hos·ta | \ˈhō-stə, 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

Steve Stash of Dove Creek Nursery restored the garden to its original style as dictated by landscaper John Grant, who created experiences through a series of terraces with plantings of sedum, geranium, hosta, foxglove, heather and spirea. Janet Eastman,, "See four private estates during the Dunthorpe Garden Tour (photos)," 9 May 2018 In the darkest recesses between buildings, under carports, or in narrow passages, hostas will grow and thrive if the soil is rich and moist. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow The Most Stunning Hostas," 16 May 2017 More than 2 acres of gardens include vast swathes of shade-loving plants like hostas and trilliums and a liberal sprinkling of flowering woody shrubs like lilacs and rhododendrons. Patricia Harris And David Lyon,, "Goin’ up the country: The rustic appeal of Maine’s Route 26," 21 June 2018 Around her, other volunteers helped paint over graffiti, lay mulch and plant daffodils and hostas to brighten a section of the busy artery that runs under the I-84 viaduct. Rebecca Lurye,, "Volunteers Brighten A Dark Corner Of Hartford Roadway," 5 May 2018 Yet my hostas have very few holes if any holes in them., "Is clumping bamboo really not invasive? If not slugs, 'what is eating my perennials?' Ask an expert," 5 May 2018 As the early bloomers are dying away and looking shabby, the newly emerging hosta leaves will hide them from sight. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow The Most Stunning Hostas," 16 May 2017 The Springland springhouse is in a side yard, amid the hostas. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Farm team: Imagine grapes on the Mall and corn across the District," 1 May 2018 Some hostas will perform well on the east side of the house, where there’s morning sun and afternoon shade, while the hot afternoon sun on the west side will burn the foliage. Tim Johnson,, "Sunny or shady? Sandy or clay soil? Know specifics of your garden before picking plants.," 17 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of hosta

1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hosta

New Latin, from Nicolaus Host †1834 Austrian botanist

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Time Traveler for hosta

The first known use of hosta was in 1930

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