Hostas inspire with their large patterned leaves. We will introduce you to the whole variety of the plant and show you the most beautiful varieties of hostas.
Hostas (Hosta) is available in a wide variety of growth habits and leaf colors. It can be easy to lose track of things. To prevent this from happening to you, in this article we will introduce you to the most important species of hostas and give you tips for the most interesting varieties of each species.
If you look at the gigantic variety of hostas, you will quickly realize that it must be an extremely popular plant. There are around 45 species of hostas and over 4000 varieties worldwide. And there are more and more because enthusiastic breeders are crossing more and more special and exciting Hosta novelties. In the following, we only present the most interesting species of hostas and the selection of the varieties mentioned is only a small part of the huge world of hosta diversity.
Hosta fortunei – The gray-leaf hosta
The species Hosta fortunei is a hybrid that originated in Japan. It is characterized by its long stems and medium-strong growth. The leaves are monotonous, pointed, and can be 20 to 30 centimeters long. Between July and August, this species blooms light purple to white with about five centimeters long flowers. The plants can be 60 to 90 centimeters high and up to 120 centimeters wide. The variety of Hosta fortunei is great. We have put together an overview of the most attractive varieties for you below.
- ‘Albomarginata’: The leaves of this variety shine in a strong dark green, from which the white leaf edge stands out conspicuously.
- ‘Albopicta’: The leaf margin of this variety is dark green, the center of the leaf is golden yellow.
- ‘Aurea’: This variety is also called golden funky because the leaves shine a bright golden yellow.
- ‘Aureomarginata’: This variety is golden-leaved with a broad, golden edge.
- ‘ Captain Kirk ‘: The leaves of this variety shimmer yellow-green in the middle, almost orange and are dark green on the leaf edge.
- ‘ Carol ‘: This variety convinces heart-shaped leaves in light green and a narrow yellow border.
- ‘Fire and Ice’: The leaves of this variety are patterned green, yellow, and white.
- ‘Francee’: This variety has particularly large leaves that are dark green and glossy with a narrow white border.
- ‘Gold Standard’: This variety convinces with a green leaf margin and a yellow leaf center.
- ‘ Hanky Panky ‘: This variety has dark green leaves with a creamy-white border.
- ‘Minuteman’: The center of the leaf of this variety is dark green to gray-green and the leaf edge is white.
- ‘Orions Belt’: Long-stemmed, heart-shaped leaves with a dark green center and a white border are what this variety provides.
- ‘Patriot’: The leaves of this variety are dark green in the middle and have a wide white border.
- ‘ Piedmont Gold ‘: The leaves of this variety are light green to yellow in color.
- ‘ Revolution ‘: The center of the leaf of this variety is white with green speckles and is surrounded by a green border.
- ‘ Striptease ‘: At first glance, the leaves of this variety look like two leaves placed on top of one another: the light green center of the leaf is framed by a dark green leaf edge.
- ‘Whirlwind’: This variety is noticeable for its white leaves with green leaf margins and whisked leaf tips.
Hosta plantaginea – The Lily Funkia
The Lily Funkia ( Hosta plantaginea ) comes from China and has been cultivated in Europe and the USA for over 100 years. The leaves of this variety are 15 to 25 centimeters long, egg to heart-shaped, and wavy. Lily hostas can grow up to 60 centimeters high and 100 centimeters wide. This species is particularly valued for its large, pure white flowers that open from the end of August to September and have a wonderful smell. You can find some varieties with a, particularly beguiling scent here.
- ‘Aphrodite’: This variety bears large, pure white, fragrant flowers in August.
- ‘ Doubled Up ‘: The large, very fragrant, white flowers of this variety bloom from mid-July to August.
- ‘ Emily Dickinson ‘: Medium purple, fragrant flowers appear in August on this variety.
- ‘ Flower Power ‘: From mid-July, fragrant, pale lavender flowers begin to bloom in this variety.
- ‘ Fragrant Flame ‘: This variety produces fragrant white flowers in August.
- ‘ Ming Treasure ‘: From August this variety bears fragrant, pure white flowers.
- ‘ Mistress Mabel ‘: The very pale, purple, fragrant flowers of this variety form dense clusters and bloom in late July.
