Hosta of the Day - Mr Jack

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Hosta of the Day - Mr Jack

Postby redcrx » Feb 24, 2016 4:43 pm

Mr Jack is a green hosta from Art Wrede that has red at the base of the leaf early in the season. It holds this color longer in cooler climates. It also has a white back and dark petioles.

Hosta Registry - not registered
MyHostas Database - http://myhostas.be/db/hostas/Mr+Jack
Hosta Library - http://www.hostalibrary.org/m/mrjack.html

This hosta shows up on auctions once in a while.

This plant was on the cover of The Hosta Journal a few years ago (but I can't find my copy).

I have shown photos of its flowers here before.

Here is Mr Jack in early May last season.
Mr Jack 15 03443-5-4.JPG

Mr Jack 15 03422-5-4.JPG

Mr Jack 15 03425-5-4.JPG

Mr Jack 15 03421-5-4.JPG
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Hosta of the Day - Mr Jack

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Re: Hosta of the Day - Mr Jack

Postby redcrx » Feb 24, 2016 4:46 pm

Some flowers from Mr Jack in mid-August.

Mr Jack 15 f 00296-8-16.JPG

Mr Jack 15 f 00299-8-16.JPG

Mr Jack 15 f 00643-8-16.JPG
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Re: Hosta of the Day - Mr Jack

Postby Tigger » Feb 25, 2016 4:06 pm

It's a nice one. Maybe a sibling of 'Almost' (with a bit of ripple)?
Using this site to compare them: http://www.pwk.resteddoginn.ca/compare_hl.php

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Re: Hosta of the Day - Mr Jack

Postby redcrx » Feb 26, 2016 3:11 pm

Hi Dave, I was looking at this hosta last winter about this same time and had the same opinion. Then while I was looking at some flower photos I noticed the bracts were different. Almost has colorful bracts with stripes while Mr Jack is just plain green.

(Almost is out of Cinnamon Sticks which has colorful bracts also - I posted a "new" photo on the CS topic.)

The difference in bracts got me thinking that they were more different. I asked around and Rick Goodenough sent me this email February 26 last year:

Here are some potentially related thoughts on 'Mr. Jack'. I had probed your question on the parentage of 'Mr. Jack' with Arthur and learned that 'Mr. Jack' came along very early on as Arthur's first red breakthrough plant. It was at least a part of his inspiration for continueing his zeal in pursuing his breeding for red. In around 2007 he stated that he had been growing it in a large pot for about 10 or 11 years at that time. I would not assume that 'Mr. Jack' came from the same parentage as some of his other introductions as folks were sending him genetic material all along. I grow it and am inclined to believe that it is out of longipes.

Arthur told me that he had tried numerous times to hybridize with 'Mr. Jack' and was never able to get seedlings that were even close to as good as 'Mr. Jack' is, so he had sort of written it off by 2007 as a novelty that had excellent red, but not enough staying power to last more than a few weeks. Interestingly, in New England, 'Mr. Jack' keeps its color for nearly half of the season. I have successfully used it in hybridizing for red and have plants that are able to keep the red color much longer.


I followed up with Rick today to ask his permission to post this and he sent more information.

'Mr Jack' and 'Almost' are not siblings though there could be some genes (longipes likely) that match up in their respective backgrounds. Mr. Jack is a semi upright plant, and in contrast Almost is much flatter with shorter petioles, a clumper that leans toward a rosette form. The red color differs as well where Mr. Jack tends toward a slight purple shade, and Almost is closer to a clear red. Mr. Jack loses a lot of its color early in the season and color on Almost intensifies for a while and then keeps it color for quite a while into the season.
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Re: Hosta of the Day - Mr Jack

Postby Tigger » Feb 27, 2016 10:28 am

Thanks. We got our H. longipes var. latifolia from Art, who said its was in most of his breeding lines, along with Katsuragawa Beni.
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Re: Hosta of the Day - Mr Jack

Postby redcrx » Feb 27, 2016 10:42 am

That's funny - I was looking at the flowers and thought "If I took Katsuragawa Beni pollen and put it on longipes latifolia I would end up with a flower that looked like Mr Jack's flower".
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Re: Hosta of the Day - Mr Jack

Postby redcrx » Mar 11, 2016 10:54 am

I finally tracked down photos of Mr Jack in The Hosta Journal. I thought it was a cover photo of the leaf but it's an article about Authur Wrede inside the "2011 Volume 42 Number 1" on page 52.
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Re: Hosta of the Day - Mr Jack

Postby redcrx » Aug 21, 2017 3:19 pm

I took some photos of Mr Jack today but I wasn't going to post them because I thought the flower photos already here were good enough.
Then I went to delete some duplicate shots and noticed that the style was purple. It doesn't show-up on the other photos.
So here is Mr Jack today with some interesting color on the style.
It's putting up 5 scapes.
Mr Jack 17 5169.jpg

Mr Jack 17 5176.jpg

Mr Jack 17 5170.jpg

And the flower:
Mr Jack 17 f 5174b.jpg

Mr Jack 17 f 5175b.jpg
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