i have mentioned a few of the newcomers in the garden this week and here is another. It is a hosta, and one of the most eagerly anticipated new cultivars of all time. It promises something that no other hosta has provided before. All other hostas have had purple, white, lilac or lavender flowers. Some even have some scent. But this one has yellow flowers! I thought I would mention that in case you missed it.
Hosta ‘Miracle Lemony’ – it doesn’t hide its light under a bushel – is the world’s first yellow-flowered hosta. It is also sold as ‘Lemony Miracle’ but I think the first is correct. It is a hybrid with the Korean H. tsushimensis as the pod parent and was raised by Hajime Sugita of Japan. I do not know when it first flowered but it was introduced in the USA by Mark Zilis of Illinois in 2017. I assume that microprop has allowed it to be distributed quickly worldwide.
Curiously, as far as I can tell, H. tsushimensis does not have yellow flowers. The blooms are lilac and, while this unusual species is valued for its flowers rather than foliage, the nearest to yellow that I can find is a white-flowered form. A characteristic that might be used by breeders in the future is the branched flower stems of some plants and the blooms often have reflexed petals, making them showy. It is native to the Tsushima Islands which are in the Tsushima Strait, between Korea and Japan. It flowers quite late for a hosta, usually in August.
I have yet to see an accurate description of the plant. Even those that say the flowers are not as bright as some ‘doctored’ photos show, still make wild claims, such as broad, ribbed foliage or pale yellow flowers opening from yellow buds. This is how it looks on the internet. First a photo on Goldbrook Plants site- but the most commonly used image.
And here is one from Amazon, (which I suspect is ‘Baby Mouse Ears’ with a heavy dose of Photoshop).
‘Miracle Lemony’ is supposed to be fragrant, which I have not noticed. It is supposed to be about 30cm high and 45cm wide and rather tricky to grow. It needs a ‘sheltered’ spot, but I am not sure what it needs to be sheltered from. I have it planted in a spot that gets some sun till midday but then shade, at the base of a pubescant hedge. It is now two years old and has produced many shoots but is very small, barely 15cm across and the scapes about the same. It has now produced a second spike. I think I need to be braver and move it to a brighter spot.
Flower buds started to be produced on the first scape a month ago but, frustratingly, just as they looked as if they would open, they dropped off. I have never noticed flowers buds drop off a hosta before but then I have never watched them so closely – if my double, fragrant ‘Aphrodite’ deigns to grow and bloom I am sure the situation will be the same!
So, in conclusion, though it is a bit too soon to make a decision on this plant, so far it has not blown me away. being fair, it is a pretty, plain, plant! Lemony? Maybe. A miracle? Only for the nurseries that sell it to mugs like me. *
* In my defence I knew it was not like the ‘touched-up’ photos and wanted it just to see it