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Hosta Cinderella Leaf

Glossary Of Hosta Terms

ANTHER The upper part of the stamen, male flower part, in a capsule-like structure that splits to release yellow pollen.

AXILLARY Coming from the joint of a leaf and the stem.

BLOOM  1. Flower 2. Waxy coating on a leaf, stem, or pod surface producing a dusty appearance. 

BLOOM TIME The time period between when the first flower of a stem or clump opens or is receptive to pollination and the last flower is open or receptive.

BRACT A modified leaf usually at the base of a flower stem or sometimes forming part of the flower head.

BREEDER Hybridizer of the cultivar.

CHIMERA Containing cells of two or more different tissues.

CLONE A group of genetically identical individual plants produced by asexual propagation.

CORDATE Having acute leaf point or apex, shaped like valentine heart.

COROLLA Collective set of petals and sepals, fused into tepals.


CROSS (of two plants) Transfer of pollen from one plant onto the stigma of another; represented by x symbol: maternal (pod) parent x paternal (pollen) parent.

CROWN The base of a plant where the roots and shoots join.

CULTIVAR Contraction word for "cultivated variety"; a plant that is clearly distinguished by identical physical characteristics and maintains these characteristics through clonal propagation

CUPPED Leaf blade having the centre of the leaf lower than the margin, concave.

DIVISION (in Hosta) A single shoot with roots attached.

EMERGED Having shoots above the ground.

EYE Undeveloped or dormant shoot; a dormant bud. Frequently used for any division.

F1 Generation resulting immediately from cross of first set of parents. 

FASCIATED Flower stem composed of two or more stems growing in a fused bundle. Usually flattened

FERTILISATION 1. Application of nutrients; 2. union of egg and sperm.

FILAMENT The long thin structure that holds the anther.

FLOWER STEM The main stem of the inflorescence.

FOLDED Bent upward parallel to midrib, keel-shaped.

FURLED Having leaves with edges or sides curled or coiled into the midrib.

GENUS Taxonomic division of related species below family.

GIANT Leaf blade area greater than 930 sq. centimetres 

GLABROUS Smooth hairless leaf texture.

GLAUCOUS A crystalline waxy coating (or bloom) with an airy structure producing a white to blue colouring over the plant parts.

HEART-SHAPED see CORDATE. having an acute leaf point or apex, and a flat to cordate leaf base; shaped like a valentine heart.

HYBRID Seedling from two distinct genetically different parents.

INFLORESCENCE The flowering part of a Hosta including the raceme, peduncle, pedicel, and flower.

INFLORESCENCE LEAVES The larger, occasionally flat, leaf-like structures on the flower stem.

INTRODUCE Initially distribute. 

INTRODUCER Person or nursery that first distributes the cultivar.

JETTING Having margin variegation not uniform: irregularly extends into or toward leaf centre.

JUVENILE The pre-adult stages of a plant usually exemplified by more pointed, narrower leaves, fewer vein pairs, thinner marginal variegation, faster growth rate, and often smaller leaf and clump size.

LANCE-SHAPED Having narrow pointed leaf tip, and leaf blade width less than one half the length of the blade.

LARGE Leaf blade area from 200 sq. centimetres to 930 sq. centimetres. 

LEAF BLADE The thin, usually flat part of leaf excluding the petiole.

LUTESCENT Possessing leaves which begin the season darker and become lighter or more yellow as the season progresses, not the result of bleaching due to poor nutrition or too much sun.

MATURE A plant with general characteristics that do not change with continued aging.

MEDIO-VARIEGATED Leaf or leaves having a lighter centre than the margin colour.

MEDIUM Leaf blade area from 64 sq. centimetres to less than 200 sq. centimetres

MID-RIB The centre vein of a leaf.

MINIATURE Leaf blade area less than 15 sq. centimetres. 

MISTED Having small short segments of dark pigmented tissue on a lighter background.

MOTTLED Blotched spotting of leaf blade.

MUTATION Change in DNA of plant that can be transmitted through its sports and seedlings.

