is a genus comprising about 23-45 species of flowering plants in the family Agavaceae, native to northeast of Asia. The common name is also the same as the scientific name. Hosta is named in honor of Nicholas Thomas Host (6 Dec 1771-13 Jan 1834), an Austrian botanist.
Hosta is a herbaceous perennial plant with attractive foliage, widely-grown as groundcover plant, useful in the gardens as shade-tolerant plant. It produces tall spikes of funnel-shaped flowers in mid- to late summer. Gardeners who prefer the foliage sometimes remove the tall flower spike. Hosta is grown from rhizomes or stolons. There are huge numbers of hosta cultivars, with over 3000 registered and named varieties, offering leaves in every imaginable shade of green, blue and yellow, often variegated, sometimes glaucous, and the shape can be anything from broad lanceolate, ovate, to almost round. The flowers are produced on erect scapes of up to 80 cm that end in terminal racemes. The individual, pendulous flowers are usually six tepals, white, lavender or purple in color, and scentless. Cultivars with golden- or white-variegated leaves are especially prized.
Popular cultivars include Hosta fortunei
var. albopicta (Narrow, heart-shaped, cream-yellow leaves with dark margins), 'Sum and Substance' (Glossy, heart-shaped and green-yellow leaves), 'Hadspen Blue' (Heart-shaped, veined, and blue-green leaves), 'Wide Brim' (Heart-shaped, puckered, dark blue-green leaves), 'Undulata' (Oval, slightly pointed green leaves with wavy margins and central white or cream-yellow variegation), 'Royal Standard' (Glossy, heart-shaped, pale green ribbed leaves), 'Ginko Craig' (Lance-shaped, dark green leaves edged with white), 'June' (Blue-green leaves with creamy centers), Hosta sieboldiana
var. elegans (Puckered, round- to heart-shaped, blue-green leaves).
Hosta species do best in shade, in fertile, moisture-retentive but well-drained soil, and they are preferred food plant for slugs and snails. Hostas with thick leaves grown in poor, gritty soil show some resistance to mollusks. Hostas grown in containers are often damaged by vine weevil larvae. Propagation is by seed in spring; divide in early spring or late summer.
Hosta 'Fortunei Albomarginata'
Marc Ryckaert (MJJR)
Hosta fortunei 'Picta'
Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans'
Hosta 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd'
Hosta 'Sum and Substance'
Hosta 'Royal Standard'