Hosta 'Clifford's Forest Fire'

This sport of H. 'Sagae' was registered by John and Ken Clifford of Michigan in 2000. Characteristics similar to the parent plant with a wider margin. This cultivar is part of the "Clifford's Series" of hostas.

This giant size (31 inches high by 70 inches wide or more) cultivar is known for its upright form and thick leaf substance. The foliage is wavy and deeply lobed at the base. It produces pale lavender flowers on scapes up to 50 inches tall from mid-July into August.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "Though it was patented under the name 'Forest Fire' and marketed as such, many hosta specialty nurseries offer it under its registered name, 'Clifford's Forest Fire'."

Ian Scroggy of Bali-Hai Nursery in Northern Ireland wrote in The Hosta Journal (2008 Vol. 39 No.1) about his thoughts on H. 'Majesty', H. 'Clifford's Forest Fire', H. 'Magic Fire' and H. 'Liberty'. They are similar appearing yellow-margined sports of H. 'Sagae'. He says, "...of the four, my favourite has to be 'Liberty'. It is much better for colour."


H. 'Majesty' - "Of the four, 'Majesty is my best seller...The leaf detail is very consistent, with three shades of green that bleed out into the outer edge, forming almost a pale lime green margin, rather than a creamy-yellow margin...growing conditions play a big factor in the colour of the it is late to emerge it never gets frost damage...leaf colour is muted, not as bright as the edge on 'Sagae' but the colour last on this plant much longer."
H. 'Clifford's Forest Fire' - "I think the problem in the nursery trade has been what I experienced: I got two different batches in and both were different in colour and habit. The leaves were more mid-green onto olive-green centres with a yellow edge, not bright orange-yellow...Growth rate is slow and the leaves grow more flat than upwards, but very compact and tight together...The surface of the leaf is slightly shiny."
H. 'Magic Fire' - Very striking, more like a zingy yellow. It really catches the eye with dark green centres that have much more veining of the centre into the border. Also the leaves are totally different from the other 'Sagae' sports: much bigger with an undulating wave across the width of the leaves like 'waves'; very unusual. The leaves are not as strong as 'Majesty'...Not good autumn colour. I'd say it's a spring hosta. Of the four, 'Magic Fire' is the most different from its parent."
H. 'Liberty' - "When it emerges it is really a show stopper, with a bright orange-yellow margin with mid-green centres. Comes up very upright and unfurls slowly, which I think really intensifies the colour more to the eye, as it has more of an impact when you do not see the centres of the leaves on emergence. The leaves are heart-shaped much more than the other three but the colour and form are much more elegant.
"I only know that I have not sold 'Sagae' since these four hostas came along. The only problem with 'Liberty' is it is slow like 'Sagae' and the leaves get very thin under hot weather (our hot weather is 25 degrees C [77° F], not as warm as in the USA)."


An article by Warren I. Pollack in The Hosta Journal  (2020 Vol. 51 No. 1) titled Doppelgänger Hostas: Fancy Name for Look-alike Hostas, included a long list of hostas which various hostaphiles, published articles or other sources have indicated "look" the same. Some of these are, in fact, the same plant with two or more different names. Others are hostas that vary in some minor trait which is not immediately discernable to the casual observer such as seasonal color variations, bloom traits, ploidy, etc. So, as Warren mentions, hostaphiles may differ as to the plants listed but then, their opinions are based on visual observations and interpretations.

H. 'Clifford's Forest Fire', H. 'Field of Fire' and H. 'Magic Fire'.

United States Patent: PP17644  (2007)

Abstract: A new cultivar of Hosta named ‘Forest Fire’, a sport of Hosta ‘Sagae’, that is characterized by its variegated foliage having cordate-shaped leaves with glaucous green centers and margins that emerge yellow-green and turn creamy white as the leaf matures. A combination of new leaves and mature leaves results in a two-toned effect. The margins of ‘Forest Fire’ comprise about one fourth of the leaf area. ‘Forest Fire’ is a medium-large sized Hosta with an upright, mounded habit, and pale lavender flowers that are held above the foliage in mid summer.

bullet H. 'Clifford's Forest Fire'
bullet H. 'Field of Fire'
bullet H. 'Magic Fire'

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