H. 'Dream Queen'
'Dream Queen' is a new variety for us in 2006. Near as I can tell it is a 'Great Expectations' sport from Jan van den Top in the Netherlands and is not a registered cultivar.
At this early stage of development it bears little resemblance to the lone picture on Hosta Library.
This little one sees far less light than the one above and we'll undoubtedly end up moving it from where it is at the moment. Problem is, we're running out of room. And I still want MORE Hostas.....
Well, the poor little thing above just didn't seem to thrive where it was so I decided to move it. I had no particular place in mind right at that moment, so it went into a one gallon pot for the time being. I put soil in the pot and went to dig up the crown and lo and behold, the leaves fell off! Some low-life insect had taken it upon itself to start chewing a nice hole in the petioles right at soil level. Matter of fact if you look closely at the little stubby left-over petiole you can see where the hole was chewed. All that was left was the crown with some healthy roots and all that was left to do was wait and see what happens with this crown.
I'm delighted to be able to show you that within 14 days after transplanting 4 new shoots are developing, quite remarkable. I had expected perhaps one or two, but 4 is a real bonus for what supposedly is a fairly slow grower, being out of a notorious slow grower: 'Great Expectations'. I'll keep this page updated with progress pictures over the coming weeks and months. I will also keep a close eye on this one as it is one of the Hostas I purchased @ Costco, the majority of which were HVX infected. So far at least the 4 roots of 'Dream Queen' we have left are not showing any symptoms.
The picture to the right shows 3 of the 'Dream Queen' crowns we have and the one at the bottom is what has become of the two shoots you saw in the picture above. It went from the 2 shoots shot on the 27th of May to what you see here now on July 6th, quite a nice progress I'd say.
Of the four 'Dream Queen' we have, only one is planted into the garden, the one below, the others are all in number one pots. And yes, they are not as vigorous a grower as 'So Sweet', 'Guacamole' or 'Minute Man' but it is a lovely cultivar and will always be in our yard somewhere.
This particular one was one of the early risers in 2007. The purple veining you see is due to low temperatures, like just above freezing, during a critical growth stage. The 2 shoots on this particular rhizome are nice and fat and will hopefully result in a plant with larger leaves and a more imposing stature in 2007.
It's now May 2nd '08 and we have 2 'Dream Queen' plants left, one in the ground and one potted, which would be the one to the right in this picture. The plant on the left is 'Dream Weaver'. Outside of the obvious difference in size, I cannot see much if any difference between these 2, which means one of two things: either one of the plants was mislabelled or, as has been speculated by others, both are sports of 'Great Expectations' but they occurred in different years in different countries and ended up getting called something different whereas they are in fact the same sport.
Regardless of what you call it, it certainly is striking in its appearance. Neither of them have proven to be terribly vigorous thus far, which given the progenitor's reputation, is not surprising.
Not quite a week later and you'll have no trouble recognizing how magnificent a showing it will make this year. The other one that's planted in the ground will by the looks of it have even larger leaves, but it'll only be just a single shoot.
A couple of weeks later and they're well along in the process of throwing up scapes. This picture shows Dream Queen -left- and Dream Weaver -right- side-by-side again. If indeed they are as labeled, at least this year -2008- there would appear to be a slight difference between them in terms of the width of the center variegation. There is a third Great Expectations off-spring called Thunderbolt which looks frightfully similar to these, it's variegation is perhaps the narrowest of the three from what I have seen in pictures, but all of that could well be due to individual differences among various plants, rather than something that can be used as a reliable guide.
We're now 2 months later and this particular plant must like what I did for it this year, just look at all the new offsets developing! A total of 7 new ones! This year the vast majority of our 1 gallon pots were either given saucers or were put in a tray and those were topped up every 3 or 4 days with rain water. And I've not been disappointed with the results, as you can see.
Jump forward a few of years to 2011 and this is what you would have seen. It looked quite nice and there were enough shoots on the crown to warrant division to get some plant for 2012's plant sale.
After all the years this variety has been here -growing season #6-, the one in the ground has only managed to get to a measly 3 shoots by 2011. Perhaps it's time to lift it and see if it isn't planted too deep. The one in the pot has done much better, though the leaves aren't quite as big.
Hugo's Database has more information on this variety.