5 Multiseason Hostas

These versatile varieties add color, fragrance, and texture throughout the growing season.

By Graham Rice

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We tend to think of hostas as supreme foliage plants. They’re unusually hardy and adaptable, and they come in a continually expanding multitude of leaf shapes and patterns and colors and sizes. But there’s far more to hostas than that. Some hostas have impressive fall foliage colors, some bloom prolifically in summer, and a few feature a lovely fragrance. As they emerge from winter underground, the new spring shoots of some varieties are so striking that even before a leaf unfurls you can admire them. Here are five multiseason hostas to consider.

‘Christmas Tree’

Broad, slightly corrugated, heart-shaped, fresh green leaves feature a yellow margin that fades to cream as the season advances. In midsummer, lavender flowers open, to be followed by striking purple seedpods. Finally, in fall, the whole plant turns butter yellow with a soft pale cream edge.

  • 18 inches tall by 3 feet wide; hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 3
Christmas Tree hosta
Fragrant Bouquet hosta

‘Fragrant Bouquet’

This is one of the most strongly scented of all hostas. Its 3-inch lavender-tinted white flowers open on tall, upright stems in late summer and fall. In addition, there’s attractive foliage before the flowers—slightly wavy-edged, sharply pointed pale green foliage featuring yellow margins that fade to white. But that fragrance...

  • 18 inches by 26 inches; Zone 3

‘Great Expectations’

This one of my favorites. The pointed spring shoots, like little rockets, emerge in purple, green, and yellow tints and unfurl into heavily puckered, highly slug-resistant, blue-green leaves with a bright yellow central splash. It’s slow growing but develops into an impressive specimen. The white summer flowers are a bonus.

  • 22 inches by 34 inches; Zone 3
Great Expectations hosta
Halcyon hosta

‘Halcyon’

This is a neat, compact plant that is good in containers or small spaces. It features some of the bluest foliage you’ll find on a small hosta, and the slugs seem to ignore it, too. Summer brings lavender flowers; then, in fall, the whole plant turns a slightly glossy biscuit brown, a kind of rich tan shade. One of the best of all hostas.

  • 15 inches by 28 inches; Zone 3

‘Platinum Tiara’

This exceptional small-space hosta has an unusual habit. The neat, pale green leaves are edged in cream and fall into a rather flat, almost horizontal shape. Then in summer, green stems strike up vertically through the center and are topped by pale blue-purple bells.

  • 12 inches by 30 inches; Zone 3
Platinum Tiara hosta

Photos: © Gardenphotos.com

Graham Rice @ Organic Gardening

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