H. 'Frances Williams'
'Frances Williams' is another new variety for us in 2006, 20 years after it was registered by Williams. It is a sieboldiana 'Elegans' sport and like its progenator apparently grows to considerable size. And I can well believe that, judging by the size of the shoots when they broke ground, they were FAT!
One of the roots was kind of twisted when it was potted up. A new shoot developed and 'Look, Ma. HVX'. Maddening, and saddening because at least I am able to recognize the virus infection, but the other thousands of Costco customers across North America most likely do not realize what they have just saddled themselves with.
I had no trouble returning these infected plants to Costco for a refund, along with another 4 varieties similarly infected. For the time being I can be comfortable in the knowledge I have taken the most obviously infected ones out of the yard and garden, but there are still another three remaining varieties that will be closely monitored for infection signs. 'Francis Williams', 'Yellow Splash Rim' and 'Twilight' are 2006 additions that didn't make the grade however, and are no longer in our yard; they all proved to be HVX infected, along with a new batch of 'Patriot' and 'Guacamole'. For at least the next couple of years I'll look at anything unusual on any of our Hostas and wonder if it's a sign of something serious or just the plant's way of dealing with it's environment and pests.
On one of our shopping trips to the big box lumberyards over the 2006 Labour Day weekend -we needed a new digging fork- we came across a #3 pot just about filled to the edge with a very nice, big clump of what was labelled as 'Francis Williams', but I do have serious doubts about that ID, the margin looks too wide and the green isn't blue or glaucous enough. Matter of fact, I rather think that what I have here is perhaps 'Twilight' or more than likely 'Wide Brim'. This is what became of it: 6 #1 pots and 5 #2 pots. Should still be early enough in the season for them to put down some new roots before winter gets here in earnest.
For more information and a glimps at the long list of sports of this variety visit Hugo's Database.