AHGA Hosta of the Year

2013 - H. 'Rainforest Sunrise'

Click here for entire list with photos

Rainforest Sunrise

With the increasing number of hosta cultivars being introduced each year it is increasingly difficult for nurserymen and gardeners to choose just the right hostas for their sales areas and gardens. To this end the American Hosta Growers Association established the AHGA Hosta of the Year in 1996. It is selected by a vote of AHGA members. Award winners are hostas that are good garden plants in all a regions of the country, are widely available and in sufficient supply and retail for about $15.00 in the year of selection.

Published Books
In addition to the American Hosta Society publications listed on this AHS Web site, the following independently published books and other publications may be of interest to the reader/gardener.

Hostas - An Essential Guide

Hostas - An Essential Guide

Hostas - An Essential Guide, By Richard Ford, 2010, hardcover, 9.7" x 7.4", The Crowood Press, UK, 192 pp.
ISBN 9781847972187

Hostas originated mainly in Japan and were not introduced to Britain until the nineteenth century. They were grown and collected in Europe and America for the next two hundred years, but it was their move into containers that boosted their popularity and with their vibrant foliage made them an exuberant feature of gardens in the last twenty years. With the expert knowledge of Richard Ford, a Chelsea gold-medal winning nurseyman, this practical book looks at all aspects of their care and cultivation and will inspire everyone to make the most of hostas in their garden. Topics covered include: Seasonal guide to cultivation, Advice on soils, Instruction on propagation and raising new varieties, Definitive advice on the control of slugs and snails, Reference guide to varieties

The Hostapedia

The Book of Little Hostas:
200 Small, Very Small, and Mini Varieties

The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small, and Mini Varieties, Kathy Guest Shadrack and Michael Shadrack, Consulting editor Diana Grenfell, 2010, hardcover, 7" x 9", Timber Press, Inc., Portland, OR, USA, 208 pp.
ISBN 9781604690606

Hostas are irresistible. Their sculptural leaves and appealing textures make it difficult to stop at one, and it is easy to fill a garden with them. Help is at hand with this attractive guide to the popular new small hostas that take up less space and are ideally suited to container cultivation. They can be used on their own or with companion plants to make charming displays on the patio, porch, or even windowsill. Many small hostas are simply scaled-down versions of classic hostas, while others offer distinctly new attributes in terms of color, leaf shape, and patterning. Like full-size hostas, small hostas can be upright, flat, or cascading; there are varieties that are full of substance, and others that are fine and delicate; there are green ones, gold ones, blue ones, variegated ones, and splashed ones. Some are better garden plants than others, and a valuable function of this book is to showcase the very best of the new introductions. Photographs of the hostas in garden settings show how admirably they respond to imaginative display in a wide range of situations including waterside, woodland, and rock gardens. Beautifully illustrated and highly informative, this handpicked selection of diminutive hostas will inspire hobbyists and gardeners alike and provide inspiration for new planting schemes.

The Hostapedia

The Hostapedia

The Hostapedia, Mark R. Zilis, 2009, hardcover, 9" x 12", Q & Z Nursery, Inc., Rochelle IL, USA, 1128 pp.
ISBN 978-0-9679440-1-2

In The Hostapedia, Mark Zilis describes every hosta that he has encountered over the past thirty years. This includes forms he studied in gardens and nurseries throughout the United States and those he observed in native habitats and collections in Japan. It encompasses all cultivars registered with the American Hosta Society and others listed in a wide variety of publications and websites. The 1900 photos in The Hostapedia highlight the most important hostas, as well as many unusual collector's plants and hosta oddities. Over 7400 hosta descriptions listed A-Z. Complete index of hosta names. Factual and entertaining. Most definitive work on hostas in print and a must for every collector, gardener and nurseryman.

Made in the Shade: Confessions of a Hostaholic

Made in the Shade: Confessions of a Hostaholic

Made in the Shade: Confessions of a Hostaholic, Larry Tucker, 2009, spiral bound, 7" x 8½", Weber Publications, Memphis, TN, USA, 124 pp.
ISBN 978-0-9710743-2-3

Brimming with adventures and advice, this light-hearted book presents 80 of Larry Tucker's humorous essays and 55 of his tips on hosta gardening. It covers 10 years of his shady shenanigans and practical (if not off-the-wall) approach to gardening. Combining wit and wisdom, lore and lessons, the book follows Larry's romp through a life blessed and cursed by his hosta habit. Along the way, he copes with Hurricane Elvis, devastating drought, mountains of mulch and April fools. Troubles aside, many fond friends and precious plants merit his signature "Hosta la vista!" This fund-raising publication benefits the American Hosta Society's National Display Garden in Memphis. The author, a retired newspaper editor, was founding president of the Mid-South Hosta Society, longtime editor of the Hosta Hotline newsletter and former AHS vice president for publications.

Made in the Shade: More Confessions

Made in the Shade: More Confessions

Made in the Shade: More Confessions, 2012, spiral bound, 7" x 8½", Weber Publications, Memphis, TN, USA, 176 pp.
ISBN 978-0-9710743-3-0

Larry Tucker's Made in the Shade book is back by popular demand! This second edition of his adventures and advice, wit and wisdom will help you nurture plants, recognize yourself and maintain your sanity. It's brimming with 24 more chapters, hosta tips, color covers and pictures. Revenue again is destined for the Memphis Botanic Garden's Hosta Trail, an American Hosta Society National Display Garden. Here's what a few of your hosta friends are saying:

"It doesn't matter if you have never seen a farm or you were raised in Florida, Larry's verbal picture of life with hostas and Shari (his wife of two score and more) comes alive in humorous anecdotes. Grab a cup of coffee or a martini, ease back in your La-Z-Boy and prepare for his hilarious second-edition Made in the Shade." —Doug Beilstein, Mansfield, OH, American Hosta Society President

"These stories make me smile and chuckle because I can relate all too well to Larry's colorful antics. He weaves good horticultural advice into his tales so seamlessly that you don't realize you're learning something while you laugh." —Mary Schwartzbauer, Hastings, MN, former AHS president



Hostas, Rosemary Barrett, photographs by Derek Hughes, February 2004, hardcover & oversize paperback, 143 pages, Publisher: David Bateman Ltd
ISBN: 9781869535209, ISBN-10: 1869535200

With over 200 photographs and 170 species and cultivars described, Hostas is a beautiful introduction to this hardy, versatile perennial. The infinite variety of leaf color, size and texture combined with their ease of cultivation, makes hostas that perfect plant for gardens of all sizes and types.

The Hosta BookThe Hosta Book

The HOSTA Book

The HOSTA Book second edition, Paul Aden, 1988, 1990. hardbound & paperback
Timber Press, 133 S. W. Second Avenue, Portland, OR 97204, USA
133 pp.

The distinguished contributors to this book point out an abundance of virtues that make hostas some of the most valuable of garden plants. The genus is dealt with in a larger context of developing an enjoyable garden that will be a source of pride. As well as their versatility in the garden - they can be excellent, weed free groundcovers; huge, lush background plantings; or bright accent foliage to lighten up dark corners in the garden - hostas offer spectacular leaf and flower forms for floral arrangements.

Timber Press Pocket Guide to Hostas

Timber Press Pocket Guide to Hostas, Diana Grenfell and Mike Shadrack, 2007, paperback, 298 color photos, 5.75” x 8.25”, Timber Press, 133 S. W. Second Avenue, Portland, OR 97204, USA
212 pp., ISBN 9780881928471

This guide features 280 of the best new and old hostas, each handpicked by veteran plantswoman Diana Grenfell for its superb performance in the landscape. The descriptions include botanical details to aid in plant identification and selection, succinct cultivation notes, and brief comparisons to 545 similar and related hostas. Fabulous photographs by Michael Shadrack accompany the descriptions.  A convenient and portable supplement to the authors' comprehensive Color Encyclopedia of Hostas.

The Genus Hosta

The Genus HOSTA

The Genus HOSTA, W. George Schmid,1991, hardbound
Timber Press, 133 S. W. Second Avenue, Portland, OR 97204, USA

A truly comprehensive scientific and horticultural study of the genus hosta. The largest part of the book is devoted to detailed descriptions of all species, varieties, forms, and registered/non-registered cultivars. Professional horticulturists and hosts enthusiasts will appreciate this first-ever comprehensive classification system listing approximately 3500 names and synonyms including 300 Japanese names printed in kana. Also included is information on care and cultivation, propagation and hybridization, landscape uses, and pests and diseases. This book is a definite reference work.

Hosta by Diana Grenfell
HOSTA - The Flowering Foliage Plant

HOSTA - The Flowering Foliage Plant, Diana Grenfell, 1990, hardbound
Timber Press, 133 S. W. Second Avenue, Portland, OR 97204, USA
208 pp.

This study of the genus Hosta begins with a historical perspective, looking at hostas in the wild, the early collectors, and the nineteenth and twentieth-century botanists who have worked on the genus. The largest chapter concerns the species consigned to their various sub-genera and sections. The cultivar chapter describes hostas which make good garden plants, those of notable historic interest and some that have recently arisen in tissue culture. Other chapters are devoted to uses of hostas in gardens from large woodland settings to small courtyards, and of course Hosta Reference Collections.

The Gardeners Guide to Growing Hostas

The Gardener's Guide to Growing HOSTAS

The Gardener's Guide to Growing HOSTAS, Diana Grenfell,1996, hardbound
Timber Press, 133 S. W. Second Avenue, Portland, OR 97204, USA

A practical guide for gardeners and collectors. The book features a wealth of essential advice on cultivation, propagation and garden uses with an extensive A-to-Z plant directory listing over 400 cultivars and forms. Information on exhibiting and showing hostas completes the comprehensive and up-to-date account of this fascinating plant

The Hosta Handbook

The Hosta Handbook

The Hosta Handbook, Mark Zilis, 2000, spiral bound, Q&Z Nursery, Rochelle, IL, USA, ISBN 0-9679440-0-7

The Hosta Handbook can be thought of as a field guide to hostas and is meant to be carried around in the garden.  The 4 1/4" wide by 9" long format lends itself to this purpose.  This spiral bound, 600 page reference, lists virtually every hosta in the trade in the year 2000, with their foliage pattern, flower, genetic history, and often their mature size.  For the beginner to the most serious hosta grower, this will become your bible.


Sandra Bond, ISBN 0 7063 7060 0 Ward Lock, London, England.

Sandra Bond is the owner of Goldbrook Plants a specialist hosta nursery in Suffolk, England.  She is a garden designer and has won fourteen consecutive gold medals for her hostas displays at the famous Chelsea Flower Show.  It is not surprising therefore that this beautiful little book concentrates not on a catalogue of the various hosta cultivars that were available when it was published in 1992 but on the use of hostas in garden design and their versatility as garden plants.  There are also chapters on colour in the garden, the cultivation of the genus and their use as container plants.

Many designs for gardens and small flowerbeds featuring hostas are included and excellently illustrated and the chapter on cultivation contains a wealth of Sandra’s experience and horticultural knowledge.  There is the obligatory chapter listing well known hosta cultivars where the reader will be pleased to find not a simple description taken from the registration papers but the observations of someone who has actually grown the plant in a variety of situations.

Sadly this little gem is not longer in print, but fear not.  It was republished in 1997 as part of a larger compendium “The Complete Guide to Foliage Planting”  (ISBN 0 7063 7581 5) which includes the other books in the original series covering Grasses, Bamboos, Hardy Ferns and large leaved Perennials.

The Color Encyclopedia of Hostas 

The Color Encyclopedia of Hostas, Diana Grenfell and Michael Shadrack, Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales, 2004, Timber Press, Inc., Portland, OR, USA 408 pp, 800 color photos, 2 maps, 8 1/2 x 11", hardcover, ISBN 0-88192-618-3

This resource provides a full description and color photograph for more than 750 plants capturing the qualities of each hosta that make it distinctive and uniquely desirable. Contains sections on hosta classification and botany, cultivation, gardening ideas, advice on pests and diseases and a quick-reference list of the best hostas for different purposes.

Hostas by Andrew Mikolajski

Hostas by Andrew Mikolajski 

ISBN 1 8421 5515 6 Southwater Publishing, London, England. Republished in 2001

Although this book is only 64 pages it has been found to be very useful to beginners.


The Hosta Library   www.hostalibrary.org

The Hosta Library is an independent site operated by fellow hosta enthusiasts. It can be used as a means of identifying hostas, seeing new hosta that you may be interested in obtaining, or for general information on hostas. It is a resource for the beginner to the most serious hosta grower.
As noted on the opening page of the Hosta Library it is comprised of photos, which are donated and a few could possibly be wrong.

Fraternal Order of the Seedy Fellows   www.foosf.com   

The FOoSF is a group of hybridizers seeking to improve the genus Hosta by creating new combination of genes, bringing together recessive qualities that were once hidden in the gene pools, producing plants with unique architecture, and modern color combinations; truly visionary quest. This well designed site offers insight on the hybridizer's life and interests; photographs, and recent awards in beautiful and easily navigated page.

Hosta Seed Growers  www.hostaseedgrowers.com   

A group of hybridizers based mainly in the Midwest United States, feature photos of their hosta seedlings. The website offers links to other helpful websites and hosts a very active hybridizing and seed growing forum.

Hosta Seed Growers  Forum  www.hostaseedlings.com   

This active forum is dedicated to sharing information about hybridizing hostas and growing hosta seedlings. Hybridizers share their tips, stories, and photos of their experiences.

USDA Hardiness Map

Latest USDA Hardiness Map

The American Hosta Growers Association   http://www.hostagrowers.org/

The American Hosta Growers Association is a trade organization for nurseries that specialize in the growing and sale of hostas. Its members include producers of hosta liners, wholesale landscape nurseries, wholesale and retail mail-order hosta nurseries, and hosta specialty nurseries that feature garden displays and local retail sales. A few of its purposes are to foster interest in hostas through marketing and educational programs, disseminate information on cultural practices and pest problems of hostas, and help to standardize hosta nomenclature.

Mini Hosta Forum

To work with this group, you must sign up for a membership in Yahoo

Our mission is to assist in determining which hostas, based on growers’ experiences, meet The American Hosta Society criteria for a mini hosta, to maintain a listing of AHS Mini Hostas to be used for the annual AHS Mini Hosta Popularity Poll and to provide a forum for exchange of information on growing mini hostas. Help from all hosta gardeners is needed. Your input is solicited. Please participate.

Hosta Lists

The HOSTA LISTS represent a compilation of 86 individual lists which group hosta cultivars and species according to various facts and characteristics. These lists have been compiled over a fourteen year period, and are revised and updated annually. 

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