Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hosta
Hosta 'Frances Williams'

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hosta (HOSS-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Frances Williams
Hybridized by Williams; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1986

» View all varieties of Hostas

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

47 members have or want this plant for trade.

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

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Patent Information:

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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):
Glaucous Bloom

Leaf Substance:
1 (Thick)

Leaf Color:
Medium Blue-Green

Color of Leaf Margin:
Medium Blue-Green
Golden Yellow

Number of Vein Pairs:
16 to 18

Appearance of Margin:
Slightly Rippled

Margin Width:
1 1/2" - 2

Bloom Time:

Flower Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
No fragrance

Does it set seed?:
Yes; seed is viable

Bloom Color:
Near White
Pale Lavender

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to view:

By Toxicodendron
Thumbnail #1 of Hosta  by Toxicodendron

By lmelling
Thumbnail #2 of Hosta  by lmelling

By kdjoergensen
Thumbnail #3 of Hosta  by kdjoergensen

By Greenwood
Thumbnail #4 of Hosta  by Greenwood

By Greenwood
Thumbnail #5 of Hosta  by Greenwood

By Greenwood
Thumbnail #6 of Hosta  by Greenwood

By KevinMc
Thumbnail #7 of Hosta  by KevinMc

There are a total of 37 photos.
Click here to view them all!


14 positives
6 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Hostafaerie On Apr 25, 2014, Hostafaerie from Springfield, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Maryscott. My Francis Williams has not come up either. All my other Hostas are up or peeping through. We had a terrible winter here in Springfield MO. We are zone 6 but our winter was equivalent to Zone 2 so it may have winter killed. I will wait awhile and see.

It is now April 28 and my Frances Williams has one pip poking thru. We'll see.

Negative coriaceous On Apr 25, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This cultivar more often than not develops ugly brown areas near the edges of the leaves. Gardeners often attribute this to sunburn, but it clearly isn't, as even plants in full shade often develop them. Nor does it seem to be a disease. This problem is common knowledge in the hosta societies.

This is my least favorite hosta because of this problem. There are many other beautiful yellow-margined hostas that don't develop brown areas, so why choose this one?

Positive Maryscott On Apr 24, 2014, Maryscott from Munfordville, KY wrote:

I love this hosta, but it has not emerged yet and I'm scared that I have lost it! It is only April,24th and we have had a really cold spring,but several of my other hostas are up( stained glass,patriot,etc) but not my beautiful Francis Williams. Have others been worried?

Positive wakingdream On Sep 24, 2013, wakingdream from Allentown, PA wrote:

Frances Williams is very touchy about bright sun hitting her leaves, but otherwise she is gorgeous and sturdy. Slugs avoid her thick textured foliage. Fall color is a nice gold shade. I allow the old flower stalks to remain all winter long and seeds blow everywhere. The seedlings are an attractive bluish-green, waffle texture with no contrasting color on the edges.I look for the tiny new hosta seedlings in the immediate vicinity and transplant them to a holding bed until they enlarge. I offer them for sale at my yard sales and receive positive feedback about how large and lovely they turn out to be later. I have kept a number of the seedlings and value the contrast with the blue tones against other green or yellow Hostas.

Neutral Gabrielle On Feb 28, 2012, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Blooms in July in my garden.

Neutral Suzy_Bee On Nov 6, 2011, Suzy_Bee from Spring, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Planted one in what I thought was a shady spot in my garden, but it hasn't grown a bit, and I have more burned foliage than healthy. Perhaps it was our terrible heat and drought this summer.

Would like to try some more in a shadier spot.

Positive pointgarden On Oct 15, 2011, pointgarden from Newport, RI wrote:

One of the best,if it burns in the sun move it, morning sun works for me.

Neutral jskyieeyes3 On Sep 11, 2010, jskyieeyes3 from Saint Cloud, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

i picked this variety of hosta up from the local walmart this spring to test out. i love the elegant shape of the leaves, the overall shape of the plant, and the color. however, since i aquired the plant, it hasn't grown much nor has it flowered. i'm not sure if it's because it is in a pot (i know some varieties of plants won't flower in pots). it does well on my back porch with filtered light, and with regular watering, withstands the scorching florida summer. overall, it has made a decent addition to my plant family. =)

Positive ChrisZ5 On May 12, 2010, ChrisZ5 from Tracy, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I also did not realize how large this plant gets, but it is beautiful. I have it alternating with another hosta in an area about 10 x12 feet. They have been in that area for approx 10 years and I have never had to divide them. I also have not had a problem with sunburn or center die out with overcrowding.

Positive mzimble On May 2, 2010, mzimble from Midlothian, VA wrote:

'Frances Williams' is a stunning hosta, but it is the most sun-sensitive hosta I've ever grown. I grew it successfully in shady areas when I lived in Washington, D.C.; however, here in the Richmond VA area, I find that the leaves still burn on very hot days, even in completely shady spots. 'Olive Bailey Langdon' looks very similar and is less sun-sensitive, although it grows more slowly.

