Glossy green foliage shows off the chief feature—fragrant white, fully double flowers, up to 5in long, which open in the evening and are a highlight of relaxing outdoors on summer nights. Cut a few to bring inside, too.
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, we give the height of the leaves, not the flowers.