NEW! We've added information from the American Hosta Society's registration database. Whenever we've found a match for a cultivar, we've included the info from the AHS's registry page so you don't have to jump around from site to site.

Hostas are a popular plant type consisting of roughly 40-ish species that are native to north-east Asia. Even though they were originally native to Asia, they've grown to become one of the most popular garden plants in the world and you'll find hosta enthusiasts on almost every continent.

HELP PLEASE! We would be delighted to post your hosta photos here to help others identify their own hostas. We're happy to provide a link and a credit, too. If you've got photos you'd like to share email them to us along with how you'd like the photo credited and we'll get them up on the site ASAP! Email Hosta Photos to:

The change in Hosta family classification from Liliacae to Agavaceae was initated by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, or APG. Basically, the APG is made up of two international groups of 'systematic botanists' who got together to established new and improved guidelines defining the taxonomy of flowering plants. As we learn more about Hostas in specific, and plants in general, it sometimes makes sense to rethink how we classify and categorize them based on our new knowledge. So, based on the new knowlege, Hostas have been 'reclassified'.
Hostas were considered to be part of the Liliaceae family, but recently they've been moved into the Agavaceae family. This is why you'll find Hostas listed as members of the lily family as well as members of the agavaceae family in different places - it will depend on how recent the information is.

Historically, Hosta have been called a variety of names, including Corfu Lily, Day Lily, Plantain lily, Plantation Lily, Giboshi, and Funkia. However, these older monikers are obsolete even though you may find them listed on the 'nursery label' if you purchase a Hosta today. The Japanese name for the plant, Giboshi, is also used in English to a small extent. Also, the name "Funkia" can still be found in older literature relating to Hostas.

The modern name "Hosta" was applied to these wonderful plants to honor the Austrian botanist Nicholas Thomas Host. And this name is both the 'common' plant name for the entire group of plants as well as the botanical name.

Today there are thousands of varieties of Hosta. This explosion of cultivated varieties is in part due to the Hosta's sturdy and easy-care nature as well as the fact that they are one of the dependable shade-loving plants that will produce blooms. was born as a result of the difficulty we had identifying our 'NOID' (No Identification) Hostas. We discovered that even with the great hosta reference sites on the net today, it is a labor intensive process sorting manually through pages and pages of hosta photos, trying to match up the characteristics of our own NOIDs to one of the photos. This was when we decided to try our own version of a Hosta Reference Database to see if we could help make things easier for someone wanting to identify their own hosta. We've spent many hours researching available information from various places - including reference books and other online information sources. What we found is that the information about hostas is confusing, complicated and in some cases contradictary! Where discrepencies were found we chose the information that we could verify from a hosta-specifc resource - such as the American Hosta Society or other published reference material.

Not officially done, but...

Even though the site is a long way away from being complete we think you might still find it useful. We're currently trying to wrap up the interface for the database search to make the results a bit easier to see at a glance. Each time you visit, hopefully things will look better and better :-) .

We decided to develop this in a live internet environment, 'in situ', so that information that might help someone can be available at the earliest possible time. This means that some -- ok, most -- of the links and search features may not quite work (and for that, we apologize). But the basic 'fuzzy search' capability is live so at least you can start hunting for hosta information right now, if you like. Also, we do realize that a key factor in identifying a hosta is having a photo to compare to. Right now we don't have many. We're working on that, too. We still recommend trying for photos if you have an idea of what cultivar, by name, you might be interested in.

As far as we can tell we've got one of the more substantial hosta reference libraries on the net at the moment. We currently have information on close to 8000 Hostas on line! So, even though we're a long way from being ready-for-prime-time, we do have lots of information available for anyone wanting to identify their hostas and isn't afraid of some elbow grease doing searches.

Whole Word FUZZY-Find

Partial Word Find

USDA Zone Lookup

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