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Hosta

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
HOS-tah
Description

Most species of Hosta are grown for their large, striking foliage rather than their flowers, but Hosta plantaginea has large, white very fragrant flowers in late summer. Blue leaved forms require shade, while green leaved types can take more sun. These plants are frequently damaged (loved!) by deer and are slightly salt tolerant. Hosta spp. loves rich soils.

Propagation: Division early in spring as leaves emerge

Family name previously Agavaceae

Quick ID Hints:

  • Acaulescent herb with parallel-veined leaves
  • Petioles sheathing, sulcate, subpeltate
  • Inflorescence scapose raceme, leafy-bracteated
  • Corollas tubular abruptly bell-shaped apically

Perennial herbs 1.5-2.5' tall, clumping and mound-forming; rhizomes short, sometimes stoloniferous. 

Numerous cultivars representing hybrida and various species; selections vary with foliage size and color, blooming time, floral color and degree of fragrance. 

Blooming late summer to early fall; utilized in beds, under tall trees, pools, rock gardens, planters, edging, massing, naturalized areas; susceptible to leaf spotting, rots, slugs and chewing insects. 

Full to partial shade; high organic content to soil

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Four-Season Garden Shaded Slope Wild Side- A Shady Garden Courtyard Garden Floating Garden Garden "Bed" Wild Side- A Shady Garden Shaded Slope Border Garden- Pathway Shaded Slope Garden Treasures Four-Season Garden Wild Side- A Shady Garden Cottage Style Foundation Planting Border Garden- Pathway Four-Season Garden Border Garden- Pathway Shade Garden Asian Garden- Pathway Fairy Garden Birdbath Nook Collector’s Garden Path Garden Coastal Entryway Garden Shade Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Mammoth'
  • 'Blue Mouse Ears' Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears'
    miniature version (up to 1 foot)
  • 'Bressingham Blue'
  • 'Cowlick'
  • 'Empress Wu'
  • 'Fire Island'
  • 'Francee'
  • 'Guacamole'
  • 'Halcyon'
    broad leaved with blueish foliage
  • 'Kiwi Full Monty'
  • "Patriot"
  • 'Ripple Effect'
    wavy leaves
  • 'School Mouse'
  • Sun and Substance
    Thick-textured, glossy heart shaped yellow leaves. Large size up to 60” wide. Fragrant white flowers
  • 'Super Nova'
  • 'Twist of Lime'
'Blue Mammoth', 'Blue Mouse Ears', 'Bressingham Blue', 'Cowlick', 'Empress Wu', 'Fire Island', 'Francee', 'Guacamole', 'Halcyon', 'Kiwi Full Monty', "Patriot", 'Ripple Effect', 'School Mouse', Sun and Substance, 'Super Nova', 'Twist of Lime'
Tags:
#white#deciduous#partial shade#heavy shade#lilac#perennial#white flowers#purple flowers#deep shade#shade tolerant#salt tolerant#apvg#lilac flowers#ncemgva2018#cpp#summer flowers#borders#fantz#HS302#apvg-p
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Mammoth'
  • 'Blue Mouse Ears' Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears'
    miniature version (up to 1 foot)
  • 'Bressingham Blue'
  • 'Cowlick'
  • 'Empress Wu'
  • 'Fire Island'
  • 'Francee'
  • 'Guacamole'
  • 'Halcyon'
    broad leaved with blueish foliage
  • 'Kiwi Full Monty'
  • "Patriot"
  • 'Ripple Effect'
    wavy leaves
  • 'School Mouse'
  • Sun and Substance
    Thick-textured, glossy heart shaped yellow leaves. Large size up to 60” wide. Fragrant white flowers
  • 'Super Nova'
  • 'Twist of Lime'
'Blue Mammoth', 'Blue Mouse Ears', 'Bressingham Blue', 'Cowlick', 'Empress Wu', 'Fire Island', 'Francee', 'Guacamole', 'Halcyon', 'Kiwi Full Monty', "Patriot", 'Ripple Effect', 'School Mouse', Sun and Substance, 'Super Nova', 'Twist of Lime'
Tags:
#white#deciduous#partial shade#heavy shade#lilac#perennial#white flowers#purple flowers#deep shade#shade tolerant#salt tolerant#apvg#lilac flowers#ncemgva2018#cpp#summer flowers#borders#fantz#HS302#apvg-p
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hosta
    Family:
    Liliaceae
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan, China, hybrid origin
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    shade, slightly salt tolerant
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are white or lilac. A scapose raceme bearing large leafy bracts and small bracts; leafy bracts often drying and persisting; inflorescence axis erect to spreading. Salverform-campanulate to funnelform; perianth tube narrow, abruptly flaring into a bell-shaped with 6 free lobes, white to anthocyanin pigmented.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Hosta 'Ripple Effect' has wavy leaves that are a lighter green in the middle with a darker green outlining the leaves. Large, in a basal rosette, sheathing, fleshy, ovate to elliptic to oblong, acute, attenuate, entire, parallel-veined, green to variegated to reddish-purple; petiole elongate, sulcate, sheathing.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Salt