Touch of Class look-alikes?

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Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby Chris_W » Oct 19, 2010 10:57 am

Hi,

Touch of Class has to be one of the most popular plants here but I knew it wouldn't be too long before other named plants would come along that were essentially the same plant. Since Touch of Class is a patented plant there will always be a desire in the industry to find an identical clone so that you can name it yourself then propagate it and avoid the royalties.

Some years ago Hosta 'Grand Marquee' was introduced from Holland and it is actually a dead ringer for Touch of Class. Either the registration was wrong on this one or there was a mixup in the production process because the registration put it down as tokudama lineage, when it is definitely tetraploid tardiana. If I was a betting man I would put money on it being a mixup.

Now I see that there is another Touch of Class look-alike: Hosta 'Catherine'. It is registered as a sport of Halcyon, but again, it shows definite tetraploid characteristics. My guess is that someone had a tetraploid Halcyon that sported to what they named 'Catherine'.

I've mentioned it before, but I had a batch of Halcyon that I purchased from Walters Gardens that, as they grew up, looked more like tetraploid plants than normal Halcyon. One even sported to a yellow middle variegated pattern that looks identical to Touch of Class. That lead me to believe that these Halcyon were actually solid blue culls from Touch of Class and one reverted back. This was at a time when Walters Gardens was struggling to get clean Halycon after it was found that all of their Halycon were carrying HVX, so I can see the temptation to sell ToC culls as Halycon and keep up with some of the demand. But I probably wasn't the only person who got these tet-Halcyon, and wasn't the only person with a ToC reversion. Yes, there is a temptation to propagate that sport/reversion. All I have to do is name it and propagate it, royalty free. With Touch of Class you just can't divide it as it has a patent. Or heck, now I could just name my sport/reversion Hosta 'Catherine' :lol:

In many ways I think having plant patents encourages the multiple naming of the same plants in the hosta world. And these probably won't be the only two same plant/different name Touch of Class plants we'll see.

So we can update the same plant, different name lists with this one:

Touch of Class/Grand Marquee/Catherine
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Touch of Class look-alikes?

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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby Tigger » Oct 19, 2010 1:27 pm

Nice sleuthing, Chris.
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby redcrx » Oct 20, 2010 8:07 am

Just a point of interest - I got 'Catherine' in this summer and it looked like 'High Society' to me.
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby Chris_W » Oct 20, 2010 9:49 am

redcrx wrote:Just a point of interest - I got Catherine in this summer and it looked like High Society to me.


Will be interesting to see how it looks next year. It often depends on the lighting, but might also be a sport of its own too...
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby nmb » Oct 20, 2010 10:24 am

FYI..
my Grande Marque is the only plant still up (after 2 frosts) and looking good.

I agree that it looks very much alike, but i don't think they act alike.


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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby hostamanphil » Oct 20, 2010 1:21 pm

Hi Chris,here are some others that are close to Touch of Class(One of my favorites).
June-a mutation of Halcyon.In the Hostapedia Mark Zilis considers Touch of Class the same as June but with thicker foliage.
Olympic Sunrise-a sport of Katherine Lewis which was a sport of Halcyon
Paradise Joyce-a sport of Halcyon
Magic Island(a new one for 2011 from Naylor Creek)-a new member of the Halcyon family.I saw it's picture in the catalog and liked it until it clicked in my head that it looks real close to Touch of Class.
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby redcrx » Oct 20, 2010 2:44 pm

I was just out looking at the garden and High Society now has a lot of white in the center which developed through the season. Catherine and TofC are golden.

Olympic Sunrise has a huge bright white center now (one of the first hosta I bought). But I picked up two more at the end of last season and both have a bunch of all green leaves mixed in with the white centered ones. All three get good sun.

I love Katherine Lewis - I have it in the darkest shade in my yard and it's a standout.
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby Chris_W » Oct 20, 2010 3:21 pm

Wow, you are right Phil. Magic Island also looks just like Touch of Class. From the descriptions I found it might be a tetraploid as well. I'd be willing to add that one to the list of look-alikes...

The others mentioned are certainly similar, but I think they have enough slight differences that you should still be able to tell them apart in the garden if you knew what to look for.

Another of these new, similar plants is Hosta 'Cream Topping', which is reported to turn white in the center, so it could likely be a lot like High Society.

Thanks for the other mentions :)

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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby lessa's dh » Oct 20, 2010 3:31 pm

There is an interesting article in the latest Hosta Journal dealing with this problem - it's a pretty good read.
Compostaphile and Compostaphobe -- To rot or not to rot . . .

ps. I don't have a hosta list - lessa took them all!!

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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby redcrx » Oct 21, 2010 7:04 am

Some shots of 'Catherine' through the season and some other Halcyon sports.
'Touch of Class' has a dark side (right/south) and a light side (left/north). I think the low angle of the sun at this time of year is causing this. The lighter leaves get the better sun light on them.

Catherine 10 0132.JPG

Catherine 10 0700.JPG

Catherine 10 0910.JPG

Touch of Class 10 0913.JPG

Olympic Sunrise 10 0858.JPG
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby Buckeye » Oct 22, 2010 6:19 am

I stumbled into a Catherine 2 years ago in a shipment of plants for evaluation from Europe, and have been growing it for 2 years now right next to Touch of Class, and have come to the conclusion that they are virtually identical. I now also have a solid blue sport of Catherine separated, so what can I call that one?
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby ViolaAnn » Oct 22, 2010 6:27 am

Fascinating topic. I can certainly see how patents can lead to an increase in the number of registered plants that are essentially the same.