Positive Iowafaerie On Apr 13, 2009, Iowafaerie from Otho, IA wrote:

I whole-heartedly love this hosta. I had it on the North side of my husband's shop facing the neighbors (didn't want them forced to just view the backside of a building). Decided last fall that I just wasn't able to enjoy it enough there as only saw it when I was weeding. I divided it and moved it to the front of my house. I truly hope this wasn't a mistake, however, as my Yorkies have full reign in the front! They do tend to stomp on everything.

Positive Jennie_in_MT On Jul 10, 2007, Jennie_in_MT from Lothair, MT (Zone 4a) wrote:

Such a beautiful plant in my zone 3/4 garden. It plays nice with the other plants too!

Positive Marilynbeth On Nov 25, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Positive overall.

I didn't realize when I bought it that it would get so large and I didn't (and don't) have the space and I don't really have a shady enough area it needs, so I gave it all to a friend of ours since he has the space for it to grow.

Beautiful coloring.

Positive sandy4 On Jul 16, 2006, sandy4 from Reading, MA wrote:

I have been growing Frances Williams for over 15 years. My plant is really large and has never been divided. The leaves are over 18" wide. It has an abundance of white flowers early July and produces a ton of seeds which I harvest in the fall. I have just started to grow some of last seasons seeds this summer to see what they might produce. My plant looks best in the spring but suffers some leaf distortion into the summer. It does get some sun so this may be the cause. Overall its a wonderful plant. I would highly recommend growing it into a huge specimen plant.

Neutral pirl On Jun 2, 2005, pirl from (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Lovely plant but if you don't keep up with dividing it the center just dies out when you least expect it, just when it has reached a giant display size. I'd now keep it divided every five years or when it really starts looking terrific.

Positive Gindee77 On Jun 1, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

A sturdy hosta that will be a nice focal point in the shade garden.

Positive kdjoergensen On May 18, 2005, kdjoergensen from Waxhaw (Charlotte), NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Nice coloring for such a large hosta. Unfortunately it turns green fast towards end of season. I especially love the large, curragated leaves.

Positive nevadagdn On May 15, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I haven't got a complaint with any of the hostas I grow. The thicker-leaved ones, including 'Frances Williams', are more slug, resistant, though. I have ALL my hostas in shade--that's why I got them in the first place.

Negative valereee On May 15, 2005, valereee from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Burns in sun.

Positive Toxicodendron On May 4, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Undoubtedly my favorite hosta. I agree that direct sun can burn the leaves, especially if they are wet, but other than that it is spectacular for color, form, and size.

Neutral jody On Feb 19, 2003, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Flower scapes 40". Williams 1986.

Positive Greenwood On May 11, 2002, Greenwood from Bonifay, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant is rather open mound, has corrugated leaf that is gold-margined and bears a near white flower. My experience is two much sun exposure will burn the leaf. This is a beautiful plant but for me has a shortened season, late emerging . In other conditions it may react different.


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

, (2 reports)
Auburn, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
, Alberta
Carmichael, California
Paradise, California
Sacramento, California
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Bonifay, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia (2 reports)
Dallas, Georgia
Gainesville, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia (2 reports)
Marietta, Georgia
Aurora, Illinois
Batavia, Illinois
Hampton, Illinois
Machesney Park, Illinois
Morris, Illinois
Naperville, Illinois
Nilwood, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Carmel, Indiana
Greenville, Indiana
Otho, Iowa
Tracy, Iowa
Wichita, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Calvert City, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Henderson, Kentucky
Munfordville, Kentucky
Durham, Maine
Dracut, Massachusetts
Middleton, Massachusetts
Northfield, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Lake Orion, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
New Ulm, Minnesota
Okolona, Mississippi
Joplin, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Lothair, Montana
Omaha, Nebraska
Sparks, Nevada
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Nashua, New Hampshire
Winchester, New Hampshire
Cape May Court House, New Jersey
Montclair, New Jersey
South Plainfield, New Jersey
Elba, New York
Greene, New York
Penn Yan, New York
Southold, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Medora, North Dakota
Cincinnati, Ohio (2 reports)
Glouster, Ohio
Ravenna, Ohio
Salem, Ohio
Oakland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Mercer, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Reading, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Newport, Rhode Island
Christiana, Tennessee
Clarksville, Tennessee
Colmesneil, Texas
Garland, Texas
Hereford, Texas
Big Stone Gap, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Midlothian, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Urbanna, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Orchards, Washington
South Hill, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin
Marion, Wisconsin
Nekoosa, Wisconsin
Tomah, Wisconsin
Twin Lakes, Wisconsin

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