A Hosta Garden

Hosta Long ShotEnlarge photo

Located in a shady walnut grove near Lake Drummond in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, the Hosta Garden is among the most beautiful of the many botanical gardens in Springfield, Missouri.
     This remarkable garden displays some 500 hostas in over 300 different varieties chosen to illustrate the diversity of America's most popular foliage plant in color, size, plant shape, leaf shape, and variegation.
     The Hosta Garden reaches its peak beauty in June. In autumn the plants send up on long scapes, or stems, flowers that are white to lavender in color. Some of the flowers are fragrant.
     To further enhance the Garden, planted among the hostas are wild ginger, Japanese maple, astilbe, impatiens, begonias, and other colorful shade annuals.
     The Hosta Garden was created in 2002
by its designer, Dr. Bill Roston, and the Greater Ozarks Hosta Society. The Society maintains it today with the help of the Friends of the Garden volunteer organization. Plans are to continue developing the Garden by adding yet more hosta varieties in the near future.
     At the rear of the Hosta Garden are a rock garden and waterfall and an open, spacious lawn area that together form a beautiful setting for weddings. Weddings can be arranged simply by calling the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center at 417-891-1515.
     Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park is located at 2400 South Scenic in Springfield.

A Homey TouchA Homey Touch
This homemade sign greets visitors.
Hosta bedsHosta beds
This island bed exemplifies the versatility of hostas in combination in beds, borders, and plantings of all designs.
Green, they say, is the most soothing color, and that may be the reason for the unusually serene and calming nature of hosta gardens. Of Asian origin, the plant is noted in Japanese texts from the 8th century and has long been used in classical Japanese gardens.
Rock plantsRock plants
Smaller varieties of hosta make beautiful rock garden plants. The 'Little Wonder' variety at lower left, a true miniature variety, grows to 6" high and 12-14" wide and really stands out for its sharply margined deep green leaves and cream-to-white margins.
Lighter leavesLighter leaves
You might find this beautiful low-growing hosta by any of three different spellings, 'Ground Sulfer,' 'Ground Sulfur,' or 'Ground Sulphur.' Its small size and very pale chartreuse-gold leaves make it especially attractive as an edging plant. It grows 5-8" tall and about 9" wide.
'Abba Dabba Doo''Abba Dabba Doo'
'Abba Dabba Doo' is a superb background or specimen plant by virtue of its size. It grows to 28 inches tall and 60 inches wide. Its sriking leaves are wavy, medium-green with cream margins, and have pointed tips. Pale lavender blooms appear in midsummer.
'Abiqua Moonbeam''Abiqua Moonbeam'
The 'Abiqua Moonbeam' Hosta, a sport, or mutant, of 'August Moon, features beautiful heart-shaped leaves with blue-green centers and wide gold margins. It grows vigorously to 26 inches tall and 30 inches wide. Lavendar flowers appear in July.
'Allan P. McConnell''Allan P. McConnell'
'Allan P. McConnell' is an extra-engaging hosta in part for the neat, compact, symmetrical mound it forms of small green leaves with a narrow white margin. The plant grows to 8 inches tall with an 18-inch spread, making it ideal for edging beds and borders. Dark purple flowers appear in mid-July and August.
'Amber Maiden''Amber Maiden'
'Amber Maiden' is a lovely, medium-size hosta with heavily textured heart-shaped leaves that have margins that are light in color and turn yellow during the season. It grows to 14 inches tall and 16 inches wide and in autumn bears pale-lavender flowers.
'August Moon''August Moon'
'August Moon' is one of the hostas that thrive in full sun. It grows vigorously to 20-24 inches tall and 36-42 inches wide. The leaves are large, leathery, deeply veined and green-gold in color, becoming more harvest gold with summer.
We're sure this hosta is mislabeled, but we'll tell you about the 'Aureonebulosa' hosta nonetheless. Sometimes called 'Tokudama Aureonebulosa,' it actually features lovely cupped green leaves with a quilted texture and bold strokes of blue-green. It grows to 12 inches high and 16 inches wide in a rosette-like clump. White flowers appear in early summer. 
