Blue-Flowered Hostas

While flower colors among hosta species and cultivars range in color from white, cream, pink, reddish, lavender, violet, and purple, a hosta with truly blue flowers is unheard of. That is, until a recent posting on the Yahoo Groups website known as hostapix. This entry by Jerry Bryant of Jackson, Michigan reported a new hybrid that boasts true blue flowers. Accompanied with a couple eye-popping photos, Jerry wrote:

"I had a chance recently to visit a friend's garden which is always full of exciting new and unusual plants. While the reason for the trip was not to see this hosta in bloom, I had hoped to see it with my own eyes. As we came around a corner, there it was jumping out at you, a sky blue hosta flower! As an added bonus, the scape was just as blue. There was no mistaking this as a different shade of purple, or if you looked at it in the right light, this was absolutely blue. After picking my jaw off the ground, I asked if this was a one time thing or had it done it before. To which I was told it had been this color since it first bloomed several years before. Also, it was not just one division showing this color, but it had been rowed out several years ago and every one of them showed the same color. I have never seen anything like it in a hosta flower, have you? I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I do. Regards, Jerry"

Skeptics suggested the pics were a Photoshop prank in order to make the flowers appear blue, or of having the color settings on his camera and/or computer adjusted improperly. But Jerry dispelled that allegation promptly by testifying that he personally witnessed the blue-flowered scapes firsthand.

"I can 100% guarantee you," Jerry said, "that it was not edited other than to reduce the size and re-center to posting."

If the flowers on this new cultivar are indeed as blue as they appear, both avid gardeners as well as hybridizers will be anxious to add it to their collections. And perhaps it's just a matter of time before we witness an "explosion" of new colors, not only in hosta foliage, but in bloom color as well!

Update: Jon Soucek of Avon, Ohio sent the following email on 5-11-12.

"I noticed your article on the flower color with the pics from Jerry Bryant- the hosta pictured was hybridized by my daughter and will be registered as 'St. Bernadette'. The color is true-blue as the sky and so is the scape. She is a graduate of Miami, Ohio in Botany and had the same professor as Kevin Vaughn. We are also patenting the plant as well as doing our own TC. The marketing of the plant is up in the air for now. It is fertile both ways."

In addition to 'St. Bernadette', Chris Wilson of Hallson Gardens reports that 'Lederhosen' and 'Oshima Silk' have bluish flowers. Chris wrote,

"The two hostas I grow that have bluish flowers are 'Lederhosen' and the plant tissue cultured and sold as 'Oshima Silk' (long story about that one, but the plant tissue cultured and sold as 'Oshima Silk' wasn't the same plant that was registered). Last summer I had 'Oshima Silk' in our production area and swore they had blue flowers. But I just wasn't sure, so I would take people in and they just stopped dead in their tracks and wanted to know what the blue-flowered hosta was. So to make sure even more, I took one to the Michigan Hosta Society auction in August and sure enough, right away someone walked up and wanted to know about the blue-flowered hosta. ('Oshima Silk' will be in our 2017 catalog)." Hallson Hosta Forum, 12/ 31/16

Lastly, 'Waukon Snow' and 'Winfield Blue' are reported to have bluish flowers. Regarding 'Waukon Snow', the MyHostas Database says, "We don't know much about 'Waukon Snow'. Bob was taken by the bluish flowers, but that's about all we've heard about it." For 'Winfield Blue', The Hostapedia (page 1022) says "pale bluish lavender flowers".

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