- ‘ Summer Fragrance ‘: The fragrant, very pale lavender flowers of this variety bloom from mid-August to September.
- ‘ Venus ‘: This variety is valued for its huge, pure white, wonderfully fragrant flowers.
Hosta Sieboldina – The Blue Leaf Funkie
The blue-leaf hosta (Hosta Sieboldiana ) is probably the best-known and most popular species of hosta and comes from Japan. There it still grows wild in rocky mountain forests today. It can grow into a perennial up to 100 centimeters high and 120 centimeters wide. The upper side of the leaves of this species is conspicuously blue-green – hence the name. They can be up to 50 centimeters long. The flowers of this species are up to 5.5 inches long and pale lilac in color. They fade to a white over time. The flowering period is from June to August. Countless varieties belong to this species. We present some particularly attractive ones below.
- ‘ Abiqua Moonbeam ‘: The leaves of this variety are dark green to bluish in the middle and light green to yellow on the outside.
- ‘August Moon’: This variety convinces with its yellow and green striped leaves.
- ‘ Blue Mammoth ‘: The leaves of this variety are monochrome blue-green and large.
- ‘Blue Umbrellas’: The leaves of this variety are like blue umbrellas – blue-green, dull, and, above all, huge.
- ‘ Color Glory ‘: this variety means “splendor of colors” and it keeps what it promises: Depending on the season, the leaves are cream-colored, golden, green to white, and blue.
- ‘Dream Queen’: The large leaves of this variety are green and light creamy white in the center.
- ‘Elegans’: This popular variety grows up to 70 cm high and 100 cm wide. The leaves are solid green.
- ‘Frances Williams’: The leaves of this variety are dull blue with a yellow border.
- ‘ Golden Meadows ‘: The leaves of this variety are elongated and conspicuously drawn: in the middle, they are yellowish, almost white, and become darker and darker towards the outside until the leaf edges are completely dark green.
- ‘Great Expectations: The leaves of this variety are bicolored with a green edge and a lighter center.
- ‘ Pizzazz ‘: This variety impresses with its large, spreading leaves. The leaf color is blue-green with yellow edges.
- ‘Snow Cap’: This variety convinces with its special leaf color: The leaves are yellow to cream-colored on the outside and have a green heart in the middle.
- ‘ Snowflakes ‘: This variety owes the name “snowflake” to its snow-white flowers. The leaves are uniformly green.
- ‘Wide Brim’: This variety impresses with the heart-shaped leaves typical of hostas, which are green in the middle and have a cream-colored border on the outside.
- ‘ Zounds ‘: The leaves of this variety are particularly large and shimmer in yellow-green.
Hosta undulata – the snow-feather hosta
Hosta undulata hosta are known as snow-feather hostas or corrugated-leaf hostas, depending on the variety. They belong to medium-sized species. Medium-sized means that the hosta grows up to 30 to 40 centimeters tall, while the inflorescences can reach 100 centimeters high. Snow feather hostas have dark green foliage with a creamy white center. The leaves are also twisted in a spiral and pointed.
Hosta undulata bears beautiful, light purple, funnel-shaped flowers in July. We have compiled some of our own interesting varieties for you below.
- ‘Albomarginata’: This variety impresses with its light green, wavy leaves, and a narrow, white leaf margin.
- ‘ Erromena ‘: This variety has deep green, single-colored leaves that are elongated and tapered to a point.
- ‘Mediovariegata’: The special thing about this variety is the two-colored, green, and white striped leaves that are wavy and twisted.
- ‘Univittata’: This variety has irregular, creamy white markings in the center on dark green leaves. These are slightly curved towards the end.
Hosta sieboldii – The white-bordered or narrow-leaf funkie
The white-bordered funkie ( Hosta Sieboldii ) is also called narrow-leaf funkie and also comes from Japan. It is a rather small species of hostas. In her homeland, she especially loves damp locations. The plants have shiny, wavy leaves that are about an inch wide and four to five inches long. The top of the leaf is matte and dark green, while the underside is glossy and light green. The characteristic of this variety is the white border that all leaves have, hence the name “white-bordered funkie”. The almost white flowers with dark purple veins appear in August. There are also countless varieties of this species. We are now introducing the most interesting ones to you.
