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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Hosta ‘Snow Mouse’: New from Bowden Hostas

Posted by Graham Rice on 03 Aug 2010 at 11:50 AM

Hosta,Snow Mouse,Blue Mouse Ears,Mark Zilis,Bowden Hostas,Hostapedia. Image © (all rights reserved)Since its introduction in the USA about ten years ago, Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ has become one of the most popular of small hostas and in the five years its been available in Britain, it’s captured our attention for many reasons.

It’s small and neat, not more than 6in/15cm high, so is ideal at the very front of a border or even in a container; the dainty, slightly cupped leaves are indeed just like mouse ears; their faintly rippled blue colouring is very distinct; and the prolific flowers, like lavender hyacinths, sit tightly on the mound of foliage. On top of that, because the texture of the leaf is so heavy, it’s one of the hostas least likely to be eaten by slugs.

‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is also a plant that has produced some lovely sports – spontaneous genetic mutations. This happens a lot in hostas, variegated forms being the most frequent to turn up.

‘Blue Mouse Ears’, itself a sport of ‘Blue Cadet, spawned ‘Green Mouse Ears’, with green leaves, and then ‘Royal Mouse Ears’ with its leaves speckled and streaked in cream and white. Then came ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’, with a broad white edge to the leaves, and ‘Holy Mouse Ears’, with a white splash and streaking in the centre of the leaf. These last two were both developed by Mark Zilis, author of The Hostapedia – probably the most comprehensive hosta book available.

Most of these were on show at the Bowden Hostas exhibits at various shows this summer along with the very latest in the series – ‘Snow Mouse’. ‘Snow Mouse’ features a bolder white central zone in each leaf yet retains the same heavy, slug-resistant texture. It would make a lovely specimen in a terracotta pot.

Hosta ‘Snow Mouse’ is available from Bowden Hostas.


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