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Re: 2004 Hosta registrations

  • Subject: Re: 2004 Hosta registrations
  • From: "Bobby Baxter - Wake Forest, NC" irismoose@daylily.net
  • Date: Sun, 29 May 2005 21:05:01 -0400

Bill, thank you for your reply. I have noticed in the new checklist how many plants have been observed for 6 or 7 years before compiling the data for registration.

I can see where a name reservation process would be an asset to the hosta hybridizers. Being able to hold a name for 4 or possibly 5 years prior to completing the registration would ensure the hybridizers cultivar name would be available if the plant does warrant registration after full evaluation.

Bill, you also mentioned "the Registrar does not accept publication in print as is done with daylilies."

I am not aware of this practice with daylilies. At least I can not think of 1 daylily registered in the last 10 years that was not properly processed through the submittal of a registration application with appropriate fees.

Thanks again for those great points you made.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
To: <hosta-open@hort.net>
Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2005 7:39 PM
Subject: Re: 2004 Hosta registrations

Hi Bobby,
There are a number of reasons why hostas don't get registered as
promptly as do daylilies, irises, and other flowering plants. The issues are
complex, and mostly begin with the difference between hostas and other
plants. A daylily or other plant that is named because of its flower can be
registered properly as soon as the flower is seen. Those plants make up most
of the ornamental annuals and perennials. Of the rest, there are some plants
like coleus that are named for their foliage, but all of these exhibit
mature characteristics within 3 years.
Hostas may not reach maturity (leaving aside the question of what
"maturity" means) for 6 years or more, and that only if they are left uncut.
If a hosta is split to get it stabilized or to donate to auctions or to
place in different locations, etc. maturity may be postponed indefinitely.
Likewise hail, deer, voles, or other problems may slow the growth. A hosta
should be mature when it is registered, so that the mature characteristics
can be recorded.
Hostas can often go several years without blooming, thus again
lengthening the wait before registering as flower photos are part of the
The AHS will begin looking at this problem in the near future with an
eye towards what can be done to improve things. The current system is
decidedly a problem with the sheer number of plants out there that are not
being registered. One particular problem is that the rules are not very
clear, leaving several different camps of interpretations on issues like
what constitutes maturity. Some now just make up mature data with often
wide-of-the-mark results just to get their plant registered. Others cut
their plants for one reason or another and do not want to "extrapolate"
mature data, so they wait until they see a mature plant before registering,
even if it takes 10-15 years or more. A hosta registration must be filled
out with the required details - the Registrar does not accept publication in
print as is done with daylilies.
For my part, because of cutting for various reasons and lack of space
to grow them on, I doubt I have any of my own named plants in mature enough
form to register them properly with data that is actually correct. I have no
objection to registering, but I don't want to just make things up to get the
name registered. That contributes to a database that is already full of
errors which were mostly made in haste. We need to examine what we are doing
and make decisions on speed vs. accuracy.
........Bill Meyer

Tim, the new 2004 checklist indicates that there is a total of 3,227
registered hostas.  You mention the number of "over 6,000". Are these
other hostas that you refer to only in commerce under "garden names"?

It is hard for me to imagine that nearly an equal number registered and
unregistered (though supposedly named) hostas are in commerce. If this is
the case then why would hybridizers be so irresponsible to reject the
registration process that would only benefit them and their business.
what I have also read, the registration fee is only $5, but the AHosS
pay this fee if no money were sent with the registration.

I would love to hear from different people why they feel hybridizers have
chosen in the past not to comply with the registration process, and also
some continue to reject the registration process.

Tim, you also mentioned over 6,000 names to juggle.  Is this a reference
it becoming difficult to come up with new names, or do you have over 6,000
named (registered and unregistered) hostas in your garden? The daylily
society has 57,655 named cultivars that are either registered.or the name
reserved. I can not even imagine that coming up with new names for
daylilies is difficult since the ICNCP allows for up to 30 characters
(spaces excluded) and no limit to the number of syllables used in a name.

It is a shame that people are registering new hostas using names of other
people's unregistered plants. This appears to be taking advantage of
someone else's effort to popularize their own hosta by using their name.
Just because something can be done within the guidelines, it does not make
it right to do so ( I am not a lawyer, and I do not play one on TV so I
choose not to debate the ethics vs legality of this issue). I would say
however, that the originator of hosta that does not register their plant
chosen to operate outside of the accepted practices of the hobby and
But the person that selects one of these popular and unregistered names to
use on their hosta can also been seen in several ways as acting

If the hybridizer of popular unregistered hostas is not deceased, then I
would favor the AHosS to take it upon themselves to officially register
these plants. However, if the hybridizer of these popular unregistered
plants is still alive, then they should submit the appropriate paperwork
bring their plants into compliance with the accepted practices of naming
hostas under the guidelines of ICNCP.  The AHosS would be doing a great
service if they notified these people that they have one year to bring
plants into compliance.  Perhaps the AHosS could even consider these
unregistered plants to be under "reserved" status for a period of year,
protecting those names from being used by others.  If at the end of that
year, the plants are not in compliance, then shame on the hybridizer for
choosing not to register.  If this were the case, then I would not feel
about other people using these names for new registrations.

Glorious Gardening,


Bobby Baxter
Happy Moose Gardens

----- Original Message ----- From: "Tim Saville" <timsaville@breathe.com>
To: <hosta-open@hort.net>
Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2005 4:09 AM
Subject: Re: 2004 Hosta registrations

> On a tangent it is interesting (and confusing ) to find that 2004 has
> similar to 2003 in as much as there are two or three registrations > where
> name known to me has been used to register another's hosta. In 2003 Ron
> Livingston was particularly unlucky I thought to get two of his > unusual
> monikers "confiscated". I guess registration as soon as possible must > be
> the
> answer for all us data-rites, unless you use a prefix of course. Life > is
> tough enuff when you have over 6000 names to juggle.
> Tim OTP
> ----- Original Message ----- > From: <ctuttle39@juno.com>
> To: <hosta-open@hort.net>
> Sent: Saturday, May 28, 2005 10:56 PM
> Subject: 2004 Hosta registrations
>> Has anyone received a copy of the listing of the 2004 Hosta
>> -- or has it been published yet?
>> Charles Tuttle
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