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Re: Hosta Flowers

>So.  As I said before, plantaginea and its progeny, plus a few other
>have nice flowers, though even these pale in comparison with many, many
>perennials and shrubs.  The vast majority of hostas have flowers that are
>unexceptional in size, color, substance, form, and longevity, and none but
>above have any fragrance.  The vast majority of people do not buy hostas
>their flowers, florists do not use them, they are not suitable for drying
>cutting.  I suspect that if they were not associated with hostas, most
>agree that they are as ordinary as a flower can be.  Not ugly, just
>My whole point, if I have one, is that breeding hostas for improved flowers
>a worthy goal.  Breeding hostas for flowers that will stand on their own
>merits in competition with other flowering perennials is probably futile.
>People buy hostas because of their leaves.

Chick, no doubt you are right that Hosta flowers look ordinary for the most
part, but I regularly see plantaginea flowers taking prizes in the "any
other perennial" catagory at our local shows-now that I finally know what
they are because I am growing them myself.  I agree that plantaginea is not
particularly outstanding compared to an oriental lily, but there is no
contest about it being a better flower than any of the white asiatic lilies
I know, especially when the fragrance is taken into consideration.
I suppose that plantaginea does not produce the exciting foliage variations
that many are looking for when used in crosses, but it is a shame that there
are not more large flowered hostas being developed.  It should be possible
to get the best of both worlds.
As for me, I will be scouring our local plant sales this spring looking for
more $2 divisions of plantiginea since I have nothing, including the plants
you suggested, that flowers so spectacularly in partial shade.

Bob Campbell

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