The Hosta genus is a group of shadow ornamentals, which decorate mainly with their leaves. Their lands of origin are Japan, Korea and China. Hostas have been known for almost three thousand years, but actually they came into prominence in the past few decades only. Under the hand of the improvers, they went through an enormous change, and due to their work numberless species and versions were formed, one more beautiful than the other. Thereby the genus has won the title of “the species having the most variegated leaves” among ornamentals. It is one of the most popular groups of plants in Western Europe and America. The leaves show great variety of colour, size and shape. According to their colour and pattern, the leaves can be green, blue, yellow and the mixtures of these colours, appearing on the middle or edge of the leaf, but there are striolate, tabby or spotty ones as well. For some special species, the leaf-stalk takes a colour, or the back of the leaf gets white bloomy. The size, shape and surface texture of the leaves also show wide diversity. The size of the leaf can change from a finger-nail to a car wheel, while its shape from narrow, band-like to cordate or circular. Its surface can be wrinkled, puckered, deeply sunken along the leaf veins, with repand, undulate edge.
Despite the fact that Hostas decorate mainly with their leaves, their flowers are also colourful. The colour of the flowers located in campanulate loose bunches can be white, light blue, lavender blue, hyacinth or purple, maybe striolate and tabby. There are full-flowered and numerous sweet-smelling species. Their blooming season lasts from the beginning of summer till October, depending on the species.
The size of the full-blown Hostas is also quite various, extending from palm-sized dwarfs to giants of diameter of one or two meter which makes it possible to use Hostas in landscape architecture in the most variegated ways.