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Discussion Starter #1
I collect hostas. I'm small time, only around 300 seperate varieties, maybe a thousand seperate plants and only a couple personal sports or breedings.

Anyhow, Chewie is a standard poodle and a hair on the large side, twentyfive and a half inches at the shoulders. That should give you an idea of how large this hosta is, it's one of my older ones so has had a chance to reach maturity.



 

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What exactly are hostas? What kind of plant they are and do they have a purpose? Where are they found natively and do animals feed on them?
 

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My, don't know where you are from and if you can grow hostas, but hostas are basically the dogs of the plant world.

Yes they are edible and a food source in their native Japan. And I have eaten them, they are very good raw in salads, stir fried or cooked like greens.

But what makes them so interesting is that they are the only plant known to mutate constantly, both in the wild population and cultivated population. These mutations are called sports.

Each growing plant has what is called a crown, which is where the leaves come out. The crown spreads by producing eyes, each eye able to become an individual plant. It is the eyes that sport.

This is why I call them the dogs of the plant world. What is genetically one plant now has thousands of known varieties and more happening all the time. They can have leaves as small as a thumbnail to as large as two feet across. The come in blue, green, yellow, gold, or any combination of these colors alone, streaked, or with white. They can be pointy, round, heartshaped, bumpy, shiny, curly, flat, upright, name a leaf and plant shape and there is a hosta for it.

They are perinnial, must have a cold dormant spell, can't be grown in tropical areas. Most are grown for their leaves, but some are grown for their flowers. All of them flower and hummingbirds love them, but some have fragrant or double flowers. When my fragrant ones are blooming, the whole yard is sented and it smells wonderful.

And hosta's are big time, some go for hundreds of dollars for a single eye. But in the same respect, some are so common you can get huge clumps practically free just because they grow too well. There are hosta shows, a national hosta organization, a hosta regerstry, as I said, big time.

Sorry, I'm a bit of a hostaholic, as we call ourselves, we tend to ramble on about the merits of this wonderful plant.

A few of my hostas










 

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Fabulous pictures! We can't grow grass in our front yard because it gets no sunlight. We live in the woods. So we have put hostas all over the front yard and mulched around them. MUCH better than any attempt at grass.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sheltiemama, that's how I started with them, I also had an area that wouldn't grow grass so started a shade garden, with hostas being the main focal point, and the next thing I knew, I was a hostaholic :eek:. But don't forget the companion plants of hostas, there are so many shade and semi shade plants and bushes to compliment your hostas. Won't bore you with a list, but you would be surprised at the variety you can have in a shade/woodland garden.
 
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