Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hosta
Hosta plantaginea

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hosta (HOSS-tuh) (Info)
Species: plantaginea (plan-tuh-JIN-ee-uh) (Info)

» View all varieties of Hostas

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

37 members have or want this plant for trade.

Plant Size (check one):
Large (leaf 81-144 square inches; plant 18-28 tall)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Patent Information:

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Growing Habit:

Growth Rate:

Leaf Shape:
Broadly Ovate

Leaf Appearance:

Degree to which the appearance is present:

Leaf Texture (top):
Slightly Shiny

Leaf Texture (bottom):
Slightly Shiny

Leaf Substance:
3 (Average)

Leaf Color:
Light Green

Color of Leaf Margin:
No margin

Number of Vein Pairs:
9 to 11

Appearance of Margin:
Slightly Rippled

Margin Width:
3" - 3 1/2"

Bloom Time:

Flower Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Very Fragrant

Does it set seed?:
Yes; seed is viable

Bloom Color:
Pure White

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By Gabrielle
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There are a total of 27 photos.
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9 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Feb 4, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is one of my favorite hostas and one of the best fragrant garden plants. It blooms for over a month, August-September, which accounts for its common name, August lily. The fragrance is strong and sweet and carries well on the air, with no heaviness to the scent.

The 5" long white trumpets are lovely, though they hang on long after they fade and make the planting look scruffy unless plucked almost daily.

The double-flowered cultivar 'Aphrodite' has been heavily promoted, but its performance is decidedly inferior to the plain species, as few people garden in a climate that allows its buds to open properly.

The foliage is handsome and well complements that of variegated hostas. Most gardeners fill a planting with nothing but variegated-leaf hostas. The result is like a stage full of primadonnas with no chorus to back them up---a visual cacophany.

Vigorous and fast growing. More sun tolerant than most, though I've seen plants on a sunny south slope (Boston) get smaller year by year.

This hosta differs from most others in 3 other important respects:

1) It rises earlier in the season, which matters if you're using it to cover fading bulb foliage. It's a good companion for the little early spring bulbs and the earliest daffodils, but not for anything that's later.

2) It produces foliage in flushes all through the season. There are always fresh leaves coming on to cover any midseason accidents. And you can divide any time the ground is workable and not have to wait for another season to have good foliage.

3) Unlike most hostas, it has no winter dormancy requirement. This means that it can be grown further south than most hostas, especially on the west coast.

Positive Kim_M On Aug 12, 2009, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Most wonderful large fragrant flowers. My favorite Hosta

Positive ademink On Jan 23, 2007, ademink from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

I love this hosta and just harvested seeds for the first time this Fall. I planted them and they germinated and are growing in just 7 short days! I'm very excited to see what seedlings are produced. This is a hosta that everyone should own. I have them in a spot that has shade a good part of the day until late afternoon. These tough guys weather that western afternoon sun like a champ! Fragrant and yes, they DO attract hummingbirds and butterflies!

Positive Gabrielle On May 13, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is one of my favorite hostas just for how fragrant the flowers are. Early mornings and evenings are sweetly scented by the large white blooms. A very fast grower, too. For me the leaves have been easily fried by the sun. Blooms August-September in my garden.

Positive joegee On Jan 22, 2006, joegee from Bucyrus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is one of my favorite flowers. Planted on the north side of my house, these hostas fill late summer evenings with an incredibly rich, sweet (but not cloying to my nose) perfume that can be smelled yards away. Their attractive, heart shaped, knee high lime-yellow/green foliage and the three to four foot high spikes of pure white flowers draw the eye like a beacon into the summer late-evening shadows. The show of nocturnal flowers lasts most of the month of August.

I almost forgot to mention, these flowers draw hummingbirds. During the evenings, and on overcast summer days when the flowers are open hummingbirds surround them.

Positive northgrass On Mar 2, 2005, northgrass from West Chazy, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

This hosta does not really stand out among the other hostas with their colorful leaves except when it blooms in late summer. The exceptionly large pure white lily-like flowers have such a wonderful fragrance. Everyone should have hosta plantaginea if only for experiencing its sweet smell on a warm August evening.

Neutral lmelling On Jan 11, 2005, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Hosta plantaginea is noted as a large mound of shiny green foliage; large fragrant, nocturnal, white flowers in August. Mound size runs 25" high by 57" wide.

Leaves are 11" long by 7-3/8" wide, and a medium to light green with a shiny top and underside. Blade is ovate to broadly ovate with a deeply lobed base and distinct tip. Margins are slightly wavy and the leaf has a smooth texture; no purple dots on petioles and an average substance with 9-11 vein pairs.

Flowers in mid August to early September. Flowers are pure white, trumpet shaped, nocturnal and very fragrant. They begin blooming at sundown, open until late afternoon of the second day on scapes ranging from 18" to 34" high. Some seed pods are formed - largest pods of any hosta at 2-3/4" long by 3/8" wide.

This hosta is said to be perhaps the most horticulturally significant of the last 200 years. It was one of the first hostas introduced into cultivation in Europe, and became an integral part of American garding over 100 years ago. According to Zilis in The Hosta Handbook, Hosta plantaginea is so distinct that only 'Aphrodite', 'Royal Standard', 'Invincible', and 'Fried Green Tomatoes' would be acceptable substitutes for it in the landscape.

Positive Torquay On Oct 21, 2003, Torquay from Lansing, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love these hostas. Well established when I bought my home, they grow in full sunlight. If they don't get extra water the leaves turn yellow. Flower stalks are about 4' tall and hummers flock to the masses of white blooms. They are beauties!

Positive mahans30 On Jun 30, 2003, mahans30 from Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

I have successfully grown this plant in full-sun to full shade. Performs best with some afternoon shade.

Positive Greenwood On May 6, 2002, Greenwood from Bonifay, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:

A easy to raise hosta that can be mast fragrant and the only nite bloomer with white trumpet-shaped flowers.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mentone, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Marshall, Arkansas
San Francisco, California
Norwich, Connecticut
Braselton, Georgia
Dacula, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Carbondale, Illinois
Naperville, Illinois
Nilwood, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Waukegan, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Iowa City, Iowa
South China, Maine
Pikesville, Maryland
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Wakefield, Massachusetts
Plainwell, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota (2 reports)
Hollister, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Milford, Nebraska
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Croton On Hudson, New York
Ithaca, New York
West Chazy, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Medora, North Dakota
Bucyrus, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Franklin, Ohio
Williamsburg, Ohio
Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
Friedensburg, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Pickens, South Carolina
Leesburg, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Portsmouth, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Osseo, Wisconsin

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