Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’, Siebold’s plantain lily, is a shade-loving perennial. Its leaves are large, with a fine corrugated texture. The thick leaves and dense clustering growth habit smothers nearby weeds. In early to midsummer, the plantain lily pushes out white, bell-shaped flowers. It has a wide range of appeal, making it a well-loved garden staple.

  1. Botanical background:
    • Plantain lilies belong to the family Asparagaceae, the asparagus family
    • This species of hosta is native to Japan
  2. Historic significance:
    • The genus name, hosta, was named after Austrian botanist Nicholas Host in 1812. It was later renamed to “funkia” to honor another botanist, Heinrich Funk.
    • The name reverted to hosta and was finalized in 1905
    • Hosta sieboldiana was named in honor of doctor Philipp Franz van Siebold for introducing native Japanese plants to English gardens
    • The plantain lily was given the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit
  3. Medicinal uses:
    • Hosta is a traditional folk medicine in Asia, used as an anti-inflammatory and cough medicine
  4. Horticultural delight:
    • This hosta has an interesting puckered texture on its leaves
    • The delicate white flowers add seasonal interest
    • Its low, thick growth habit can help prevent the spread of weeds
  5. Landscape design:
    • Siebold’s plantain lily fills in shady spots in the garden
    • Its bluish green leaves add a pop of color among foliage
  6. Cultivation and care:
    • Ho