I am one of those people who love hosta
and think that if I run across a hosta with a name that I have not yet acquired
it must be a different hosta. And, no, I often don't do homework to find
out. I personally don't understand why anyone would sell the same plant
under a different name if they knew there was another one out there like
it. I guess it is like most everything else, "all about
money". I had a retail nursery for three years and always tried to make
sure my plants were named true and were a quality plant. I never knowingly
sold anything mismarked. I have no answers, just wanted to comment.
I have learned so much from the hosta people on this forum and will continue to
read all material and form my own opinions. Thanks for an intelligent
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2001 6:56 PM
Subject: Re: Piedmont Gold sports (was
What I said was
that I've heard that from people. Recently I was at a friend's retail nursery
and this guy didn't know too much about hosta, especially the newer ones. He
asked me if I'd help him decide what to order from the wholesalers. He would
get to 'Fire and Ice', say, and ask if that sounded good. I would tell him
that he already had 'Loyalist' and that it was the same
plant. He scratched his head. When this happened for the third time,
he asked why they are selling the same plant with so many different names. I
told him I didn't know. So, I put that question to you and Chick. You
could buy some 'Satisfaction' in wholesale, or you could have your
admittedly similar plant TCed for about the same price. Which do you choose
and why? Both you and Chick know that some people will buy it thinking it must
be different somehow or you wouldn't have given it it's own name. Some will do
so because of your good reputations, believing that you wouldn't try to fool
them with a lookalike.
Then there's the
issue of price. If 'Satisfaction' is retailing for an average $20, would you
introduce yours at $50? $40? Or $15? Would the catalog description say
that the new plant is probably identical to 'Satisfaction'? Or would it
say that it's a spectacular gold-margined wonder that will be eveything a
collector could want and not mention the parentage? I've seen the latter,
not from either you or Chick, or I wouldn't be discussing it with you. I will
say that it is unethical to sell the same plant under a different name without
making it clear to the buyer that that's what you're offering. Remember the
furor a few years ago when a Dutch nursery put a different name on 'Halcyon'
and offered it at a higher price?
I've heard much of
this from people less knowledgable about the current market. They are out
there and they're not happy about buying 25 different new hosta and finding
out that they really only bought 15. OK they didn't do their homework. They
are offended and they feel they've been fooled. As retailers, you probably
think about how many new ones you'd like to offer next year vs. how many older
ones. Why would you decide to offer a lookalike if, as Chick says, there are
plenty of really good new plants easily available?
'August Moon' sports to a green center, your sieboldiana 'Elegans' a gold
edge, and your 'Hyacinthina' a white edge, and these plants look, even to your
own eye, very similar to 'Abiqua Moonbeam', 'Frances Williams', and 'Francee',
would you name and sell them too? There has to be a point where you leave it
in the garden and sell something else.
Chick and Bill, I've been following your
discussion with sharp interest. You
see, I've been keeping an eye
on a green center/gold edged 'Piedmont Gold'
sport since '92.
Is it similar to 'Satisfaction' and 'Tyler's Treasure'? Yep.
But is it
identical? Beats me. And it's totally
impractical to purchase each to grow
side by side for another 8-10 years
to find out.
From what Bill is saying, if I name, register
and market it, I'm simply
trying to pull the wool over the public's eye
by trying to convince them this
is something "new"...a thought that
could easily be found offensive. (Bill,
I'm not picking on you or
your thoughts, I just don't know how you can second
guess the intentions
behind my actions) Are you suggesting I toss the plant
compost pile? Sorry, I don't see that happening. Or are you
suggesting I name it 'Satisfaction' or 'Tyler's Treasure' without being
absolutely certain it's identical? To do that would be rather
has the potential of only adding more confusion down the
road. But if so,
which would I name it? Perhaps I
could name a third of them 'Satisfaction',
another third 'Tyler's
Treasure', and the last third 'Tyler's Satisfaction'.
would be no treasure to find satisfaction with in that option
Instead, I think I'll come up with my own name, register it,
and yes, then
maybe even market it...and hope no one thinks I'm trying
to pull a fast one.