If you are into miniature hostas you will almost certainly already have H. ‘Blue Mouse Ears’. This is a wonderful, inexpensive (£6.00 from us) hosta which looks like its name. The leaves are blue, shaped like a mouse’s ear and wonderfully thick – more than a match for any slug or snail.

H. ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ (pictured above) has been used to breed many other equally desirable ‘Mouse’ hostas, though, like most children, they are relatively expensive to keep! However, despite their price usually being at least double that of their parent they are amongst the most popular minis we sell. In fact, they are so desirable, collecting ‘Mice’ can become a compulsion. You have been warned!

Here is a list of all the ‘Mice’ so far (2018).  (NR means not registered). Those in bold we have in stock (March 2018).

‘American Super Mouse’ (V. Wade NR)
‘Blue Mouse Ears’ (E. & J. Deckert 2000)
‘Blue Mouse Ears Supreme’ (W. Silvers 2007)
‘Calico Mouse Ears’ (M. Zilis 2012)
‘Cat and Mouse’ (H. Hansen 2007)
‘Church Mouse’ (Walters Gardens, Inc. 2012)
‘Crazy Mouse Ears’ (J. Schwarz NR)
‘Dancing Mouse’ (M. Fransen NR)
‘Desert Mouse’ (J. van den Top NR)
‘Field Rat’ (C. Wilson/ Hallson Gardens NR)
‘Flamenco Mouse’ (C. Wilson/ Hallson Gardens 2012)
‘Forest Mouse’ (J. van den Top NR)
‘Frosted Mouse Ears’ (M. Zilis, E. & J. Deckert 2006)
‘Funny Mouse’ (M. Fransen NR)
‘Ghost Mouse’ (K. Schwarz 2014)
‘Giantland Mouse Cheese’ (Zilis, Miller, Meyer 2011)
‘Giantland Sunny Mouse Ears’ (Zilis, Miller, Meyer 2011)
‘Green Mouse Ears’ (E. & J. Deckert 2004)
‘Hanjas Crazy Mouse’ (J. Hurup Hansen NR)
‘Happy Mouse’ (J. van den Top NR)
‘Holy Mouse Ears’ (M. Zilis, E. & J. Deckert 2006)
‘Itty Bitty’ (M. Zilis 2010)
‘Jumbo Mouse Ears’ (H. Philips 2011)
‘Knockout Mouse’ (M. & J. Fransen NR)
‘Little Ice Mouse’ (J. van den Top NR)
‘Lucky Mouse’ (J. van den Top NR)
‘Midas Mouse’ (D. & J. Ward 2014)
‘Mighty Mini’ (W. Silvers 2013)
‘Mighty Moe’ (W. Silvers 2009)
‘Mighty Moe Supreme’ (V. Wade 2015)
‘Mighty Mouse’ (Walters Gardens, Inc. 2006)
‘Mighty Special’ (W. Silvers 2013)
‘Mini Skirt’ (Walters Gardens, Inc. 2013)
‘Mouse Capades’ (R. Mortko 2013)
‘Mouse King’ (D. & J. Ward 2014)
‘Mouse Madness’ (M. Zilis, R. Solberg NR)
‘Mouse Party’ (D. Van Eechaute NR)
‘Mouse Tracks’ (Walters Gardens, Inc. & A. Bergeron 2009)
‘Mouse Trap’ (Shady Oaks Nursery NR)
‘Mrs. Mouse Ears’ (M. Testart NR)
‘Mystic Mouse’ (D. Van Eechaute 2010)
‘Niki Mouse’ (R. Roberts 2015)
‘One Iota’ (J. Anderson NR)
‘One Iota Supreme’ (J. Schwarz NR)
‘Pure Heart’ (Walters Gardens, Inc. & J. Westendorp 2009)
‘Rookie Mouse’ (P. Szustakiewicz 2015)
‘Royal Mouse Ears’ (E. & J. Deckert 2004)
‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’ (M. Zilis 2011)
‘Ruffled Pole Mouse’ (j. van den Top 2017 NR.)
‘School Mouse’ (Walters Gardens NR)
‘Smiling Mouse’ (Jan van den Top NR)
‘Snow Mouse’ (M. Fransen NR)
‘Solar Mouse’ (D. & J. Ward 2013)
‘Spooky Mouse Ears’ (J. van den Top NR)
‘Sun Mouse’ (Avent, NR)

Why don’t we stock more?  Well, the sad fact is that some ‘Mice’ don’t take to tissue culture (the usual way hostas are produced for the retail market these days). Others are unstable (Cat and Mouse, Royal Mouse Ears for example). This means that they are so prone to revert to their parent plant (Blue Mouse Ears.) that it is not economic for breeders to produce them for the retail market. It’s also true that once a breeder has put his or her new plant into tissue culture and sold the resulting plants, it may not be economic to repeat the process the following year. (Most collectors bought it first time round). So, it disappears from the breeders’ catalogues. Many of the ‘Mice’ are available only in the U.S. at retail prices making importation prohibitive for a retailer here.

Some collectors may be confused because not all ‘Mice’ hostas have ‘Mouse’ names. Sometimes this can be explained. ‘Pure Heart’ for example, in the ‘Mighty Mouse’ cartoon, is Mighty Mouse’s girl friend! ‘Itty Bitty’ is probably a reference to this hosta’s diminutive size.  This is one we did import, losing virtually all of them over winter before they were ready for sale!

There are two pitfalls for the unwary ‘Mouse’ collector. First, breeders in Europe and the US can breed virtually identical ‘Mice’ and call them by different names. So –

European bred                        US bred
H. ‘Lucky Mouse’     =         H. ‘Mighty Mouse’
H. ‘Snow Mouse’     =          H. ‘Mouse Trap
H. ‘Desert Mouse’    =          H. ‘Pure Heart’
H. ‘Dancing Mouse’  =          H. ‘Ruffled Mouse Ears’

If you are an avid collector, don’t let this put you off buying both versions! It’s quite exciting trying to spot a difference, not just in the leaves but in the flowers and flowering times.

The second pitfall is that there are miniature hostas masquerading as true ‘Mice’ i.e. offspring or grandchildren of H. ‘Blue Mouse Ears’. H. Country Mouse’ (£9.00) is one of these. But a close look at the plant will tell you that it doesn’t have the same traits as true ‘Mice’, i.e. thick rounded leaves. H. ‘Country Mouse’ is in fact a sport of H. ‘Bill Dress’s Blue’ and some find it a challenge to grow well.

Our Catalogue enables you to find all the ‘Mice’ hostas easily.  Just click the ‘Other Characteristics’ box at the top of the page and then ‘Mouse Ears Hostas’.

If you want to push the boat out and begin collecting ‘Mice’ then H. Frosted Mouse Ears (£12.00) and H. Holy Mouse Ears’ (£12.00) are amongst our favourites. They both grow well. If, after this, you find you have an irresistible craving for yet more ‘Mice’ then don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Above. H. ‘Frosted Mouse Ears’