Hosta 'Lancifolia' Group
OR Hosta lancifolia???

There is still some controversy over the status and name of this hosta type. Schmid (1991) determined that it should be given cultivar and not species status . Thus the name H. 'Lancifolia'.  The Hosta Handbook by Mark Zilis (2000) argues that it is, in fact, a species and should therefore be known as Hosta lancifolia.

Note: Hosta Helper will use the format suggested by Zilis.

Historically called the "Narrow-leaved Plantainlily", H. 'Lancifolia' Is one of the most widely grown of all the hostas. It was originally introduced into the United States from China in the late 1800's.

It forms a medium sized (16 inches high) mound of lance shaped, smooth textured foliage with thin substance. The flowers are medium lavender and bloom on numerous scapes in mid-August to September."

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "...has many desirable characteristics, including a fast growth rate, a symmetrical mound habit, decent foliage, and a good late-season show of flowers. For those very reasons, however, it has been vastly overused during the last one-hundred years. There are now thousands of hostas with better substance, more exciting foliage, and better flowers so most hosta collectors ignore this workhorse of the shade garden."

This plant has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in the UK. It may have been sold in the past as Mackwoods No. 16.

In 1991, the then most comprehensive book about hostas, The Genus Hosta by W. George Schmid, was published. It was the first intensively researched book about the entire genus which, until that time, suffered from a lot of misinformation and name confusion. As the result of his research, Schmid determined that several of the plants previously treated as separate, naturally occurring, species were, in fact, cultivated varieties, i.e. cultivars, created by nurseries and hybridizers or of unknown origin.

This hosta is one which was historically considered a natural species but was changed to a cultivar by Schmid.

For more on this process ...

Species switched to cultivar status in 1991 include:

Copyright 2000 -