'Austin Dickinson''Austin Dickinson'
Tsk tsk. Here's another one we're sure is mislabeled. 'Austin Dickinson'actually has darker green, more rounded leaves with very bold white margins. It grows in an upright mound to 18 inches high and as wide as 50 inches. Dark purple, fragrant flowers appear in late summer.
'Azure Mediterranean''Azure Mediterranean'
'Azure Mediterranean' is a smaller hosta originated by Calvin Helsley of Mansfield, Missouri. It features very neat, rippled, blue-green leaves and grows in a mound 5 inches high and 14 inches wide. Pale lavender flowers appear in mid-July.
'Birchwood Parky's Gold''Birchwood Parky's Gold'
'Birchwood Parky's Gold' is a vigorous, eyecatching hosta with heart-shaped, yellow-green leaves that turn a richer yellow over the season. It forms an neat mound that can reach 14-16 inches tall and 30 inches wide and bears an abundance of long-lasting blue-lavender flowers from mid- to late summer.
'Blue Angel''Blue Angel'
One of the largest and most dramatic-looking of all hostas, 'Blue Angel' has deep blue-green leaves and can grow into a mound 30" tall and 72" (that's 6 feet!) wide. The smaller hosta at the lower left is 'Great Expectations,' an appealing plant that grows slowly to 24" tall and 50" wide.
'Blue Cadet''Blue Cadet'
'Blue Cadet' is an outstanding blue hosta that thrives beautifully in deep shade. It features lush ridged leaves and grows into a neat mound 18 inches tall with a similar spread. Dark lavender flowers appear in July.
'Brave Amhurst''Brave Amhurst'
This, it appears, is another mislabeled hosta. 'Brave Amhurst' (more commonly spelled 'Amherst') actually has dark blue-green leaves with creamy white margins. It grows to 18 inches high and 24 inches wide and bears pale lavender, nearly white flowers in early summer.
'Bressingham Blue''Bressingham Blue'
Another mislabeled hosta? Possibly, although this may be a juvenile. (Help, hosta experts!) 'Bressingham Blue' has wider, more heart-shaped blue-green leaves. It grows to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide and bears long-lasting, purple flowers in summer. 
The 'Carnival' hosta is a real prize in the garden. It features rich green, slightly wavy leaves with beautiful "painted" yellow-cream margins. It grows to 16 inches high and 36 inches wide and will tolerate sun.
One of the most eyecatching "gold" hostas, 'Chiquita' produces a spray of very long, lance-like leaves that start out bright yellow and turn lime green as the season progresses. The plant can grow to 24 inches tall and 48 inches wide.  
'Dee's Golden Jewel''Dee's Golden Jewel'
Oops, it looks like another mislabeling. 'Dee's Golden Jewel' is actually a gold hosta whose leaves have no margins. (Help, hosta experts!)
'Diamond Tiara''Diamond Tiara'
'Diamond Tiara' is a neatly compact hosta that boasts dark green leaves with attractive white margins. An exceptionally vigorous grower, it can reach 14 inches tall and 30 inches wide. Purple flowers appear in early August.
The TiarasThe Tiaras
The 'Emerald Tiara' hosta at left in this picture, with its pale-green leaves with darker green margins, grows to 20" tall and 16" wide. The 'Grand Tiara' variety at right sports darker green centers and lighter margins. It reaches 14" tall and 22" wide and is noted for blooming profusely in midsummer.
'Emily Dickinson''Emily Dickinson'
Deep green glossy leaves with creamy white margins, a neat, compact, mounded habit, and deep lavender flowers make 'Emily Dickinson' a welcome plant in any garden. Introduced in 1987, this hosta has become increasingly popular. It grows to 20 inches tall and 26 inches wide.
