Monday, August 18, 2008


Here are a few shots of Hosta, most likely a cultivar of Hosta plantaginea, in Battery Park. Hostas are shade garden mainstays, despite the fact they are beloved by deer, slugs and snails.

I am assuming this is a plantaginea species because these flowers were quite fragrant and other species of hosta are typically scentless. The scent, though pleasant, is largely superfluous, as are the flowers. People primarily plant hostas for the foliage, which vary in size, shape and color. Typically, the lighter-colored cultivars are more readily damaged by slugs and snails since they typically have thinner leaves (all the easier for these pests to chew through).

Whenever I have used a hosta in a planting plan, I am placing it primarily for the foliage. Some of the leaves are quite oversized and thus provide a great texture contrast in a garden. But, when I see this mass planting in bloom, I realize the flowers do add a lot to a space this time of year.

The fragrance on these cultivars was quite strong -- it smelled similar to honeysuckle. Hostas used to be part of the Liliaceae family, though have since been transferred to Agavaceaee.

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