Sometimes we bring you subtlety, but here we bring you drama. 'Humpback Whale' lives up to its name by making a clump up to 7ft wide of heart-shaped, corrugated, blue-green leaves. Lavender flowers top the plant in summer, but it's the foliage and sheer size of the plant that makes an impression. Be sure to give this beauty a location worthy of its potential.
This genus of shade lovers has 70 species, all of them from China and Japan, and hybridizers have produced hundreds of exciting crosses. Hostas have many handsome leaf colorations and lavender or white Lily-like flowers on graceful stalks. Plants prefer a moist location, but we've had a mass planting thrive for more than 30 years under a row of Sugar Maples. (In the South and West, evenly moist soil is required.) Because Hostas are grown primarily for their foliage, the figure next to "ht" is the height of the leaves, not the flowers.