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Hosta Names

  • Subject: Hosta Names
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 13:49:32 -0400

Hi Jim,
         Regarding 'Mountain Snow', I always thought it was found in Japan.
The talk about it when it came out was about it being from the "Mt. Fuji"
strain, which comes up much later than montana 'Aureomarginata'. Remember?
Your post includes Schmid's record of the plant's origin, so I went to the
Zilis book to see what Mark had to say. He manages somehow to say both!
First that it is an 'Aureomarginata' sport from his own lab, then that it
came from the late-emerging strain. He then goes on to imply that it was
found in Japan. After reading that, I am totally confused about it's origin.
We'll have to see if Mark can clear it up.
         There are rules which are set down by the International Committee
for the Nomenclature of Cultured Plants that the hosta registrations are
supposed to follow, in order to avoid confusion when looking at names from
different genera. Much of the problem with the Japanese plants comes from
uncertainty about their origins. I don't know the reason, but many appear
not to have been documented there, so that when we find out about them,
their origin is already a mystery.
         I have asked Jim Wilkins to step into this discussion, as he is the
new Registrar now. When he responds, I will let you all know. I made the
point to him that the HostaLibrary is probably the most referenced source of
hosta information existing, and thus it is important that he be available
for questions about proper naming there. I'm sure we'll be hearing from him
when he checks his mail.

...........Bill Meyer

> Bob,
> I am amazed at the variable answers that one gets to a simple question.
> You raised a simple question yesterday regarding the darned confusion
> for use of species names on some plants which are not species but
> hybrids, such as H. montana 'Mountain Snow' . You received three
> responses so far..one from Bill Meyer indicating it is a species
> selection from  wild montana populations in Japan, a second from Mike
> Lemke indicating a reason is not necessary, and a third from Holland
> which suggested keeping the species name. No reason was given  for the
> suggestions from Holland. I assumed they were  based on the assumptions
> that the information provided by Bill Meyer was correct because other
> similar examples were provided (H.montana  'Choko Nishiki' and H.kikutii
> 'Red Neck Heaven') to show where use of species names is suggested to
> provide more useful information.
> Before commenting myself, I have waited several hours to see if any
> other listserv subscribers  wanted to comment with more correct answers.
> With none forthcoming, my comments follow.
> One of my best friends, Bill Meyer, is always helpful with miscellaneous
> hosta information to Hosta -open. He is very knowledgable of hostas but
> sometimes we all  make insignificant mistakes. He offered his opinion
> that since H. montana 'Mountain Snow' was collected in the wild, this is
> the criteria ( the reason) to employ the species name in front of the
> horticulture name.
> The subscriber from Holland converted this opinion into a "fact"  by
> accepting Bill's erroneous opinion and reiterated this opinion in a
> fashion  without  mentioning Bill as the source. He erroneously asssumed
> that  'Mountain Snow'  originated as a sport or hybrid selection in the
> wild from a montana species population.
> The fact is that H. 'Mountain Snow' is a white margined sport of H.
> 'Aureomarginata' found in tissue culture lab by Mark Zilis and
> registered by IRA in 1988. It is  not a plant collect in the wild. For
> more details see Schmid, page 195
> The fact that a minor error occurred in making incorrect assumptions
> about 'Mountain Snow' is not  serious.. The fact that this error was
> "borrowed" by someone without being aware of the error and not
> mentioning the source of the error IS serious. He copied information
> that was erroneous, used it as his own facts,  without indicating the
> source of this information. He exposed himself, "flagrante delicto" in
> a  pattern of using the information of others without attribution and
> without adequately checking whether it was factual or not.
> Now that I have interpreted, expressed and commented upon what actually
> happened, the reaction dynamics to my post probably will be magnified
> ten fold and we will be off to the races in a long discussion on
> Reaction Dynamics. BTW, Bill is unaware that I have posted this message.
> Jim Hawes
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