Lutescent or Viridescent?

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Lutescent or Viridescent?

Postby Don Rawson » Feb 12, 2017 5:02 pm

Please help me determine if the following hostas are lutescent or viridescent. Lutescent hostas become golder throughout the season. On the other hand, viridescent hostas become greener throughout the season. Which of the following are lutescent and which are viridesent?

‘Atom Smasher’
‘Bitsy Gold’
‘Chartreuse Wiggles’
‘Dawn’
‘Eola Salad Bowl’
‘Frisian Pride’
‘Inca Gold’
‘Laterna Magica’
‘O’Harra’
‘Purple and Gold’
‘School Bus’
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Lutescent or Viridescent?

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Re: Lutescent or Viridescent?

Postby Chris_W » Feb 12, 2017 5:59 pm

Off the top of my head I can tell you that Frisian Pride is viridescent, starting bright yellow and turning green. I would have to look up the rest.
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Re: Lutescent or Viridescent?

Postby Tigger » Feb 13, 2017 11:44 am

Frankly, I'm hard pressed to think of any solid-color hostas that actually get more gold as the season progresses, despite their presence on your current list. Maybe 'Little Miss Sunshine'? But of those on your list here, I only have 'Dawn' and 'Frisian Pride'.

Perhaps some see this "golding up" differently that I do, or it's a simple matter of sun exposure brightening hostas that come up gold, tend toward green and then lighten in later summer sun.

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Re: Lutescent or Viridescent?

Postby Bill Meyer » Mar 11, 2017 6:22 pm

Hi Don,

Gold hostas are either lutescent or viridescent to varying degrees. Lutescence only comes from sieboldiana/Tokudama genes. In all other species the gold ones are viridescent. Hybrids between lutescent and viridescent plants can be either. Which a seedling is is obvious from the first few leaves as with viridescent seedlings new leaves will be brighter than older leaves and vice versa for lutescent ones.

As long as plants are not bleached by the sun it will be clear in the garden. All golds and even some greens will bleach moving to bright yellow through a straw color before the leaf dies. Lutesence and vididescence seem to be the buildup and breakdown of Chlorophyll A & Chlorophyll B, while bleaching appears to bring out carotenoid pigments. No studies have been done to my knowledge to investigate that though.

Your list only has one plant that may have sieboldiana/Tokudama leaves - School Bus, which appears to be related to Purple Haze in some way. I've never seen the plant so can't say on whether it is lutescent or viridscent. All others obviously have no sieboldiana/Tokudama in them and will be viridescent to whatever degree.

Interestingly, I have seen pure gold sieboldiana plants that were viridescent, but they are very rare and none that I know of were named.

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