Hosta 'Frances Williams'


Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hosta (HOSS-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Frances Williams
Hybridized by Williams-Williams
Registered or introduced: 1986
» View all varieties of Hostas

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:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama

, Alberta

Carmichael, California

Paradise, California

Sacramento, California

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Dover, Delaware

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(2 reports)

Greenville, Indiana

Otho, Iowa

Tracy, Iowa

Wichita, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Calvert City, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Henderson, Kentucky

Munfordville, Kentucky

Durham, Maine

South Berwick, Maine

Dracut, Massachusetts

Middleton, Massachusetts

Northfield, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Lake Orion, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

New Ulm, Minnesota

Ranier, 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)

Galloway, Ohio

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

Carrollton, Texas

Colmesneil, Texas

Garland, Texas

Hereford, Texas

Houston, Texas

New Braunfels, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 6, 2018, anniegolden from Dover, DE wrote:

Just about my least favorite hosta. I live in central Delaware. This is May 6. Frances is in a shady spot with lots of light from high trees. No direct sunlight. She is almost fully leafed out and already has the ugly brown spot problem all over. I have numerous other hostas that are thriving. I think I am going to dig her up and throw her away. If she didn't get the brown spot mess every year, she would be very pretty. I un-recommend this hosta. Get Sagae - what a beauty. Or Paul's Glory - another terrific one.


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.


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?


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?


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.


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

Blooms in July in my garden.


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.


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.


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. =)


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Burns in sun.


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.


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

Flower scapes 40". Williams 1986.


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.