hos·​ta | \ ˈhō-stə How to pronounce hosta (audio) , ˈhä- \

Definition of hosta

: any of a genus (Hosta) of Asian perennial herbaceous plants of the lily family with densely growing basal leaves and tall racemes of white or violet flowers

called also funkia, plantain lily

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There are about 40 species of hostas or plantain lilies, which are hardy perennials in the lily family, native to eastern Asia. They prefer light shade, but will grow under a variety of conditions. They are valued for their conspicuous foliage, which may be light to dark green, yellow, blue, or variegated. The ribbed leaves grow in a cluster at the base, and stalks bearing clusters of tubular white or bluish-purple flowers emerge from the leaves.

Examples of hosta in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The sale includes lilacs, Japanese roses, hostas, Solomon’s seals, brunneras, Lenten roses, forget-me-nots and many other varieties. cleveland, 10 May 2020 With their colorful foliage, modern Heucheras are great for massing with ferns, hostas, hellebores and other residents of the shady garden. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 24 Apr. 2020 The Pulmonaria and gingers are easy to tease apart, but with the phlox or a hosta, another kitchen discard — an old serrated bread knife — is indispensable for cutting apart dense, unearthed root masses. Margaret Roach, New York Times, 28 Apr. 2020 For a rustic arrangement, gather on-hand greenery, like carrot stems or hosta leaves. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 25 Apr. 2020 Then, overhaul your garden beds by following these tips: Dig up perennials, including daylilies and hostas, and divide them into three-stem groupings. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 29 Jan. 2020 The loss of these trees exposes her beloved hostas to too much sun. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, 1 Aug. 2019 Remove weeds and debris and replace plants known to provide cover, including English ivy, periwinkle, pachysandra and hosta. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2019 For the past century or more, gardeners have wanted to grow plants that were decidedly exotic and spectacularly different; the list includes non-native versions of roses, azaleas, hostas and lilies, for example. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 5 June 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hosta.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hosta

1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hosta

borrowed from New Latin, genus name, after Nicolaus Thomas Host †1834 Austrian physician and botanist

Note: The genus was named in honor of Host by the Austrian botanist Leopold Trattinnick (1764-1849) in Archiv der Gewächskunde, Band 1 (1812), p. 55.

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Cite this Entry

“Hosta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
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