course, hostas are known primarily as "foliage" plants
in the landscape so the leaves are, perhaps, the most
important part of the plant. Leaf color is the primary
selection criteria for most home gardener but there are
other traits that add to the design fulfillment by
hostas. This includes characteristics such
as leaf shape, color, seasonal color changes,
variegation, texture, appearance and veins.
The base color of the leaves will cover 60% or
more of the leaf surface.
Hostas have leaf variegation on the margin and
center of the leaf. They also have streaked
variegation scattered throughout the leaf tissue.
Certain hostas emerge from the
ground in one color but, as the season progresses,
change to a slightly different hue.
The base of the leaf where it joins the
petiole can be one of several different shapes.
The leaf stalk or petiole, may have different
physical traits and may be of a different color from
the leaf blade.
In recent years, there has been a trend toward
more hostas that display reddish to purplish color
in the petioles and into the leaf blade.
From nearly round to long and narrow, the shape of
the leaf blade of hostas can vary significantly.
They can be a significant identifying trait
for different hosta cultivars and species.
few hostas have what could be described as
flat leaves, most of them have some
undulations that give the leaf a certain
character. These traits add to the texture,
uniqueness or identification of individual
The top surface of the leaf blade may vary in
texture and display a number of different traits.
Some hosta leaves come to a point while others are
As a monocotyledon, hostas have parallel veins in
their leaf blades. The number and depth of the veins
may be identifying traits.