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Plant Hunter Robert Fortune

Recently my sister on the West coast has begun container gardening with hostas.

She has several varieties of hostas, each in a container.

I gave her the beautiful Hosta ‘Liberty’ [above] for her birthday. I grew it in my garden and it is a truly striking plant.

An unkown seedling Hosta growing in ledge in my garden.

As with manty plants, the Hosta has had a long history of name changes as well as new cultivars coming on the scene regularly.

Nineteenth century English plant hunter Robert Fortune traveled to China in search of plants for the west.

He introduced many plants to Europe, including the hosta.

Thus his name was forever linked to the hosta by naming a species Hosta Fortunei.

But the name has now changed.

It is now a cultivar, simply called Hosta ‘Fortunei’.

This clip from the website called The Hosta Helper tells the story of how Fortune’s hosta was ‘demoted.’ [Below]

As you can see from this notice, in 1991 horticulturist and hosta expert W. George Schmid reclassified Hosta fortunei.

At least Fortune’s name is still there.

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