‘World Cup’ – 2018 hosta of the year
By Hugh G. EARNHART
OSU Ext. master gardener volunteer
The American Hosta Growers Association has selected “World Cup” as its hosta of the year for 2018. It is a tall hosta producing 20-inch leaves and a spread of 43 inches at maturity.
This upright bright yellow hosta is a show stopper and will soon be popular in a garden setting or container habitat. The unique cup shape to the leaves gives a different feel to your hosta collection in the shade garden. The color stands out from the many hues of green and blue in most home gardens.
World cup almost got thrown into the compost pile and would have been lost to “hostadom” except for the keen eye of Mark Zilis of Q&Z Nursery.
The plant was hybridized by Doug Beilstein, a prolific hybridizer in nearby Mansfield. The hosta cultivar is a cross of H. Komodo Dragon and H. Super Bowl. The vertical habit of world cup stems from Dragon and the yellow color and deep cupping leaves originates from Super Bowl.
At the 2005 American Hosta Society auction, Beilstein offered 20 seedlings from the hundreds of seedlings he had hybridized the past two years. The bidding was brisk and dangerous between Zilis and C.H. Fastad, two hosta growers. When the bidding was stopped and ruled a tie, each could select 20 plants among Beilstein’s seedlings.
As Zilis strolled the rows and rows of seedlings to make his selection, a yellow seedling got his attention. The parentage was interesting. He tissue-cultured it and placed the yellow seedling on the market with the name World Cup, named after the soccer event. The result is an instant “must-have hosta” that is unique, artsy and different than anything seen before.
World Cup should be planted in deep shade along with ferns, alliums, and other perennials in a well prepared bed containing high levels of organic matter with good drainage. Shade from buildings or deciduous trees provide the best environment with adequate moisture.
Conduct a soil test to ensure proper soil pH and fertility to get the biggest, healthiest plant possible. If you are patient and careful when you prepare your flower bed, planting World Cup is “one and done.”
Check out photos of this plant, a list of the hostas of the year from the past, and learn the latest about hostas around the U.S. on the association’s website at: