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ALBESCENT – possessing leaves that begin yellow or more pigmented and become whiter as the season progresses; e.g., H. 'Gold Standard'.
ANTHER – the upper part of the stamen, male flower part, in a capsule-like structure that splits to release yellow pollen.
AP0MIXIS - asexual seed produced without the normal fusion of pollen and egg giving rise to seedlings genetically identical to the pod parent; e.g., H. ventricosa.
AXILLARY - coming from the joint of a leaf and the stem.
BACKCROSS – a cross of an F1 (hybrid seedling) to either parent that generated it.
BLOOM - 1. flower 2. waxy coating on a leaf, stem, or pod surface producing a dusty appearance.
BLOOM TIME - the time period between when the first flower of a stem or clump opens or is receptive to pollination and the last flower is open or receptive.
BRACT – the diminutive or leaf-like structures on the scape below each flower.
BREEDER – hybridizer of the cultivar.
CATAPHYLLS – the often purplish short leaf-like coverings over the pips when they first emerge.
CENTERED-OUT – the dying out of the middle portion of a clump; often called Fairy Ring.
CHIMERA – containing cells of two or more different tissues.
CHIMERAL REARRANGEMENT – changing position of different tissues; i.e., gold-margined hosta producing a gold-centered or all gold division.
CLONE - a group of genetically identical individual plants produced by asexual propagation.
CORDATE - having acute leaf point or apex, and flat to cordate leaf base; shaped like valentine heart.
COROLLA – collective set of petals and sepals, fused into tepals.
CORRUGATED – see RUGOUSE
CROSS (of two plants) – transfer of pollen from one plant onto the stigma of another; represented by x symbol: maternal (pod) parent x paternal (pollen) parent.
CROWN – the base of a plant where the roots and shoots join.
CULTIVAR - contraction word for "cultivated variety"; a plant that is clearly distinguished by identical physical characteristics and maintains these characteristics through clonal propagation
CUPPED – leaf blade having the center of the leaf lower than the margin, concave.
DIVISION – (in Hosta) a single shoot with roots attached.
DRAWSTRING EFFECT – leaf distortion caused by expansion of leaf blade interior with correspondingly lesser expansion of margin tissue; e.g. H. 'Lunar Eclipse'. Differs from cupping by distorted center.
DWARF – see MINIATURE. Obsolete term no longer used by The American Hosta Society.
EMERGED – having shoots above the ground.
EYE – undeveloped or dormant shoot; a dormant bud. Frequently used for any division.
F1 – the first filial generation. Generation resulting immediately from cross of first set of parents.
FASCIATED – flower stem composed of two or more stems growing in a fused bundle.
FEATHERS – small segments of a different color at the base of the leaf that do not reach the edge.
FERTILIZATION - 1. Application of nutrients; 2. union of egg and sperm.
FILAMENT – the long thin structure that holds the anther.
FLOWER STEM - the main stem of the inflorescence.
FOLDED - bent upward parallel to midrib, keel-shaped.
FURLED - having leaves with edges or sides curled or coiled in to the midrib; e.g. H. 'Stetson'.
GENOTYPE - The genetic makeup of a plant.
GENUS - taxonomic division of related species below family.
GIANT - leaf blade area greater than 144 sq. inches.
GLABROUS - smooth hairless leaf texture.
GLAUCOUS – a crystalline waxy coating (or bloom) with an airy structure producing a white to blue coloring over the plant parts.
HEART-SHAPED – see CORDATE. having an acute leaf point or apex, and a flat to cordate leaf base; shaped like a valentine heart.
HYBRID – seedling from two distinct genetically different parents.
INFLORESCENCE - the flowering part of a hosta including the raceme, peduncle, pedicel, and flower.
INFLORESCENCE LEAVES - the larger, occasionally flat, leaf-like structures on the flower stem.
INTRODUCE - initially distribute.
INTRODUCER - person or nursery that first distributes the cultivar.
JETTING – having margin variegation not uniform: irregularly extends into or toward leaf center; e.g. H. montana 'Aureomarginata', H. montana 'Choko Nishiki'.
JUVENILE – the pre-adult stages of a plant usually exemplified by more pointed, narrower leaves,fewer vein pairs, thinner marginal variegation, faster growth rate, and often smaller leaf and clump size.
LANCE-SHAPED – having narrow pointed leaf tip, and leaf blade width less than one half the length of the blade.
LARGE – leaf blade area from 81 sq. inches to 144 sq. inches.
LEAF BLADE – the thin, usually flat part of leaf excluding the petiole.
LUTESCENT – possessing leaves which begin the season darker and become lighter or more yellow as the season progresses; not the result of bleaching due to poor nutrition or too much sun.
MACULATA – Latin term for spotted.
MATURE – a plant with general characteristics that do not change with continued aging.
MEDIO-VARIEGATED – leaf or leaves having a lighter center than the margin color.
MEDIUM – leaf blade area from 25 sq. inches to less than 81 sq. inches.
MELTING OUT - necrosis of the usually white or lighter-colored tissue.
MERISTEM - the region of rapidly expanding cells of one of the growing points of a plant that further differentiate to produce shoots, roots, and flowers.