- ‘ Carrie Ann ‘: The leaves of this variety are lanceolate, slightly wavy, and light green with a white margin.
- ‘ Feather Boa ‘: The leaves of this variety are light green to yellow with a very narrow white leaf margin.
- ‘ Geissler’s Edge ‘: The leaves of this variety are light green with a narrow, white border and also glossy above and dull below. The medium purple flowers bloom in August.
- ‘ Ginko Craig ‘: The dull leaves of this variety are deep green and have a very narrow, white border.
- ‘ Harry Van Trier ‘: The leaves of this variety are elongated and initially appear to be a solid green until you can see the almost unrecognizable, narrow, white leaf margin.
- ‘ Kabitan ‘: The leaves of this variety are yellow to light green with a dark green edge.
- ‘ Krossa Cream Edge ‘: The leaves of this variety are slightly wider than other varieties of Hosta sieboldii. But they also have the typical white leaf margin on a green leaf.
- ‘ Lime Shag ‘: This variety differs from other white-leaf hostas with its striking yellow, elongated leaves.
- ‘ White Dove ‘: This variety is characterized by very narrow leaves with a white border.
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Hosta tardiana – The gray-blue hosta
The gray-blue hosta (Hosta tardiana ) has rich, blue-green foliage and is generally about medium in size. The plants of this species bear pale, lavender-colored flowers in clusters from late July to mid-August. We have some interesting suggestions for varieties of this type of hosta for you here.
- ‘ Blue Blush ‘: This variety has uniform blue-green, dull leaves.
- ‘ Blue Wedgwood ‘: The leaves of this variety of hostas are gray-blue in color.
- ‘ Catherine ‘: This variety also impresses with its striking leaf color. The golden yellow center of the leaf has a gray-blue frame.
- ‘ Devon Green ‘: This variety is distinguished by its shiny, dark to gray-green leaves.
- ‘El Nino’: One of the most popular varieties of hostas is ‘El Nino’ with its tapering leaves in gray-blue color and a creamy-white leaf margin.
- ‘Halcyon’: The special feature of this variety is the uniformly bluish and green shimmering leaves.
- ‘June’: This variety has particularly conspicuous leaves: They are elongated, heart-shaped, and have dark green and yellow stripes.
- ‘ June Fever ‘: The leaves of this variety are yellow in the middle and become darker and darker from light green to gray-green towards the edge of the leaf.
- ‘ Remember Me ‘: The leaves of this variety are creamy-white and turn light green and gray-green towards the edge of the leaf.
- ‘ Timeless Beauty ‘: The leaves of this variety are a real feast for the eyes. They are patterned blue-green, light green, and yellow.
- ‘Touch of Class: The large and broad leaves of this variety are gray-green. In the middle, they have stripes in bright yellow-green.
Hosta ventricosa – The bell-shaped hosta
The bell funkia ( Hosta ventricosa ) originally comes from central and southern China. There it grows mainly between bushes in damp and shady locations and can even be found at altitudes of up to 2,400 meters. It grows up to 90 centimeters high and has shiny, dark green, heart-shaped foliage. The medium purple, bell-shaped flowers with purple anthers appear in July.
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The two common varieties of this type are as follows:
- ‘Aureomaculata’: This variety has yellow-spotted leaves.
- ‘Aureomarginata’: This variety stands out with its green leaves and irregular yellow leaf margin.
Hosta minor – the dwarf hosta
As the name suggests, the dwarf hosta (Hosta minor ) is only up to 22 centimeters high and 55 centimeters wide, the smallest of the species of hosta. It originally comes from Korea and has green foliage. This species blooms with purple flowers from early to mid-July. Hostas of this type are usually only sold under the name Hosta minor.
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Hosta x cultorum – Hosta hybrids
There are a large number of cultivated forms of hostas for which it is no longer possible to determine which crosses they originally originated from. These are so-called hosta hybrids and often have the Latin names Hosta cultivars or Hosta x cultorum. We have listed some exciting varieties that belong to the hostage hybrids for you here.
- ‘Empress Wu’: The impressive thing about this variety is its sheer size: It can grow up to 1.5 meters in height and the dark green leaves are up to 60 cm long.
