Praying Hands (unknown) (Jerry Williams 1996)
(5-8-19) ‘Praying Hands‘ the 2011 Hosta of the Year was introduced in 1996 by Jerry Williams. It has narrow green leaves that are very wavy, folded upright and they have thin cream margins.
According to hostalists.org ‘Praying Hands‘ is completely or nearly pollen sterile –
Their definition of this –
Some hostas are completely pod sterile. Others are reluctant pod producers, and only a small percentage of the few seeds which are produced may be viable. In a few cases, a plant may be pod sterile but still able to produce some viable pollen. The following is a list of species and cultivars which have been reported to be completely, or nearly, pod and/or pollen sterile.
According to MyHostas the following sports are known to be from ‘Praying Hands‘
There is no indication in the descriptions of these four sports that any of them came from a tissue culture process.
One source says ‘Praying Hands‘ is a sport of ‘ Fortunei ‘, while it is registered as having an unknown background.
So for hosta collectors ‘Praying Hands‘ is a nice addition to their garden, but to those that hybridize it is just another hosta.
If ‘Praying Hands‘ was fertile it would bring another dimension to those looking for the next big thing. Luckily many still have the option of using ‘Curly Fries‘ or other varieties to add those unique leaf features.
Not so fast…
Updated 5-19-19 – Thanks to a posting on the Growers of Hosta Seeds Facebook Group, Philip Timm posted two different seedlings that used ‘Praying Hands’ as a pollen donor.
Timm responded to our questions about the seedlings –
It is definitely hit or miss. There have been a lot of failures.
I just read the (above) article. The pollen from Praying Hands is not sterile,it just does not pass on the traits on a consistent basis. I currently have Gone With The Wind x Praying Hands growing in the basement plus have other crosses.
Good news for those of you who would like to use Praying Hands in your breeding program.