In recent years, interest in expanding the presence of the color red or purple in hosta plant parts has been on the increase. With selective breeding, this color has been enhanced in leaf petioles, flowers scapes, leaf blades and seed pods. In the future, who knows, we may have red flowered hostas.

 

1. Petioles - Perhaps the most common location for reddish to purplish color in hostas is in the leaf petiole. There are many cultivars with this coloration ranging from a few tiny specks to strong, dark color.

2. Flower Scapes - As with petioles, the flower scapes of several hostas have a range of red to purplish spots or solid color.

3. Leaves - So far, there have been only a few hostas that have been developed with the reddish color that is extending up from the petiole into the leaf blade itself. As hybridizers continue to work on this trait, it would not be surprising to see red-leafed hostas in the not-too-distant future.

BTW - Recently, Bob Solberg of Green Hill Farm nursery in North Carolina has listed a new cultivar, H. 'First Blush' which has quite a bit of reddish color extending up into the leaf blade. The color is best in the early spring but can begin to turn green as the temperatures of summer heat up.

4. Seedpods - Certain hostas that have reddish flower scapes also develop that color pigment in the seed pods themselves.

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