The AHGA selects the Hosta of the Year (HOTY) two to three years in advance to allow sufficient inventory buildup for what will inevitably be increased sales of the plant. The AHGA also stipulates the following criteria for HOTY selection:
- The hosta should grow well in all parts of the country
- The hosta should have a retail price in the year for which it is selected of approximately $15 to $20
- The hosta should be distinct and recognizable
- The hosta should be widely available in the year for which it is selected
- All hostas except previous winners are eligible to be selected.
Prior Hosta of the Year winners are:
'So Sweet' (1996), 'Patriot' (1997), 'Fragrant Bouquet' (1998), 'Paul's Glory' (1999), 'Sagae' (2000), 'June' (2001), 'Guacamole' (2002), 'Regal Splendor' (2003), 'Sum and Substance' (2004), 'Striptease' (2005), 'Stained Glass' (2006), 'Paradigm' (2007), 'Blue Mouse Ears' (2008), 'Earth Angel' (2009), 'First Frost' (2010), 'Praying Hands' (2011), 'Liberty' (2012), 'Rainforest Sunrise' (2013), 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd' (2014), 'Victory' (2015), and 'Curly Fries' (2016).
The AHGA is pleased to announce Hosta 'Brother Stefan' as the 2017 Hosta of the Year. It was registered by Olga Petryszyn in 1998 with the American Hosta Society. Olga, aka 'The Hosta Lady' has been designated as one of the top ten hosta breeders in the United States. She is known for her "Americana Series" of hosta with names like 'Key West', 'Niagara Falls' and 'Continental Divide'. Olga is also known for letting her creations mature for ten years or so before releasing them.
Hosta 'Brother Stefan', a hybrid from ('King Tut' x 'Mildred Seaver' seedling), grows 25 inches tall by 30 inches wide and combines striking color contrast with thick corrugated foliage. The center of the maple leaf pattern embossed on each leaf is a bright gold. It is the bright gold that makes it stand out in the garden. The bright gold is surrounded by chartreuse and the leaf is edged in deep green. The heavy corrugation seems to make the colors jump out at you. At maturity the leaves show some cupping and even some reverse cupping at the midrib.
When Olga was asked how she named this hosta she replied, “My brother is an amazing man of great moral strength, passion and generosity for the underprivileged”. In her speech acceptance speed for the Eunice Fisher Distinguished Hybridizer Merit award, she mentioned that she named this hosta for her favorite mentor and her all American hero and brother. The naming of this hosta was also a birthday present for her brother.