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.

                

                                                                    Kevin Vaughn

          Kevin’s 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 hearty substance.

         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. Another 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 ‘Little Doll’.

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