New Hostas – H. World Cup and H. First Blush

Hosta World Cup. Photo courtesy of Green Hill Hostas.

Hosta of the Year – World Cup

Each year, the American Hosta Society names a hosta of the year.  This isn’t a popularity vote – but a vote on a variety that has shown that it can be grown in most parts of the country, is widely available and moderately priced.  This year the hosta that has achieved this award is Hosta World Cup.

Hosta breeders Doug Bellstein and Mark Zillis have a home run with World Cup.  The parent plants of World Cup are H. Komodo Dragon and H. Superbowl.  I have H. Komodo Dragon in my garden and it is a beautiful plant – a vigorous grower and also a large hosta.

The facts on World Cup.   It is a extra large / giant hosta.  The mature height will be approximately 20-30″ tall (depending on site conditions) and can go as wide as 48″.  Deeply cupped bright gold leaves reach upward toward the sky.  The heavily corrugated leaves will appear slightly white on the backsides.  The flowers on this hosta will be pale purple which contrast beautifully against the gold leaves.   Hosta World Cup does best in dappled shade.  With the heavily corrugated leaves, this hosta should do well against slugs.

Hosta First Blush. Photo courtesy of Green Hill Hostas.

Hosta First Blush.   I haven’t been this excited about a new hosta in a long time.  Hosta First Blush has green leaves with red petioles that extend into the leaf BUT also has a thin red margin around the leaf – a trait of the parent plant H. Beet Salad.  The exciting characteristic of First Blush is that in the springtime, the leaf blade between the veins will start to blush red from the tip down toward the base.  They will stay red until the temperatures get into the 90’s so here in our Minnesota gardens they should hold the red for most of the summer!   H. First Blush has the distinction of being the first “red leafed” hosta.   I am looking forward to getting one planted into my garden this spring!

Hosta First Blush is a medium hosta – reaching a height of only 12″ and can spread as wide as 24″.    It will flower lavender in early summer.