Hosta 'Blue Urchin'

This small size, blue-green cultivar is one of many non-registered, Tardiana-type hostas originated by Dr. Ralph (Herb) Benedict of Michigan. but was registered on his behalf by Rod Kuenster of Iowa in 2010. It is a small size plant about 6 inches high by 13 inches wide with medium blue-green foliage. The leaves are slightly shiny, slightly cupped, moderately corrugated and nearly round. It is noted for its intense color and thick substance.

The Hosta Journal (1993 Vol. 24 No. 2) contained an article by Dr Bob Olson regarding a visit he and others made to the garden of Dr Ralph (Herb) Benedict. "We spent the afternoon looking at the end result of his marvelous hybridization scheme. Dr. Benedict would recite the perfect logic by which such crosses were conceived and executed. Tardianas to the F-6 generation were created by crossing the most fertile of one hundred 'Dorset Blue's with their most fertile offspring. He ended up creating more new Tardianas than Eric Smith had done. (Smith was thwarted at the F-3 generation when he ran into relatively sterile plants.) The blues Dr. Benedict chose to name are all rather small and very blue indeed. In order of decreasing size: 'Blue Jay', 'Blue Ice', 'Blue Chip', and the smallest of the lot 'Blue Urchin'...Somehow in his crosses he came up with a pure Tardiana hybrid which is streaked and splashed - and give variegated seedlings (often fifty percent or more)...he produced a 'Dorothy Benedict'-like-Tardiana, 'Dorset Clown'. The possibilities of this plant ignited our imaginations: can you envision a whole series of variegated Tardiana offspring?"


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