Pic of the Day--Medusa

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Pic of the Day--Medusa

Postby Hank Zumach » Dec 10, 2007 12:22 pm

Hi All--Today's plant is a hybrid developed by Roy Herold. I can easily imagine that he was familiar with Greek mythology when he named it Medusa. She was the goddess with snakes for hair. That name seems appropriate for the variety because of its long, slender, unruly looking foliage. Unfortunately, in our garden the plant also has a serious problem of developing ratty, torn leaves in spite of being located in a spot that gets little direct sun and about an inch of water per week. This might be another example of wide differences in performance among individual plants in the market place since the Hosta Library describes Medusa as having good substance. Another anomaly is the plant's size. Our 9 year old plant seems to have settled out at a size of about 22x9, almost twice the width of the registration size of 12x6. I am showing a photo from 2003 of the plant in very good condition and another photo from 2007 when it had the problems I have come to expect.

Registry - http://www.hostaregistrar.org/detail.ph ... ety=Medusa
MyHostas - http://myhostas.be/db/hostas/Medusa
Hosta Library - http://www.hostalibrary.org/m/medusa.html

Medusa 6-26-03c 191.jpg

Medusa 6-25-07c 008.jpg
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Pic of the Day--Medusa

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Postby Mary Ann » Dec 10, 2007 12:45 pm

Medusa has croaked on me twice but I still love the form and wild hairy look of it so purchased another big pot of it last summer. Are the 2 pictures you have posted at HL the same plant? The second one looks much larger.
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Postby Chris_W » Dec 10, 2007 12:48 pm

Hi Hank,

I've also noticed that my Medusa has taken some slug damage, so the leaves are not particularly thick here either. I do have one plant that has developed thick, rounded leaves, and I think it might be a tetraploid from our use of weed preventer.

If you were to put this same plant in a lot of light you might notice thicker leaves and smaller plants. At least that's been my experience when growing various examples of different plants in both sun and shade - the sunnier ones tend to have smaller and thicker leaves. not all will do that, but some do, and other plants from Roy have been quite sun tolerant.

The size listed in the registration is not intended to give the mature size. That is simply the size of the clump at the time of the registration. There isn't any indication of the age of Medusa at registration, but it probably was only a few years old when registered in 1993. The registration doesn't really note anything about there being thick leaves.

Just some thoughts. I do like the plant, by the way :)
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Postby thy » Dec 10, 2007 5:33 pm

:lol: Medusa had her problems too, you know :wink:

May have to get it one day, I like it... just the mini killing hands here :cry: :wink: :roll:
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Postby Hank Zumach » Dec 10, 2007 10:53 pm

Chris--Thanks for your comments. If you drop in on the pixlist list, you are aware of the long string of postings that started with my POTD--Hope when I commented about the differences in some registration sizes and what some of us experience in our gardens.

I do think the hosta community, whether the AHS or whoever, can do a better job of providing accurate information to the hobbyists/retail purchasers about what size plant they are buying. I realize that some of the registration sizes are because of the young age of the plants when they are registered but there is no reason that information can't be corrected after the plant has been in the trade for a number of years.

The comments in the Library about Medusa's "good substance" are in the data base listing at the top of the page. I think most of those comments are taken from catalog descriptions so they tend to be written in an attempt to sell more of the variety, not necessarily to provide accurate information. The damage to my Medusa's leaves is tearing from poor substance. The slugs have not gotten to it, I don't think.

I had not heard of the idea of putting thin leafed varieties in more sun to improve their substance. Wouldn't they tend to burn out? Or does that just work with some of Roy's introductions?
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Postby newtohosta-no more » Dec 11, 2007 6:17 am

That's an interesting thought...to put them in more sun. Goodness knows I'm running out of shady spots. :???:
I have never been attracted to the lance shaped leaves on some hostas, but I find myself now looking at some of those in the catalogs and thinking about buying some, just for their uniqueness. I'll keep Medusa in mind, especially if I can plant it in a spot that gets a bit of sun. :wink:
Thanks for the pics and info , Hank, and for your input, Chris. :D
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Postby Chris_W » Dec 11, 2007 1:37 pm

Hi,

I don't really know if Medusa would hold up in the sun. All I was saying is that some hostas will develop thicker leaves with more light and/or will sometimes have larger but thinner leaves in the shade.

You are right, when we write catalogs we are trying to sell the plant, and sometimes the adjectives get a little blurry after a while :P

Sometimes plants will toughen up a bit with some bright light, but it might take some work to find that fine line between too much and not enough...

It would be nice if we could have the registrations updated with a mature size. I wonder if that would be too much work, though. Hopefully Mark Zilis' new book will help us out with that :)
Last edited by Chris_W on Dec 11, 2007 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby newtohosta-no more » Dec 11, 2007 2:24 pm

Thanks for clarifying that point , Chris. I may have been reading something into your statement that I wanted to hear. :lol:
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Postby Linda P » Dec 12, 2007 8:46 am

Chris_W wrote:Hi,

It would be nice if we could have the registrations updated with a mature size. I wonder if that would be too much work, though. Hopefully Mark Zilis' new book will help us out with that :)


Chris,
Do you think that book will ever appear on the market?
I stopped holding my breath 3 (or was it 4) years ago.....
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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