Plants appear surprisingly vigorous in our Lath House. Since we focus on trees and shrubs at the JC Raulston Arboretum, we have resisted our impulse to go hosta crazy and develop a huge collection.  We do need something to plant in all that shade our trees provide though and so we've been actively increasing our herbaceous collection.  A selection of hostas have recently been added to our existing collection and several of the newer ones have really started to impress us.  In particular, the phenomenal 'Hans' introduced by Tony Avent (Plant Delights Nursery) and named for Hans Hansen the tissue culture guru who has made so many hostas widely available has really caught my eye.  The plant traces its lineage back to 'Blue Mammoth' via a circuitous route.  Check out Plant Delights Nursery's website or catalog for the low-down.  In the garden, this hosta has shown remarkable vigor.  The thick-textured foliage has a blue-green margin surrounding a broad creamy-white center with pale green highlights in between.  As summer progresses, the center develops some green streaks which add to the excellent growth rate for such a heavily variegated plant.  Scapes of lavender, tubular flowers top the clumps of foliage in late spring.

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Green streaking in the white center in summer allows for more photosynthesis and therefore more vigorous growth.

Check out all the happenings at http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum