool fall weather to use it for
hybridizing and found it had a fairly strong burnt-rubber sort of smell that
wasn't pleasant at all. I think I noticed a couple other faintly unpleasant
smells among longipes seedlings. None of these plants had anything more than
faint smells that only some people could smell at all even with the flowers
held up to their noses.

> In The Genus Hosta, Schmid describes H. 'High Kicker'  (Aden 87) as a
> of "H. pycnophylla fragrant x H. pycnophylla yellow."  Zilis in The Hosta
> Handbook simply writes: "hybrid of two H. pycnophylla forms."
> Is there really a fragrant variety of the species pycnophylla?  Is this
> available in the trade from anyone?
> Thanks,
> -John Christensen
> Ann Arbor, MI, Zone 5
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