Hosta kikutii
aka Hyῡga Gibōshi

This is a medium size (16 inches high by 42 inches wide) medium to dark green leaved species of hosta that originated in Japan and was first described by Dr. Fumio Maekawa in 1940. It has a medium to fast growth rate compared to other species hostas. The leaves are shiny and narrow with lightly rippled margins. It forms a "beak-like" bract around the flower buds and bears clusters of near white flowers with purple anthers from late August into September. They produce viable seeds.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "It is one of the four most common species found in Japan, H. montana, H. sieboldii and H. longipes being the others."

The Hostapedia also says that there are four distinct forms of H. kikutii including:

  1. Species - H. kikutii

  2. Forma - H. kikutii caput-avis

  3. Forma - H. kikutii leuconata

  4. Forma - H. kikutii yakusimensis

And this species "...makes an attractive mound of shiny, green foliage with an outstanding late-season show of lavender flowers...several botanical forms with H. kikutii caput-avis and H. kikutii yakusimensis being the most common in hosta collections."

Another form is H. kikutii tosana.

An article about Fall Bloomers by Herb Benedict and Jim Wilkins in The Hosta Journal (1991 Vol. 22 No. 1) states that, "Here are some of the fall blooming plants we grow...(listed in the order of bloom times in Michigan).

 

1) H. kikutii A medium size plant densely flowering with white blooms. The flowers are equally arranged around the central axis of the raceme so that the bloom scapes resembles a bottle brush or pony tail...We are growing two named varieties, 'Hirao-59' and 'Finlandia'.
2) H. 'Fall Bouquet' Small, green plant, leaves slightly undulated, lavender scape and blooms, floriferous.
3) H. longipes Small green plant, densely flowering with a tall stiff bloom scape. The flowers are lavender and the leaves are green.
4) H. gracillima Funnel-shaped, light lavender flowers. A miniature green plant, with shiny surface.
5) H. 'Iwa' Iwa means rock, and this plant was imported by Marjorie Soules, from Japan . It is a small green plant with lavender flowers.
6) H. tortifrons In the same section (Picnolepis) as H. longipes and H. rupifraga . Distinctive small plant, with twisted green leaves and lavender flowers.
7) H. 'Fused Veins' Small, green leaves often with ¼ inch margin which is a lighter green. The lance shaped leaves are undulated and the veins come together regularly. The flowers are mauve and the scape is sometimes branched.
8) H. rupifraga Small, medium green, with thick, leathery, ovate leaves. Densely flowering with purple flowers. 'Urajiro', 'Grand Slam', 'Maruba Iwa'
9) H. tardiflora   This small hosta is the last to bloom for us. Its leaves are shiny, dark green and lance shaped. The flowers are light lavender and borne in abundance on 12 inch scapes.

Their observations about using fall blooming hostas in hybridizing programs:

   
1) H. tardiflora  × self Tends to flower 2 weeks earlier. 90% of the progeny have the flowers secund (flowers all on one side of the bloom stalk) and in 10% they are evenly arranged around the central axis of the raceme (nonsecund).
2) H. rupifraga × H. tardiflora Beautiful very tough plant with a taller bloom stalk. Blooms 2 weeks earlier.
3) H. 'Maruba Iwa' × H. tardiflora Taller bloom stalk. Blooms 2 weeks earlier. 30% of progeny have nonsecunded flowers.
4) H. gracillima × H. tardiflora Very nice small plant, with leaves intermediate between the two. Beautiful flowers.
5) H. rupifraga × H. kikutii   The best of this cross is called 'Roys Pink'. It is a perfect intermediate. The leaf is long, heart shaped and very thick. The flowers are pony tail in type, a light pinkish color and spent flowers drop off cleanly.

Note: Nomenclature changes recommended in the 1991 book The Genus Hosta by W. George Schmid and accepted by The American Hosta Society would update names as follows: H. tortifrons is now H. 'Tortifrons' and H. tardiflora is H. 'Tardiflora'.

Dr Ralph (Herb) Benedict in The Hosta Journal (1992 Vol. 23 No. 1) discusses three forms of H. kikutii brought from Japan in the Minnesota garden of Hideko Gowen.

Herb wrote that "...in 1982 she obtained the yellow edged one, H. kikutii 'Kifurkurin' - it was labeled H. kikutii 'Variegata'. 'Variegata' is an invalid name from Mr Negishi. The plant has leaves eight inches long by four inches wide. The leaf petiole is one and on-half to two times as long as the leaf blade. It has a chartreuse margin about one-fourth of an inch wide and a center which is a medium green. The bloom stalk is short and erect with a typical bird-head shaped bud. It blooms  in late August in Michigan with pale-lavender, wide-flared blooms....All three of these plants have wavy leaves and variegated edges - they are jewels in any hosta lover's garden!"

An piece in The Hosta Journal (1995 Vol. 26 No. 1) citing Vol. 1, #2, Fall 1993, Great Lakes Region Newsletter included a list of Hostas for The Hybridizer from Jim Dishon:
 

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..."

Mark Zilis' Field Guide to Hostas (2014) states that this species was found in Japan in "...in rocks, riverside..."




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