Hosta is a genus of about 30 species of perennials in the family Asparagaceae, native to northeast Asia.
These shade loving plants are widely known for their attractive and lush foliage in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Although they are generally grown for their foliage, their beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers will just add more charm. Hostas are much loved by bees and, occasionally, hummingbirds. They can turn a shady part of your yard into an elegant landscape!
The genus was named after the Austrian botanist Nicolaus Thomas Host (1761–1834), who was also a personal physician of the Austrian Emperor Franz I.
An older terminology named Hosta as “Plantain Lily”, in reference to its resemblance to the common plantain weed (Plantago major). Besides, the genus was once classified in the Liliaceae family, hence the word “lily”.
Hosta represents devotion and friendship.
Interesting facts about Hosta:
The Queen of the Shade
These plants are considered the queen of the shade garden plants.
They can hold their own in a shade garden, but it’s a good idea to pair them with other shade loving plants, such as Columbines (Aquilegias), Coral Bells (Heucheras), Astilbes, Rhododendrons, Pulmonarias and Camellias.
Is Hosta Fragrant?
Some species are fragrant, while others are not. In general, white flowers smell sweeter and stronger than purple varieties. Hosta plantaginea, also known as Fragrant Plantain Lily, is highly fragrant and attractive.
It’s also worth to mention that fragrant Hostas tolerate more sun heat and humidity.
Are Hostas Poisonous?
Hostas contain saponins that are toxicto animals and are harmful if ingested.
They are not considered toxic to human beings, but should be kept out of reach of children. The plant contains essential oils and compounds which are irritating to the skin.
Benefits and Uses
Some species are edible and are grown as a leaf vegetable.
Hostas are prized as ornamental plants, primarily for their attractive and interesting foliage.
These flowers are usually white, whitish with lavender lines or even purple.
Spring, Autumn, Summer
Some varieties are short, while some can grow up to 180 cm (6 ft) tall.
Hosta can tolerate just about any soil, but does best in rich, moist and well-drained soil.