Hosta venusta
aka Otome Gibōshi (Beautiful maiden hosta)

Originally from Korea, this species has slightly wavy, green, heart shaped leaves which are pinched at the squarish base. It is a miniature size (about 6 inches high by 20 inches wide) plant, forming a dense mound. The lavender flowers with darker veins and purple/yellow anthers appear from late June into July. Due to its size, H. venusta and its cultivars are favorites in rock gardens and in the front of beds and borders.

The Genus Hosta by W. George Schmid (1991), says that this species is known as the "(beautiful) maiden hosta" in its native Korea.  H. gracillima is sometimes confused with H. venusta "...but the flowering scape of H. gracillima is smooth while that of H. venusta has ridges, and this difference can serve as a positive identifier."

From the Field Guide to Hostas by Mark Zilis (2014), "To many hosta collectors, H. venusta ranks as the top mini species."

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas by Diana Grenfell (2009) states in its Miniature Hostas chapter: "A variable species in leaf size and shape. More suitable for small containers and rock gardens than a border, where it is likely to become swamped by larger plants."

A Photo Essay article by Steve Chamberlain in The Hosta Journal (2010 Vol. 41 No. 1) makes comments about H. venusta, "This is the smallest hosta species. Wild-collected examples of H. venusta vary considerably in size and appearance from this clone, which is the one widely available in commerce...tends to form a carpet rather than a clump as it matures."

An article by Glenn Herold in The Hosta Journal  (2014 Vol. 45 No. 1) states that, "Korea has eight native hosta species: Hosta capitata, H. clausa, H. jonesii, H. laevigata, H. minor, H. tsushimensis, H. venusta and H . yingeri. H. laevigata is closely related to H. yingeri, H. minor is closely related to H. venusta, and H. tsushimensis is closely related to H. jonesii."

This cultivar has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in the UK.


  1. H. 'Abiqua Jim Dandy'
  2. H. 'Amethyst Gem'
  3. H. 'Appetizer'
  4. H. 'Collector's Choice'
  5. H. 'DaPra's Delight'
  6. H. 'Dimity'
  7. H. 'Emerson's Small One'
  8. H. 'Flat Clyde'
  9. H. 'Flatliner'
  10. H. 'Goodman's Short Folks'
  11. H. 'Kii Hime'
  12. H. 'Kilowatt'
  13. H. 'Leprechaun'
  14. H. 'Lillie'
  15. H. 'Margey'
  1. H. 'Microchip'
  2. Hosta minor
  3. H. 'Mini Mouse'
  4. H. 'Porter'
  5. H. 'Rim Rock'
  6. H. 'Rock Girl'
  7. H. 'Rumpelstilzchen'
  8. H. 'Spingarn's Japan'
  9. H. 'Surfer Girl'
  10. H. 'Tiny Temple Chimes'
  11. H. 'Tiny Tot'
  12. H. 'Tom Thumb'
  13. H. 'Tweeny'
  14. H. 'Wagner's Petite'
  15. H. 'Wee Bee'
  1. H. 'Crater's Heart'
  2. H. 'Crater's Rim'
  3. H. 'Kinbotan'
  4. H. 'Striker'
  1. H. 'Shironakafu Otome'
  2. H. 'Tsugaru Otome'
  3. H. 'Wedding Band'
  1. H. 'Abiqua Miniature'
  2. H. 'Alpine Dream'
  3. H. 'Amanuma'
  4. H. 'Appetizer'
  5. H. 'Arrowhead'
  6. H. 'Awesome'
  7. H. 'Baby Kim'
  8. H. 'Ballerina'
  9. H. 'Blue Eyes'
  10. H. 'Brooklynn's Baby Doll'
  11. H. 'Brutus'
  12. H. 'Cat's Eye'
  13. H. 'Cody'
  14. H. 'Concordia Petite'
  15. H. 'Craig's Temptation'
  16. H. 'Devon Red'
  17. H. 'Elsley Runner'
  18. H. 'Emoticon'
  19. H. 'Evening Gown'
  20. H. 'Fairy Ring'
  21. H. 'Gemstone'
  22. H. 'Gold Drop'
  23. H. 'Golden Cherub'
  24. H. 'Golden Gem'
  25. H. 'Golden Maid'
  26. H. 'Gosan Gold Midget'
  27. H. 'Green Fingers'
  28. H. 'Harold's Thumb'
  29. H. 'Herbie'
  30. H. 'Himekomachi'
  31. H. 'Honey Moon'
  32. H. 'Hush Puppie'
  33. H. 'Ichi-ban'
  34. H. 'Japangirl'
  35. H. 'Ki Nakafu Otome'
  36. H. 'Kifukurin Otome'
  1. H. 'Kinbotan'
  2. H. 'Lakeside Neat Petite'
  3. H. 'Leather Sheen'
  4. H. 'Lemon Lime'
  5. H. 'Little Devil'
  6. H. 'Little Fellow'
  7. H. 'Lorna'
  8. H. 'Masquerade'
  9. H. 'Minuta'
  10. H. 'Misty Morning'
  11. H. 'Nikkou'
  12. H. 'Nishikigawa'
  13. H. 'Number One'
  14. H. 'Ōgon Otome'
  15. H. 'Orphan Annie'
  16. H. 'Otome-no-mai'
  17. H. 'Papoose'
  18. H. 'Paradise Puppet'
  19. H. 'Pinwheel'
  20. H. 'Pipin the Short'
  21. H. 'Queue'
  22. H. 'Red Dwarf'
  23. H. 'Red Tubes'
  24. H. 'Rock Island Line'
  25. H. 'Rock Master'
  26. H. 'Shark's Tooth'
  27. H. 'Shining Tot'
  28. H. 'Shirofukurin Otome'
  29. H. 'Surprised by Joy'
  30. H. 'Suzuki Thumbnail'
  31. H. 'Ted's Friend'
  32. H. 'Thumb Nail'
  33. H. 'Tiny Tears'
  34. H. 'Tot Tot'
  35. H. 'Venucosa'
  36. H. 'Venus Star'

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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