- ‘Orange Marmalade’: The leaves of this variety are yellowish-green with a green edge.
- ‘American Halo’: This variety grows up to 80 cm high. It has heart-shaped, dark green leaves with a creamy white edge.
- ‘Sum and Substance’: The lighter the location, the lighter the leaves of this variety will be. So they can be yellow-green to yellow.
- ‘ Pilgrim ‘: This variety has green leaves with a yellow, later white margin.
- ‘ Ann Kulpa ‘: This variety has leaves with a beautiful white center and a dark green, wide leaf margin.
- ‘Stiletto’: This variety is characterized by its very narrow, long leaves. These are green with a wavy, cream-colored border.
- ‘ Mata Hari ‘: This variety is also very large. Its leaves are light green in the middle, dark green on the edge of the leaves and a white line runs between the two colors.
- ‘Praying Hands’: The name of this variety means “praying hands”. This is because the solid green leaves are actually reminiscent of folded hands.
- ‘First Frost’: The leaves of this variety are blue-green with a yellow leaf margin.
- ‘Fire Island’: The leaf color of this variety is very special: the leaves are bright yellow, while the stems are red.
- ‘ Paradise Island ‘: This variety impresses with its red stems. The leaves are light green to yellow with a dark green leaf margin.
- ‘White Feather’: This variety owes its name “white feather” to the monochrome, light yellow to white leaves.
- ‘Pauls Glory’: This variety has light green to yellow leaves with a wide, dark green leaf margin.
- ‘ Gypsy Rose ‘: A thin white line runs between the two leaf colors, light green and dark green, also on the leaf edge.
- ‘ Purple Haze ‘: This variety has purple leaf stalks, while the leaves are uniformly dark green.
Small varieties of hostas for the pot
Hostas can just as easily be grown in pots instead of in the garden bed. For this purpose, only small to medium-sized varieties should be selected, which are not too tight in the pot. We are now introducing you to the most beautiful varieties for growing in a bucket.
- ‘ Abby ‘: This variety has blue-green leaves with a narrow yellow-green leaf margin and is ideal for growing in pots.
- ‘ Baby Bunting ‘: This variety makes innumerable, small, and round leaves that are solid green.
- ‘Blue Cadet’: This variety captivates with its numerous, heart-shaped leaves in a uniform blue-green color.
- ‘Blue Mouse Ears’: The shape of the leaves of this variety is actually reminiscent of small mouse ears. The leaf color is blue-green.
- ‘ Bressingham Blue ‘: This variety has almost round leaves with intense blue color. Due to its medium-strong growth, it is well suited for growing in pots.
- ‘ Carousel ‘: This variety bears large, light green leaves with a wide, cream-colored margin.
- ‘ Diamond Necklace ‘: This variety has many small, heart-shaped leaves with long, white stems. The leaves are white with a broad, blue-green leaf margin.
- ‘ Dragon Tails ‘: The special feature of this variety is the elongated, yellow leaves with a conspicuously wavy edge.
- ‘ Fair Maiden ‘: This variety has elongated, heart-shaped leaves of dark green color with a cream-colored edge.
- ‘ Fall Bouquet ‘: The special feature of this variety is the red-purple stippled leaf stalks. The leaves are solid green.
- ‘ Ho Silver ‘: This variety has countless small leaves that are very long and narrow. The leaves are green in the middle with a wide, creamy-white margin.
- ‘ Ice Cream ‘: This variety has many small, almost round leaves that are green in the center and light green to yellow on the edge of the leaf.
- ‘ Little rogue ‘: Despite its small height, this variety grows lush and bushy and has dark green leaves.
- ‘ Little White Lines ‘: As the name suggests, this variety has light green leaves with a small white margin. The leaves are lanceolate and numerous.
- ‘ Over the Waves ‘: This variety has wavy blue-green leaves and showy red petioles.
- ‘ Platinum Tiara ‘: This short cultivar has yellow leaves with a white leaf margin.
- ‘ Purple Dwarf ‘: The “purple dwarf” is so-called because of its purple flowers. The leaves are light green.
- ‘ Tsugaru Komachi ‘: This variety stands out due to its elongated and narrow leaves and the green and white striped leaf pattern.