Believe it or not but many people who grow hostas do not like the flowers. They cut them off before they have a chance to open. Wow! To my knowledge, this is the only example of people removing the flowers from an herbaceous perennial commonly grown in the landscape.

After years of contemplating this phenomenon, I have come to the conclusion that it is not the individual flowers that people do not like. After all, they are a lily-like bloom which accounts for hostas once being part of the Liliaceae Family.

No, the problem, I suspect is that, like daylilies (Hemerocallis), the flowers of hostas only open for one day and then fade. Since they are borne in groupings or clusters on their scapes, the fading, deteriorating blooms soon become mixed in with the new blossoms. This can look quite messy especially on some cultivars. This is what I think people find objectionable about hosta flowers.

Fortunately, 80 to 90% of hostaphiles like the flowers and that includes Mr. PGC. Hosta flowers come in a wide array of colors, shapes, sizes, seasons of bloom, fragrance etc. Although the foliage is still the king attribute, hosta flowers can add a lot to the home garden and should be at least a minor factor in cultivar selection.

Flower Colors - Although they do not come in a large array of colors, most hostas come in shades from pure white to deep purple.

Bloom Season - The earliest hostas may bloom prior to June 1st and the season can extend into October depending on the cultivar or species.

Fragrance - Several  hostas including those related to the species, H. plantaginea, have flowers that are scented.

Morphology - Hosta flowers are "perfect" flowers in that they contain both the male (stamen) and female (pistil) organs in the same flower.

Patterns - Many hostas consist of a single color, however, several types have streaks or other patterns of a second color involved in the flower.

Scapes - The stalk of hosta flowers can vary in terms of height, color and other traits.

Seeds - Hostas can produce either viable or non-viable seeds. Some types are sterile and, therefore, produce no seeds.

Shapes - The flowers of hostas come in bell-shaped, tubular-shaped, closed, double and other shapes.

Anthers - The male part of the flower, the stamen, consists of two parts called the anther and filament. Hostas have anthers that come in two colors; yellow and purple.

Copyright 2000 -