OPEN POLLINATED Progeny from open pollination. 

OPEN POLLINATION Pollination without human assistance, i.e., by insects or wind.

ORIGINATOR Person or nursery who found or grew the cultivar.

ORIGINATOR STOCK Divisions produced naturally from original plant; not tissue-culture propagated. 

OVARY The basal portion of the pistil where eggs are contained.

OVATE Leaves egg-shaped.

PATTERN Leaf variegation.

PETAL The flower part that is often very colourful. In complete flowers, the petals are the second whorl, positioned just inside the sepals (see SEPAL and TEPAL).

PETIOLE Leaf stalk.

PHOTOSYNTHESIS Process in chloroplasts containing chlorophyll that creates carbohydrates using light energy, water and carbon dioxide.

POD Developed ovary or fruit containing seeds.

POLLEN Powdery yellow substance inside anthers carrying male gametes.

POLLINATION The transfer of pollen to a receptive stigma.

PROGENY Offspring from sexual reproduction. Sometimes used to reference non-sexual reproduction offspring (e.g., sports, mutations).

RACEME Inflorescence with flowers attached individually to a main stem by pedicels.

REVERT Change of variegated sport back to its original solid coloured parent.

RHIZOMATOUS Having long reaching underground horizontal stems; loosely spreading habit.

RUGOSE Wrinkled: a gathering of leaf between veins giving leaf bubbled, dimpled, puckered, seer suckered, crinkled, or corrugated effect.

SELF To pollinate a Hosta using pollen of the same plant or its clone

SCAPE A flower stem that comes directly from ground level and bears no leaves. Used to refer to the flower stems of Hostas which, though they may bear bracts, are without leaves. 

SEEDLING Plant of seed origin.

SEERSUCKERING The gathering of a leaf between the veins giving a bubbled effect.

SELFING The pollination of a clone by the same clone.

SEPAL The flower part forming the outermost whorl of a flower. Sepals (typically) encase and protect the flower when it is in bud stage. Sepals are usually green except with Hostas, they look just like the petals (see PETAL and TEPAL).

SHOOT The stem and set of leaves of an individual division; the dormant set of leaves all enclosed in a single set of leaf scales.

SIBLINGS Seedlings from same parentage 

SMALL A plant with a leaf blade area from 15 sq. centimetres to less than 64 sq. centimetres

SPECIES Taxonomic division (rank) of freely interbreeding populations of wild or naturally occurring individuals below rank of genus.

SPECKLED  Small spotted irregular colouring.

SPLASHED Variegation pattern that has many non-connected light and dark variegated sections, usually in streaks, running nearly parallel to the midrib. An unstable form of variegation.

SPORT A Gardener’s term for mutation

STABLE A plant that maintains its solid or variegated pattern when propagated by division.

STAMEN The male flower parts consisting of the filament and the anther.

STIGMA Pollen-receptive female tip at end of style.


STREAKED Having irregular leaf colour of differently coloured stripes ranging from short dashes to long striations spanning the leaf length.

SUBSTANCE Characteristic of leaf comprising thickness, density and rigidity.

TEXTURE The characteristics of the leaf surface to the eye.

TISSUE CULTURE Growing plant fragments within nutrient medium to create clones of original plant.

TWISTED Leaf or scape rotated around itself producing askew condition.

UNDULATED A course wave to the leaf blade.

UNFURLED The stage of leaf development when the blade is open and completely separated from the petiole.

UNSTABLE Not having true-to-type variegation in all divisions in a clump or not retaining true-to-type variegation from season to season.

VARIEGATED Leaf having more than one colour due to a difference in pigment components.

VEIN PAIRS The matched set of veins on opposite side of the centre midrib.

VEINS The prominent lines of connective tissue for carrying water and nutrients.

VIRIDESCENT Possessing of leaves which begin the season lighter coloured and become more green as the season advances.


WHITE-BACKED Having a glaucous underside.


Thanks to The American Hosta Society & Diana Grenfell & Michael Shadrack authors The New Encyclopedia of Hostas

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