The Kevin Vaughn Award
is given to the person entering the
best sport overall as chosen by the AHS Judges. This Award was
presented for the
first time in 2001 by Jim
Wilkins, then President of the American Hosta Society.
presented for the first time in 2001 by Jim Wilkins, then President of the American Hosta Society.
Kevi n Vaughn
interest in plants started at a very early age having hybridized iris at age
ten! When he was age twelve, a
woman named Frances Williams and her daughter visited Kevin; with them they
brought along a trunk full of hosta, among which was Hosta ‘Frances
Williams’. Thus, Kevin started down the road as a hosta hybridizer. Kevin
received his Ph.D. in botany from the University of
Miami of Ohio. He did his
thesis on the genetics of hosta variegation. In so doing, he was one of the
first members of the AHS to actually study hosta scientifically. Kevin also
served on the AHS advisory board for 6 years, plus 10 years as scientific chair;
serving on the classification and nomenclature committee and as a science editor
of The Hosta Journal. All together Kevin spent over 12 years on the board in one
capacity or another. He has spoken on hostas around the world. All this is to
say nothing of the many hostas he has hybridized. Finally in 1999 Kevin received
the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Service Award, the highest award of the
American Hosta Society.
Besides Hosta ‘Frances Williams’
in that first group that Kevin used for hybridizing was also a plant of H.
‘Beatrice’, which ended up being the basis for his whole breeding program.
From ‘Beatrice’ Kevin got a seedling he labeled 73-2. From ‘Frances
Williams’ he got a plant he called ‘Polly Bishop’. When Kevin was working
on his Ph.D. at Miami of Ohio, one of the first things he did was take 73-2 and
cross it with ‘Frances Williams’. It gave streaked seedlings with incredibly
Kevin brought the first of these plants home
from Miami of Ohio and planted them at his family’s house.
The next summer Bill Lachman, Eleanor Lachman, and the Seavers all came
for a visit. They were shocked that he was getting variegated plants with heavy
substance. On the spot, Kevin named
one of the plants for Bill Lachman, and one for Mildred Seaver. A sister in that
group was ‘Breeders Choice’, which he chose as his Summers Award Hosta.
sister seedling in that group was a plant that Kevin really didn’t care too
much about. However, Mildred
admired it and Kevin gave it to her. A
year later, Mildred came to him with a potted plant in her hand and said,
“What do you think of this?” Kevin said, “Oh, it’s beautiful Mildred,
it’s the best thing you’ve ever done”. She said, “it’s yours”. She
named it ‘Christmas Tree’. From
‘Breeder’s Choice’, Kevin also has hybridized ‘Sunshine Glory’, and