The numbers of new and different hostas have exploded
over recent decades.
One of the early hosta pioneers,
Paul Aden of New York author of
Hosta Book, stated that in 1988, "...at least 600 hosta cultivars have been formally
to Mark Zilis,
hybridizer, author of
three books on hostas and
former owner of Q&Z Nursery in Rochelle, Illinois
in a presentation at
The American Hosta Society convention in
Minneapolis, Minnesota "...there
are now over 8,000 identified types of hostas and around
5,000 hosta cultivars registered
with The American Hosta Society." Note: Q&Z Nursery closed in the fall of 2014.
That is an increase of nearly 10
fold in that 22 year period. Of all these new
cultivars, many, many differ from others in only one
minor trait so they are often difficult to
differentiate between certain sets of cultivars. In fact, unless you are willing to make
a lifetime study of hostas like Mark Zilis, most of
us will be unable to tell hundreds of varieties
Helper Collection - In our ongoing
efforts to help people select hostas for their
gardens, we have
photographed many, many hostas on our journeys around the
So far, we have included information
on 8,009 species and named cultivars. We also include pictures of
that we have taken in public and private
gardens, nurseries and leaf shows over the years.
You can find our complete listing of pictured and
order in the
Hosta Cultivar Section of this website.
We have also selected a hundred or
so of the "Classic Hostas" in the opinion of Mr PGC. For
more on these, click the icon.
as we have sifted through the huge amount of
information in The Hostapedia, we have made
note of the best and the worst hostas according to
Mark Zilis. These are listed in our
Mark Zilis NO-Star listings.
Hosta Numbers: As we have sifted through
tons and tons of information about hosta cultivars,
it has become apparent that some of the numbers
thrown around are a bit deceptive. For instance,
Mark Zilis in his wonderful publication
The Hostapedia (2009) comments
on around 7,000 named hostas that he has observed
over his long career. However, this does not mean
that you can go to a nursery or online shop and buy
that many. Actually, many, many of the named plants
exist only in the garden of the originator or a few
collectors and will never be introduced into the
marketplace. Others are under long term evaluation
and some are noted as "not existing" anymore.
Hosta cultivars for which we have
one or more images are listed by alphabetical order.