'Eola Sapphire''Eola Sapphire'
This unusually handsome hosta is 'Eola Sapphire'. It loves full to partial shade and needs constantly moist soil. One of the largest sieboldiana types, grows to 3 feet tall and four feet wide and produces white flowers in the fall. 
'Fan Dance''Fan Dance'
'Fandance' is considered an excellent specimen hosta for its textured eaves with butter-yellow centers and dark green margins. A fast grower, the plant can reach 18 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Its coloration depends upon the amount of sunlight it receives, with the butter-yellow centers becoming more creamy with more light. The flowers in autumn are pale lavender.
'Francee' sports heart-shaped heavily veined, dark green leaves with silvery margins. A vigorous grower, it can grow to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Purple flowers appear in midsummer. an extremely popular hosta. Very striking in the garden, it's also extremely popular.
'Frances Williams''Frances Williams'
Often misspelled as here "Francis Williams," this remarkable hosta is named after the woman who bred it, Frances Williams. It features heart-shaped, very large leaves with lovely "painted" greenish-yellow margins. 'Frances Williams' grows to 18 inches tall and 36 inches wide. It bears white flowers in midsummer. 
'Fried Bananas''Fried Bananas'
Caught in the morning light, 'Fried Bananas' is most notable for its thick, furrowed gold-chartreuse leaves and, in August, unusually fragrant flowers. It grows to 18 inches tall and 30 inches wide at maturity. A sport of 'Guacamole', it grows quickly and likes morning sun.
'Fried Green Tomatoes''Fried Green Tomatoes'
Said to be a sport of the 'Guacamole' hosta, 'Fried Green Tomatoes' is a faster-growing variety with leaves that darken as the season progresses. It reaches 18" tall and 36" wide.
'Frosted Jade''Frosted Jade'
'Frosted Jade' may get its name from its leaves' white edging or from their remarkable sheen, which reflects light so intensely that at certain angles they appear frosted. Dark green and wavy, the leaves are veined with white edging. The plant prefers shade and grows to 28 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Lavendar flowers appear in early to mid summer.
'Gingko Craig''Gingko Craig'
'Ginko Craig' is a lovely miniature hosta with lance-like leaves of green with very neat, thin, pristine white edging. At maturity it might reach six inches high and a foot across. its size, density, and coloration make it perfect for rock gardens or shade-garden border highlights. In July and August it bears beautiful deep lavender blossoms that make excellent cut flowers.
'Gold Edger Supreme''Gold Edger Supreme'
'Gold Edger Supreme' is an engaging miniature hosta that grows 4-6 inches tall and 6-9 inches wide. The leaves are greenish-yellow with thin, "painted" white margins and are slightly cupped. Pale lavender flowers appear om early summer to midsummer. As the name suggests, it's an excellent choice for edging beds or borders.
'Gold Regal''Gold Regal'
'Gold Regal' can be virtually spectacular in the garden, presenting green leaves in spring that in time turn bright yellow. The plant grows in a beautiful, upright, vase-like clump to 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Lavender flowers appear in early summer. Its golder coloring is best with half-day sun.
This 'Guacamole' variety hosta is noted for its unusually shiny green-edged gold-chartreuse leaves and fragrant flowers in July. A relative newcomer, it was the American Hosta Growers Association Hosta of the Year in 2002. The smaller hosta at lower left is 'Radiant Edger,' a variety extremely popular for its coloration and neat appearance.
'Gypsy Rose''Gypsy Rose'
Gardeners love 'Gypsy Rose' especially for its large oval leaves with creamy gold centers and dark green margins. The plant can grow to 2 feet tall and as wide and produces lavender flowers in fall on scapes (stems) 3 feet long.
'Honeysong' is for many gardeners one of the most charming of the variegated hostas. It grows 15-20 inches high with 6-7-inch "painted" leaves, a nicely mounding habit, and fragrant lavender flowers in July.
