It's kinda like
this: Marginata means that it has a margin. Therefore the plant you're
describing is ventricosa 'Aureomarginata'. This is, of course, one of the great
old hostas from the Early Days. Aureomaculata means "gold-centered, which is
what that plant is. Ventricosa 'Aureomaculata' is viridescent, so it never
acheived the acclaim that 'Aureomarginata' did. I couldn't resist
correcting the corrector.
No argument on
George's book though. It really is that good. His new book on shade perennials
went to the printer about a month ago, so it should be available soon. Something
to look forward to.
Ventricosa has several interesting things said about it. Not only is it said to
be tetraploid, but apomictic as well. The terminology here gets a little cloudy
because when we talk about a species, you have to remember that we are talking
about a number of individual seedlings from a wild population, that have not
crossed with another species or hybrid. Therefore if a single individual plant
is selected from the wild population because it is the prettiest or because it
is the best grower or has the neatest flowers or tastes best, etc., you cannot
assume that any characteristics it shows are repeated in the other plants in
that wild population. Maybe the one they sent here was chosen
because it had tetraploid characteristics that made it stand out from
the others. I'm not sure if anybody knows if more than one plant was taken from
the wild, but if it was only one, then all that we have today is derived from
that one only. As we discussed earlier, it may not be apomictic either. Possibly
only some of the seedlings the original one produced are.
I thought there was a plant/cultivar
named <H. ventricosa 'Aureomaculata'>, and that it was a deep green with
a solid, bright yellow margin, with significant piecrusting. I looked in
the Hosta Library and found only a Vent"i"cosa, which I'll assume is simply
missing it's "r", but the Aureomaculata pictured is not what I was expecting
to see. It could be correct; I'm not really questioning that, but isn't
there a Ventricosa Aureomaculata that looks like what I described, i.e. with a
bold yellow margin? Russ (and now Rosanne O'Harra) has such a
plant (amongst the redbuds, for those familiar with his garden) and what a
gorgeous thing it is, indeed.
Anyone know these Ventricosa's well or have an inkling of the plant to
which I am referring? As I understand it, it may be the only known
species tetraploid. Anyone want to set me straight on that?
Okay, okay, if you're all that anxious for a crack at doing just that then I'm
just going to have to look it up in the Hosta Bible. Yepper, W.
George Schmid lists H. ventricosa as, "the only natural tetraploid species in
the genus with a chromosome number of 120 (2n)". (Shouldn't this be
(4n)? If so, it's the only typo that I have found in over two
years of voraciously attempting to consume its every word.)
What a treasure that book has become. I shall treasure during the
time that I am and beyond. I don't really know how I managed to get
through my first 47 years without it... Next to my "Bible" Bible, my "Hosta
Bible" is the greatest piece of literary work that I own...
Anyhow, any help for this Aureomaculata question would be appreciated...
Andrew C. Lietzow, Hacker - The ACL Group, Inc.
..Also #1 Plantsman at http://hostahaven.com ...
...1250-41st St Des Moines, IA 50311-2516 ......
....515-274-0300 V/F 515-238-6558 Cell .........