The AHS members-only plant program was established in 2014 by the AHS Board in an effort to attract new members. According to an article in The Hosta Journal (2014, Vol. 45, Number 2), "...the AHS, like many plant societies these days, faces a declining membership. It is not a large number each year, but it is an undeniable trend."
The article goes on to say that "...your board has been wrestling with the question: 'What can be done to retain existing members as well as attract new members to the AHS?'"
Upon the suggestion of the then-President Tom Micheletti, the Board decided to offer a members-only plant. The very first plant selected was an incredible, long-lasting, frosty blue hosta offered by Don Dean, a well-known hybridizer who was serving on the Board.
The program would be given a trial run for the first two years to evaluate membership participation and program viability. If it is continued, a new, first-time, top-shelf plant would be introduced each succeeding year. Plant nominations would be solicited for both seedlings and sports, and are to be submitted to a committee, with the final selection made by the AHS Board.
Update: In The Hosta Journal, 2018, Volume 49, Number 2, Tom Micheletti announced that the AHS Members-Only Plant program would no longer continue. The reason cited for ending the program was the inability to tissue culture and grow plants to size in order to ship them to AHS members.
2016, 'Sterling Medallion'
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