Monday, August 15, 2011

The often overlooked hosta flower

Hostas are not known for their flowers.  In fact there are a high percentage of people who will cut the scapes off hostas before they even bloom.  As a hosta fanatic, I will be the first to admit that most hosta flowers are not very interesting.  Hostas are bought mainly for their foliage not their flower, but there are a few hostas that are bought for their flowers.  The hosta 'Guacamole' is often purchased for it's highly scented flower.  If you walk in my garden around twilight the entire yard is enveloped with it's sweet scent, which is kinda a mixture of lilac and lily of the valley.  Hostas with scented flowers bloom later in the season.  Here is a list of hosta with fragrant flowers.  Every once and while I will be walking through the garden and I will happen to notice just how beautiful some of the hosta flowers can be.  I think if the flowers were at eye level they would be appreciated more, but since you usually have to kneel down to admire them most people never really notice them.  I was also just reminded by a Twitter friend that the hosta flower attracts hummingbirds, bees, and at my house the hummingbird moth, who always shows up when I do not have a camera anywhere near.
h. 'Guacamole'

The giant, sweet smelling flowers of h. 'Guacamole'

The highly purply blue flowers of h. 'Indy Parade Lap'

Beautiful striped flowers on h. 'Gosan Gold Mist'

Closer look of stripes on hosta flower.

Large flower getting ready to bloom on h. 'plantaginea' which is also large flowered and fragrant.

Fragrant and pretty, the flower of h. 'Nightlife'

Red stem and purple flowers of h. 'Fire Island'

Another striped flower on one of my hosta sports.

The purply buds on h. 'Sea Octopus' 

1 comment:

Betty said...

Hosta plantiginea is likely a source of other fragrant white Hosta flowers. It has a wonderful, ancient history as a popular Chinese plant as long ago as the Han Dynasty (202 B.C. - 220 A.D.) The Chinese used an ointment made from H. plantaginea to reduce inflammation and fever. M. de Guines introduced H. plantaginea to Europe when he sent it to the king of France from China in 1789 then sent to England in 1790.
Altho not so beautiful, if you let your Hosta flowers go to seed you may get some volunteers and that's a good thing. Betty, Heritage Flower Farm.