Hosta capitata
aka Iya Gibōshi or "Kanzashi Gibōshi"

Native to Korea, this fast growing, dark green hosta has rippled, shiny, heart-shaped leaves with a piecrust margin. It forms a flat, medium size mound about 16 inches high by 38 inches wide. Purple flowers in clusters with yellowish anthers from late June into July. It sets viable seeds.

According to The Genus Hosta by W. George Schmid (1991), this species was first collected from the wild in 1916. He states that the plant's "...large globular flower bud is dark violet just before opening, leading to its epithet, which is derived from capitatus = with a knoblike head or tip.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "...can easily be identified by its rippled, green leaves and unusual clusters of purple flowers..."

From the Field Guide to Hostas by Mark Zilis (2014), "...will never be at the top of popularity polls, but it makes an attractive specimen in the garden and can be a valuable breeding plant. Its rippled leaf margin and large purple flowers that cluster at the top of the scapes are desirable genetic traits."

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Useful as a breeding plant for producing piecrust leaf edges and heavy racemes of purple flowers that cluster around the scape...Scapes are noticeably ridged. Flower buds are tightly ball-shaped."

Mark Zilis' Field Guide to Hostas (2014) states that this species was found in Japan in "...woodlands; in rocks along a river..."

An article about favorite flowering hostas by W. George Schmid in The Hosta Journal (2006 Vol. 37 No. 2) says, "The best flowers are on H. plantaginea and its multi-petalous cousins, 'Venus' and 'Aphrodite'...H. capitata in bud is fine, but its offspring, 'Nakaimo' has flowers that begin with the shine of precious porcelain and stay closed in bud longer...H. kikutii forms all have fine and late flowers, but the best are on H. kikutii var. densa (H. densa). They are white and form a tight bunch at the top of the scape. H. laevigata has large, spidery flowers in abundance; its cousin H. yingeri has smaller ones with the same spidery character and dark color. These spidery flowers are carried all around the stem unlike other hosta flowers that, "lean to one side...Finally, mature clumps of 'Blue Angel' and 'Elegans' have a beautiful flower display when many flowers on different scapes open in unison..."


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:

Our database has listings of cultivars related to each of these species of hostas.

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 normalis

H. kikutii caput-avis

H. kikutii var. kikutii forma leuconata

H. kikutii var. polyneuron

H. longipes var. caduca

H. longipes forma hypoglauca

H. longipes 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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