Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hosta Identification

My fennel is becoming monstrous. But it is many of the things I most love in plants. It is lush, it has a beautiful, feathery fronds, it attracts beautiful and interesting insects, you can eat it, and it grows on its own without my help. I just like to reach out and touch it as I go by. I have yet to use it in my cooking, though I know many people do. I just like the looks of it, I guess. I found a few little visitors in it today while clearing it back from smothering my french tarragon and spicy oregano.

I believe that this is a caterpillar of a black swallowtail butterfly. I looked them up, and they love to lay their eggs in members of the carrot family, parsley, fennel, dill, and queen anne's lace. I went out later and looked, and found 2 more! I am very curious to go out and look in my dill tomorrow and see if I can find some there.

Recently, I have been learning a lot about hostas from a good friend on Twitter. I realized that I have been really neglecting the hostas I have, and that I really don't know that much about them. I don't even know the names of my hosta. Some of them don't look so great, I think they are getting more sun since I moved to my new yard. So I am posting pictures of the ones I have, so that maybe I can get some help in figuring out what they are.

Exhibit A: A smaller one, this one is more healthy looking than most. He has green leaves with white edges.

Exhibit B: This one is not doing well at all. He looks kind of bleached out. Maybe he is one that can't take as much sun. The true leaves that I can see look like a pretty green, with darker green edges. This spot is also very dry. The tree prevents it from getting some rain...and the front of the house keeps the back of this spot from getting any rain unless it's raining sideways.

Exhibit C: This one is doing okay. It is green with a goldish, tannish stripe going down the middle of each leaf. Also a smaller one.

Exhibit D: This one gets very large leaves, and it is also a little bleached looking, but this one is mostly this color. It is a very light yellow-green. I have two of this one.

Exhibit E: This one might be the same kind as B. Also very bleached looking. I took another pic of one of the underneath leaves.

You can see it is a lighter green surrounded my an almost bluish green. This makes me wonder if it really is too much sun...if the underneath leaves have better color.

Exhibit F: This is a volunteer hosta left here by the lady that lived here before me. She took all her plants, but I guess missed this one. It is pretty small, it must have been a tiny little piece. It is green with tannish streaks throughout the middle of the leaves. It is in a different bed. It is in my 'part sun' area, but seems to be doing well.

Exhibit G: This might be the same as D, but it is a darker green. Still very light, and large, wobbly leaves.

So, you can see my hostas need some help. I think identifying them first will help, and the creation of a new hosta bed in the back will also be good. The shade under the pines is deeper and lasts most of the day as I can tell. I already have a blue wedgewood that is going back there, and possibly some from my neighbor. Maybe some of these hosta need to be moved as well.

If you know the names of any of these hostas, leave a comment. I would appreciate it.


  1. OK, you had to know I was up for the challenge! Here are my best guesses, hostas don't usually look their best this time of the year so I could be wrong on these.
    A. Francee
    B. May be a really bleached out Gold Standard
    C. Undulata sport
    D. Zounds or August Moon
    E. same as B
    F. Undulata
    G. Zounds or August Moon

    Hope this helps,

  2. Hosta Nerd rocks! I looked them up, from what I can tell, you are correct. I would probably chose August Moon on D and G. Thanks so much.

  3. That's a pretty dotted caterpillar.

  4. Sorry, cannot help with the names but I love them all. Nice picture of a caterpillar!



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