Hosta densa
aka Keyari Gibōshi

According to The Genus Hosta by W. George Schmid (1991), this Japanese species is similar to H. kikutii with medium green foliage. The term densus pertains to the dense arrangement of flowers on the raceme.

"A very pruinose, blue-grey plant cultivated in North America under the species name H. densa is not this species, which has medium green leaves without pruinosity." according to Schmid.

The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009) says that H. 'Density' that is found in a few American gardens although thought to be a sport of H. densa, is not actually related to it.

This is a medium size plant about 14 to 16 inches high with a spread of around 18 to 22 inches. Its leaves are dark green on top but lighter on the bottom with a smooth texture. Pale purple flowers in clusters with purple-yellow anthers bloom in September followed by viable seeds.

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Rarely grown in gardens. A collector's plant...A tightly packed raceme, as the specific name indicates."

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..."

bullet H. montana
bullet H. kikuttii
 
   
   

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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