Page Top

Flower scapes emerge directly from the crown beneath the soil. The scapes are solid except for the hollow ones borne by the species, Hosta minor (which also have ridges on them). One species, Hosta tibiae has scapes that develop branches. That should be interesting if breeders can transfer that trait into other hostas too.

Four factors are of interest when discussing the flower scapes of hostas.

The second factor is the color of the flower scape. In recent years, there has been an emphasis on trying to develop cultivars that have red or purple colors in their scapes. A few cultivars have scapes that appear dark purple from top to bottom.

One factor is the height of the scape which can vary greatly from cultivar to cultivar. Some hostas grow extremely tall flower scapes that stand way, way above the foliage. Others barely push the flowers above the top of the leaves. Mark Zilis (Hosta Scientific Meeting 2010) has measured scapes as tall as 82 inches on H. 'Canadian Foreign Affairs' and 8 to 9 feet on H. 'Elatior'.

A third factor is whether the scape has bracts or inflorescence leaves on them at maturity. One of the most common hostas with this feature is H. 'Undulata' while those with the species, H. kikutii in their backgrounds also often bear prominent bracts.

The final factor of interest is with branched flower scapes. Most hostas bear their flowers on a single, stiff scape. A few, however, have branched scapes.

Copyrightę 2000 -