Iowa Hosta Collection

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Iowa Hosta Collection

The Iowa Hosta Collection is a two-part collection of prominent hosta hybridizers from Iowa. Orginally located at the entrance to the Shade Garden, the planting was moved to the pergola on the north side of the Hughes Educaiton Building in 2002. The original collection commenced with the procurement of Russ O’Harra selections with the establishment of the collection by the Russ O’Harra Hosta Society in 1994. Russ O’Harra was Iowa’s most prominent hosta hybridizers with approximately 34 cultivars credited to his breeding program.

As the Russ O’Harra Collection grew at the Iowa Arboretum, so did the need for space and designation of other noteable hosta hybridizers from Iowa. The pergola was therefore extended as an Eagle Scout Project in 2015 by Bjorn Iverson of Troop 196. The newly expanded pergola provided the perfect opportunity and space to add other Iowa hyrbridizer selections to the grounds. In 2018 a number of Iowa hybridizer hosta cultivars were donated as this installment. Cultivars from Greg Johnson formerly of Marshalltown, Jim Schwarz of Dubuque, the late Gretchen Harshbarger of Iowa City, and Frank Riehl, also of Iowa City are currently featured in the collection.

Accession # Genus Cultivar Common Name Breeder/Hybridizer Year Hybridized
180022* Hosta ‘Paul’s Glory’ Paul’s Glory Hosta Paul Hofer and Peter Ruh 1987
180053 Hosta ‘Garden Treasure’ Garden Treasure Hosta J. Schwarz 1997
180054 Hosta ‘Rhythm & Blues’ Rhythm & Blues Hosta Greg  Johnson 2004
180055 Hosta ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ Itsy Bitsy Spider Hosta Greg  Johnson 2004
180056 Hosta ‘Bachelor Party’ Bachelor Party Hosta M. Zilis and J. Schwarz 2011
180057 Hosta ‘Faithful Heart’ Faithful Heart  Hosta Kirk Brill 1999
180058 Hosta ‘Blue Haired Lady’ Blue Haired Lady Hosta Greg Johnson 2004
180059 Hosta ‘Moonlight Sonata’ Moonlight Sonat  Hosta Greg Johnson 2004
180060 Hosta ‘Captain Kirk’ Captain Kirk Hosta Kirk Brill 1999
180061 Hosta ‘Veronica Lake’ Veronica Lake Hosta Frank Riehl 1993
190002 Hosta ‘Bridal Veil’ Bridal Veil Hosta Bob Hird 2005
190003 Hosta ‘Deep Pockets’ Deep Pockets Hosta Bob Hird 2005
190004 Hosta ‘Tequila Sunrise’ Tequila Sunrise Hosta Greg Johnson 2004
190005 Hosta ‘Rosedale Spoons’ Rosedale Spoons Hosta Jerry Hadrava 1999
190006 Hosta ‘Rosedale Golden Goose’ Rosedale Golden Goose Hosta Jerry Hadrava 1999
190007 Hosta ‘Li’l Abner’ Li’l Abner Hosta M. Zilis and J. Hadrava 2003

Accession #180022 (Hosta ‘Paul’s Glory’) is not an Iowa breeder collection hosta. It was added to this collection in 2018 to honor Herman Koptizke, a late board member and avid supporter of the Iowa Arboretum. Herman was an active member of the Russ O’Hara Hosta Society and an admitted hosta enthusiast. It is for Herman’s devotion to the arboretum and his love of hostas that a memorial sculpture and plant replica of one of his favorite hostas, ‘Paul’s Glory’, is on display in this colleciton. The sculpture was created by Virginia copper work artist Anne Jordan and funded by memorial contributions in honor of Herman.

*This site was last updated on May 21, 2019.

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