Ann

PS After a couple of frosts here, my TOC still looks good. No sign of yellowing yet.
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby Chris_W » Oct 22, 2010 9:50 am

lessa's dh wrote:There is an interesting article in the latest Hosta Journal dealing with this problem - it's a pretty good read.


I agree, the article by Bob Keller (White Oak Nursery) is what inspired my recent postings. It was a good article, though I don't agree with his conclusions that the AHS should be expected to evaluate possible look-alikes. Instead hopefully we can just compare these things and share the info in places like the forum or in the journal as we do now.

Buckeye wrote:I stumbled into a Catherine 2 years ago in a shipment of plants for evaluation from Europe, and have been growing it for 2 years now right next to Touch of Class, and have come to the conclusion that they are virtually identical. I now also have a solid blue sport of Catherine separated, so what can I call that one?


Hi Buckeye,

If the registration were correct, that Catherine is supposedly a sport of Halcyon, then the solid blue sport should just be a reversion back to Halcyon. But I suspect that it will really be a tetraploid plant, so that would make it closer to Bulletproof. Others would argue you shouldn't call it anything definitive, just "Sport of Catherine", while others yet would say you could give it its own name. Personally I would just be interested to see how it compares to Halycon over time.
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby renaldo75 » Oct 22, 2010 11:54 am

Very interesting topic. I still haven't read the HJ article yet. Those who were at my get-together and at Hallson's this summer know I'm fascinated by the Tardianas, especially Halcyon and its sports. I see that a couple of my questions on the quiz need to be updated now. Since there are more 'known' sports now than when I wrote the quiz back in July. And I realized I'd already missed a couple of June sports shortly after I was at Chris & Brian's. :oops: I had always thought Grand Marquee was related since it looks so much like TOC. I even used it on my quiz as a hosta that isn't related to the Tardianas. But I think I just looked at the registration or Hugo's Database. I looked it up in the Hostapedia about a month ago, and Zilis says that even though it's registered differently that it looks and acts like TOC.

Recently I was on Luc Klinkhammer's website perusing the hostas. We can add one more to the Touch of Class lookalikes. It's his sport out of Halcyon and it's called Dinner Jacket. I immediately thought of Touch of Class when I saw it.

Lou Horton just emailed me the line-up for WSM the other day, and one of the speakers will be Kevin Walek, the Hosta Registrar. He's going to be talking about the growing number of hostas he feels should NOT be registered every year. I'll be interested to see if these lookalikes fall into that category.
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby Chris_W » Oct 22, 2010 12:56 pm

That sounds like it will be an interesting talk from Kevin Walek. I wonder if my schedule will allow me to attend Winter Scientific this year? Went several years ago and had a great time :)

Dinner Jacket also looks a lot more like Touch of Class than June. I wonder if a lab somewhere was doing TCs of a tetraploid Halcyon, resulting in all of these new sports :hmm:
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby renaldo75 » Oct 22, 2010 1:19 pm

I think Kevin's talk will be pretty interesting too.

That'd be great if you could make it again!! I'm thinking you were there in 2006. I remember having lunch at the same table with you & Mike from Milwaukee. And it was the last year they had it at that hotel I think. I'll share what Lou sent me in another post. I'm not sure if it's on the website - haven't taken the time to look yet.

That very well could be. How did Bulletproof get discovered? At first, I thought it sported from TOC, but then I discovered it was out of Halcyon itself. [If I remember correctly.]
GO HAWKEYES!!!

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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby Chris_W » Oct 22, 2010 1:53 pm

Hi,

In the registry, 'Bulletproof' is listed as a sport out of 'Halcyon', originating and registered by Q & Z Nursery and named and introduced by Spring Hill. My guess is that Q & Z was doing a big run of 'Halcyon' for Spring Hill and this sport showed up. In the registration it also says:

hostaregistrar.org wrote:Notable Characteristics: Much thicker foliar substance than its mother plant, ‘Halcyon’; exhibits tetraploid properties, but designation as a true tetraploid has not been confirmed


As it is possible for ploidy to change in the tissue culture process a test 'Halycon' also could have come up early in the TC run and been multiplied out quite a bit vs. actually starting with a tet 'Halcyon'. I'm not 100% sure how the whole process works but I believe the young plantlets are multiplied out quite a bit at an early stage to get the numbers up before they've really done any growing.
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby renaldo75 » Oct 22, 2010 6:57 pm

Interesting theory, Chris. There's always that sense of mystery with hostas that other plants just don't seem to have.
Maybe it's because they're kinda shady... :wink: :roll: :lol:
GO HAWKEYES!!!

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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby Don Rawson » Oct 23, 2010 8:46 pm

Here's the info on Dinner Jacket: http://www.mailorderplants4me.com/products/1954 . I wonder if we could tell any of these apart if we had photos laying side-by-side?
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Re: Touch of Class look-alikes?

Postby renaldo75 » Oct 23, 2010 9:55 pm

I see that Dinner Jacket isn't listed with a U.S. price yet so we'll have to wait a while on doing a side by side comparison with some of the other TOC lookalikes.
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