'Hyacinthina' has the distinction of producing masses of lavender flowers in the fall. It grows to 22 inches tall and 3 feet wide with foliage dense and low to the ground. The textured, pointed leaves are somewhat wavy-edged and attractive and give it a coarser texture, which can make a nice contrast with other plants in the garden.
'Invincible' is a standout hosta for its ultra-glossy, bright green leaves, nicely mounded habit, and the quality that inspires its name, a remarkable tolerance of sun. The plant grows faster than most hostas to 20 inches high and 24 inches wide and in late July bears clusters of fragrant white flowers on branched stems.
'Jade Scepter''Jade Scepter'
'Jade Scepter' is a beautiful mutation of 'Golden Tiara'. A faster-growing hosta, it can reach 14 inches tall and 28 inches wide and sports medium-green corrugated leaves and, in the fall, bell-shaped purple-striped flowers.
Oops. Looks like another mislabeled hosta. 'Janet' actually has leaves that are more heart-shaped and are gold-chartreuse edged with green margins. The margins remain green, but the leaves turn creamy white as the season progresses. 'Janet' likes shade to partial shade, grows to 18 inches tall and 32 inches wide, and bears lavender flowers in midsummer.
'June' was the American Hosta Growers Hosta of the Year in 2001, and for good reason. This markedly attractive  hosta is beloved for its heavy leaves with blue-green margins, gold centers with green striations within the gold, and bright color in the shade. It grows to 15 inches tall and 15 inches wide and bears very fragrant violet flowers from July to August. A winner on all counts.
A 'June' bedA 'June' bed

A simple bed with two 'June' hostas becomes a centerpiece in the Close garden, thanks to the coloration and solid, "substantial" look of the plant. 

'Koriyama' is a hosta growing rapidly in popularity. It features slightly wavy green leaves with yellow margins that over the season turn to creamy white. The plant is vigorous and can grow to 12 inches tall and 28 inches wide.
'Krossa Regal''Krossa Regal'
The Hosta Library says 'Krossa Regal' is a "must" for every hosta garden. We would add, "If you have the space" because this giant will eventually grow in a magnificent upright vase shape to as much 40 inches tall with a huge, 6-foot spread. The leaves are a frosty blue-green, large, and leathery with deep corrugations. The flowers are lavender and appear on scapes as tall as 6 feet. Note: In 1974 it won the American Hosta Society's Eunice Fisher Distinguished Hybridizer Award.
'Lakeside Kaleidoscope''Lakeside Kaleidoscope'
Description to come
'Little Wonder''Little Wonder'
A closer look at 'Little Wonder' and its unusually attractive coloration.
'Love Pat''Love Pat'
Description to come
This Hosta Garden planting of 'Minuteman' highlights its beautiful mounding habit as well as its striking, glossy, dark-green leaves with creamy white margins. A sport of 'Francee', it grows to a foot tall and 2 feet wide with pale lavender flowers in July. An eyecatcher wherever it grows, it'll even take some sun. If you find one, best buy it quickly, as it's so popular it tends to sell out very early in the season.
'Mississippi Delta''Mississippi Delta'
'Mountain Snow''Mountain Snow'
Description to come
'Night Before Christmas''Night Before Christmas'
Description to come
The dramatic coloration of the 'Patriot' hosta made it the 1997 Hosta of the Year and since an enduring favorite. The plant grows to 20" tall and 24" wide. Growers say it does best with some morning sun.
'Paul's Glory''Paul's Glory'
The American Hosta Growers' Hosta of the Year for 1999. Description to come
'Pineapple Upside Down Cake''Pineapple Upside Down Cake'
This whimsically named hosta is especially striking with its long, wavy leaves that start out green and turn yellow-gold trimmed with dark green. It can grow to 66" wide and 20" high and blooms in late summer.
