Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hosta
Hosta 'Little Aurora'

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hosta (HOSS-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Little Aurora

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3 vendors have this plant for sale.

10 members have or want this plant for trade.

Plant Size (check one):
Small (leaf 6.0-25 square inches; plant 6-10 tall)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 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)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

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

Patent Information:

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Growing Habit:

Growth Rate:

Leaf Shape:
Broadly Ovate

Leaf Appearance:

Degree to which the appearance is present:

Leaf Texture (top):

Leaf Texture (bottom):
Glaucous Bloom

Leaf Substance:
2 (Good)

Leaf Color:
Golden Yellow

Color of Leaf Margin:
Golden Yellow

Number of Vein Pairs:
9 to 11
12 to 15

Appearance of Margin:
Flat/Nearly Flat

Margin Width:
No margin

Bloom Time:

Flower Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
No fragrance

Does it set seed?:
Yes; seed is viable

Bloom Color:
Pale Lavender

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1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive lmelling On Jan 8, 2005, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Small mound of very bright gold foliage growing to 14" high x 40" wide. Leaves average 5.75" long by 4/5" wide but can get slightly larger. The foliage is bright gold all season and has a thin underside bloom. Leaves are broadly ovate shape with a heart-shaped base; blade slightly wavy; moderately corrugated with age but none when young. Leaves have better than average substance with 11-13 vein pairs. The flowers are pale lavendar to near white and come in late June to mid July. Scapes 12" to 22" high and fertile.

As I began reading about this cultivar in my hosta book, I found that not only is the tale surrounding it interesting...but also that I happen to have two of these hosta that were mislabeled as 'Golden Prayers' when I purchased them.

'Little Aurora' was registered by Paul Aden in 1978 as a seedling of 'Tokudama Aureonebulosa' X 'Golden Waffles'. Aden also registered 'Golden Prayers' in 1976 as a hybrid of "Aden 381 X 'Golden Waffles'.

In his book entitled "The Hosta Handbook," Mark Zilas explains that he did some research into the confusion surrounding these two plants, in which 'Little Aurora' was often sold mislabled as 'Golden Prayers', and found that the true description of 'Golden Prayers' was of a "medium large; unique form of upright leaves held like hands in prayer; choice gold-cupped Tokudama type"; while the description for 'Little Aurora' read "small, neat clump of bright gold from Tokudama parentage; heavy substance". Obviously the size difference alone was huge!

Evidently, for many years 'Little Aurora' was sold as 'Golden Prayers' in nurseries, I still have the original plant tag from my two plants, which were purchased around 1997 and which comes from a very well known wholesale nursery; it reads, "Hosta x 'Golden Prayers' Benefits: Textured golden-yellow foliage retains color even in shade! Popular perennial. Size: moderate grower to 1' tall, 2' wide." Obviously one of the mislabeled plants!


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

Marietta, Georgia
Cape May Court House, New Jersey
Ithaca, New York
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Coshocton, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

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