Hosta montana
a.k.a Oba Giboshi

Hosta montana is a species that is found throughout its native Japan where it is called Hosta 'Oga Giboshi'. Liberty Hyde Bailey originally named the plant H. fortunei var gigantea.

This species forms a large (28 inches high), vase-shaped mound of medium green foliage that is deeply veined, moderately wavy with a moderately lobed leaf base.

One of the unique characteristics is that the flower bud itself looks like a flower. It has open funnel shaped, very pale lavender flowers with bracts on the flower scape after the flower opens.

Plants of this species also tend to emerge early in the spring and are often susceptible to damage from frosts if not protected.

There seems to be a lot of variation within this species and The Hosta Handbook by Mark Zilis (2000) divided the species into six groups:

1. Hosta montana - the "typical" green-leaved species;
2. Hosta montana 'Aureomarginata' - Yellow margined
3. Hosta montana 'Mountain Snow' - White margined
4. Hosta montana 'Choko Nishiki' - Gold centered
5. Hosta montana 'Emma Foster' - Gold leaf
6. Hosta montana macrophylla

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "Of the four most common species in Japan (Hosta sieboldii, Hosta kikutii and Hosta longipes being the others), Hosta montana is the most consistent...has proven to be a valuable breeding plant and is the source of several significant mutations."

  1. Hosta montana 'Aureomarginata'
  2. H. 'Choko Nishiki'
    a.k.a. H. 'On Stage'
  3. H. 'Daihakuryo'
  4. H. 'Fuiri Oba'
  5. H. 'Fugi no Yubae'
  6. H. 'Ginrei'
  7. H. 'Gohon Matsu Fukurin'
  8. H. 'Haru Yuki Nishiki'
  9. H. 'Kinkaku'
 
  1. H. 'Kinkanshoku'
  2. H. 'O Fuji Fukurin'
  3. H. 'Reiho Nishiki'
  4. H. 'Shirofukurin Oba'
  5. H. 'Shuho Nishiki'
  6. H. 'Shunko Nishiki'
  7. H. 'Tsunotori Fukurin'
  8. H. 'Utsukushigahara Fukurin Oba'
 
  1. H. 'Abiqua Pagoda'
  2. H. 'Abiqua Parasol'
  3. H. 'Behemoth'
  4. H. 'Bethel Big Leaf'
  5. H. 'Big Boy'
  6. H. 'Big Mo'
  7. H. 'Borsch 1'
  8. H. 'Brazen Hussy'
  9. H. 'Crystal Glaze'
  10. H. 'Devon Tor'
  11. H. 'Dragon Wings'
  12. H. 'Echigo Nishiki'
  13. H. 'Frosted Jade'
  14. H. 'Fujibotan'
  15. H. 'Gay Nineties'
  16. H. 'Hatsushimo Nishiki'
  17. H. 'Honey'
  18. H. 'Immense'
  19. H. 'Jay P. Warren'
  20. H. 'Kurumazaki'
  21. H. 'King Michael'
  22. H. 'Lakeside Cha Cha'
  23. H. 'Mount Daisen'
  24. H. 'Mount Everest'
  25. H. 'Ogon Oba'
  1. Hosta nigrescens 'Elatior'
  2. H. 'Peppermint Ice'
  3. H. 'Pewter Frost'
  4. H. 'Prince of Wales'
  5. H. 'Rosie Posie'
  6. H. 'Salem'
  7. H. 'Satin Beauty'
  8. H. 'Shirobana Oba'
  9. H. 'Silk Komono'
  10. H. 'Smoothie'
  11. H. 'Stingray'
  12. H. 'Straka Gold'
  13. H. 'Sunami'
  14. H. 'Taika Oba'
  15. H. 'Teacher's Pet'
  16. H. 'Temple Great'
  17. H. 'Tucker Blues'
  18. H. 'Tucker Friendly'
  19. H. 'Tucker Friendly Folk'
  20. H. 'Tucker Pucker'
  21. H. 'Tucker Tommy Little'
  22. H. 'Umi Oba'
  23. H. 'Unexpected Pleasure'
  24. H. 'Urajiro Oba'
  25. H. 'Yae-no-oba'

Taxonomists (people who categorize and name living organisms such as plants) can go into dizzying detail in their arguments over what constitutes a species. However, for most of us, a simple definition is that the plant either currently exists in the wild or there is evidence (fossils, herbaria specimens, etc.) that it once did.

In his investigations, Schmid (1991) found such evidence for 43 species of hostas including the following:

In nature, variations occur within plant species that are not great enough to warrant naming an entire new species. These identifiable variations on the wild species are called varieties. Yes, this term is commonly also used, although incorrectly, to signify what is really a cultivar i.e. cultivated variety.

In addition to the 43 species listed above, Schmid (1991), also listed the following significant botanical varieties (naturally occurring) and forms of the genus Hosta:

H. clausa var. normalis

H. kikutii var. caput-avis

H. kikutii var. kikutii forma leuconata

H. kikutii var. polyneuron

H. longipes var. caduca

H. longipes forma hypoglauca

H. longipes var. latifolia

H. longipes forma sparsa

 
H. longipes forma viridipes
H. longipes var. vulgata

H. longissima var. longifolia

H. montana forma macrophylia

H. plantaginea var. japonica

H. sieboldii forma angustifolia

H. sieboldii forma okamii

H. sieboldii forma spathulata

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