MID-RIB – the center vein of a leaf.
MINIATURE - (aka MINI) - leaf blade area less than 6 sq. inches.
MISTED – having small short segments of dark pigmented tissue on a lighter background.
MOTTLED - blotched spotting of leaf blade; e.g., H.'Cynthia'.
MUTATION – change in DNA of plant that can be transmitted through its sports and seedlings.
NECROSIS - the death or dying of cells, tissues, or whole plants.
NODE - the meristematic place on a stem where the leaf is attached.
OPEN POLLINATED - (aka OP)- progeny from open pollination.
OPEN POLLINATION - pollination without human assistance, i.e., by insects or wind.
ORIGINATOR - person or nursery who found or grew the cultivar.
ORIGINATOR STOCK - (aka OS)- divisions produced naturally from original plant; not tissue-culture propagated.
OVARY - the basal portion of the pistil where eggs are contained.
OVATE - leaves egg-shaped.
PANICLE - an inflorescence with the main axis branched; e.g., H. tibae.
PATTERN – leaf variegation.
PEDICEL - the structure attaching an individual flower to the flower stem.
PEDUNCLE – the main stem of the inflorescence; flower stem.
PETAL – see TEPAL
PETIOLE – leaf stalk.
PHENOTYPE - physical appearance of plant.
PHOTOSYNTHESIS – process in chloroplasts containing chlorophyll that creates carbohydrates using light energy, water and carbon dioxide.
PIECRUST – a consistent rippled or crimped appearance limited to the outer edge of a leaf.
PISTIL - the female part of the flower consisting of style, stigma, and ovary.
POD - developed ovary or fruit containing seeds.
POLLEN - powdery yellow substance inside anthers carrying male gametes.
POLLINATION - the transfer of pollen to a receptive stigma.
PROGENY – offspring from sexual reproduction. Sometimes used to reference non-sexual reproduction offspring (e.g., sports, mutations).
PRUINOSE – see GLAUCOUS
PUCKERING – see SEERSUCKERING
RACEME - inflorescence with flowers attached individually to a main stem by pedicels.
REGISTRANT - person or nursery who registered cultivar.
REVERT – change of variegated sport back to its original solid colored parent.
RHIZOMATOUS – having long reaching underground horizontal stems; loosely spreading habit; e.g., H. clausa.
RUGOUSE – wrinkled: a gathering of leaf between veins giving leaf bubbled, dimpled, puckered, seersuckered, crinkled, or corrugated effect.
SELF (verb) – to pollinate a hosta using pollen of the same plant or its clone
SCAPE – the stem bearing the complete set of flowers for a single division.
SEEDLING – plant of seed origin.
SEERSUCKERING – see RUGOUSE
SELFING - the pollination of a clone by the same clone.
SHOOT – the stem and set of leaves of an individual division; the dormant set of leaves all enclosed in a single set of leaf scales.
SIBLINGS – seedlings from same parentage
SMALL – a plant with a leaf blade area from 6 sq. inches to less than 25 sq. inches.
SPECIES - taxonomic division (rank) of freely interbreeding populations of wild or naturally occurring individuals below rank of genus.
SPECKLED – small spotted irregular coloring.
SPORT – aka BUD SPORT – part of plant (offshoot or shoot) that deviates from rest of plant
STABLE - a plant that maintains its solid or variegated pattern when propagated by division.
STAMEN – the male flower parts consisting of the filament and the anther.
STIGMA – pollen-receptive female tip at end of style.
STOLONIFEROUS – see RHIZOMATOUS
STREAKED – having irregular leaf color of differently colored stripes ranging from short dashes to long striations spanning the leaf length.
STYLE – the long tube connecting the stigma with the ovary.
SUBSTANCE – characteristic of leaf comprising thickness, density and rigidity.
TEPAL - general term for the flower lobes
TEXTURE - the characteristics of the leaf surface to the eye.
TISSUE CULTURE - (aka TC) - growing plant fragments within nutrient medium to create clones of original plant.
TWISTED – leaf or scape rotated around itself producing askew condition.
UNDULATED – a course wave to the leaf blade; e.g., H.'Undulata'.
UNFURLED – the stage of leaf development when the blade is open and completely separated from the petiole.
UNSTABLE – not having true-to-type variegation in all divisions in a clump or not retaining true-to-type variegation from season to season.
VARIEGATED – leaf having more than one color due to a difference in pigment components.
VEIN PAIRS – the matched set of veins on opposite side of the center midrib.
VEINS – the prominent lines of connective tissue for carrying water and nutrients.
VIRIDESCENT - possessing of leaves which begin the season lighter colored and become more green as the season advances.
WAVY – see UNDULATED
WHITE-BACKED – having a glaucous underside; e.g., H. hypoleuca.
For greater details, please see the following publications:
W. George Schmid, The Genus HOSTA / Giboshi zoku (Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, Inc, 1991): 21-34, 357-364
Diana Grenfell & Michael Shadrack, The New Encyclopedia of Hostas (Portland Oregon: Timber Press, Inc, 2009): 443-444
Mark Zilis, The Hostapedia, An Encyclopedia of Hostas (Rochelle, Illinois: Q & Z Nursery, Inc, 2009): 31-37