Hosta longissima
aka Mizu Gibōshi (Swamp hosta)

This species is native to Honshu Island in Japan. It is also known as Mizu Gibōshi and Saji Gibōshi in Japanese.

The plant forms a small size (9 inches high by 25 inches wide) mound with narrow foliage which has a shiny on top and bottom. The dark green leaves are narrowly elliptic (strap shaped), smooth textured without waves. It has average substance. Flowers are medium purple in color with purple anthers and are borne from mid-September to October followed by viable seeds.

According to The Hostapedia by Mark Zilis (2009), "...useful as a ground cover or edging plant. The late-season flowers are in bloom at a time when the shade garden is turning to fall in the northern U.S."

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states: "Can be grown in garden ponds successfully if the crown is kept above the water line. Is often confused with the narrowest-leaf forms of H. sieboldii... Strap-shaped leaves are among the narrowest in the genus."

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

An article by Hajime Sugata of Japan in The Hosta Journal (1994 Vol. 25 No. 2) states that "H. longissima can be found abundantly near wetlands on sunny hills or along irrigation paths of rice paddies in Aichi Pref. and Gifu Pref. H. longissima grows densely and appears smaller but healthier on the sunny side of hills as opposed to the shady side. Thus, H. longissima can look like two different species.

There aren't many regionally modified forms of H. longissima, but a yellow-margined form and a white-margined form are found in Okazaki City, Nukata Town, and Shimoyama Village. A gold-leaf form has not yet been found."


bullet H. 'Fiddlesticks'
From both H. longissima var. brevifolia and H. longissima var. longifolia
  1. H. 'Asahi Comet'
  2. H. 'Asahi Star'
  3. H. 'Asahi Sunray'
  4. H. 'Dim Those Lights'
  5. H. 'Fukurin Hosoba Mizu'
  1. H. 'Hanazawa Fukurin Mizu'
  2. H. 'Kinakafu Nagaba Mizu'
  3. H. 'Manzo'
  4. H. 'Shirofukurin Hosoba Mizu'
  1. H. 'Appetizer'
  2. H. 'Bitsy Gold'
  3. H. 'Bitsy Green'
  4. H. 'Purple Lady Finger'
  1. H. 'Oze Shirobana Mizu'
  2. H. 'Sandhill Crane'
  3. H. 'Shirobana Mizu'
  4. H. 'William Bedard'

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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