'Potomac Pride''Potomac Pride'
Description to come
'Praying Hands''Praying Hands'
Many hosta-lovers think 'Praying Hands' the most unusual hosta ever. The plant has extremely narrow, curled, crinkled and furrowed green-and-white leaves that some believe resemble hands folded in prayer. It forms clumps about 18 inches wide and in late summer bears 18-inch-tall spikes of light-lavender flowers.
'Queen Josephine''Queen Josephine'
Description to come
'Raleigh Remembrance''Raleigh Remembrance'
'Regal Splendor''Regal Splendor'
'Regal Splendor' was The American Hosta Growers' Hosta of the Year in 2003. 
Description to come
'Shade Fanfare''Shade Fanfare'
Description to come
'Show Boat''Show Boat'
Description to come
'Something Blue''Something Blue'
Description to come
'So Sweet''So Sweet'
The American Hosta Growers' Hosta of the Year in 1996. Description to come
'So Sweet' Hosta'So Sweet' Hosta
The Missouri Botanical Garden gives the 'So Sweet' Hosta its highest rating, 5 stars and the American Hosta Growers named it Plant of the Year for 1996. This smaller hosta grows to 8 inches tall and a foot wide in a vase-like shape. The leaves are medium green with handsome cream or white margins, and in the fall the plant sends up white flowers that are quite fragrant.
'Spilt Milk''Spilt Milk'
'Spring Lace''Spring Lace'
Description to come
'Spring Lace''Spring Lace'
'Stenantha Variegated''Stenantha Variegated'
Description to come
'Sum and Substance''Sum and Substance'
This striking hosta with its large, leathery, neutral-green leaves has been called "the biggest and most popular hosta in the world." Indeed, 'Sum and Substance,' which grows to 3' tall and 5-6' wide, was the American Hosta Growers Association's Hosta of the Year in 2004. The AHGA says that its award winners are "hostas that are good garden plants in all regions of the country, are widely available, in sufficient supply, and retail for about $15."
'Sugar and Cream''Sugar and Cream'
Description to come
'Summer Fragrance''Summer Fragrance'
Description to come
'Summer Music''Summer Music'
Description to come
'Sweet Home Chicago''Sweet Home Chicago'
The leaves of 'Sweet Home Chicago', with their green-gold centers and richer green margins, make it a widely popular hosta. It grows to 18" tall and 45" wide. Its colors deepen as the season progresses.
'Gold Standard''Gold Standard'
'Chinese Sunrise''Chinese Sunrise'
'Yellow Rider''Yellow Rider'
Yellow BoaYellow Boa
Winfield BlueWinfield Blue
Pineapple PollPineapple Poll
El CapitanEl Capitan
Hosta Long ShotHosta Long Shot
Mardi GrasMardi Gras
Hosta Garden Water Feature Up CloseHosta Garden Water Feature Up Close
Hosta Garden Water FeatureHosta Garden Water Feature
Hosta Garden SignHosta Garden Sign
The Mulched Hosta GardenThe Mulched Hosta Garden
Tom Hauling MulchTom Hauling Mulch
Lisa & AnnLisa & Ann
The Bed Up CloseThe Bed Up Close
Tom and Hosta TalkTom and Hosta Talk
Early PlantsEarly Plants
The Water FeatureThe Water Feature
The PergolaThe Pergola
The CenterThe Center
Bountiful BedsBountiful Beds
A Lovely BedA Lovely Bed
The Long ViewThe Long View
White Bleeding HeartWhite Bleeding Heart
The Hosta GardenThe Hosta Garden
Marilyn WeedingMarilyn Weeding
Lisa & The ArborLisa & The Arbor
Kids in the Hosta GardenKids in the Hosta Garden
Hostas and WaterHostas and Water
Hosta HelpersHosta Helpers
Tom & LabelTom & Label
Bob ChildressBob Childress
Early Spring 640Early Spring 640
Hosta Garden Plaque 640 December 13, 2014Hosta Garden Plaque 640 December 13, 2014
First Sprouts April 4First Sprouts April 4
Many varietiesMany varieties
Light and ShadeLight and Shade

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