Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Hosta ventricosa (Salisb.) Stearn

Fully-hardy clump-forming perennial with broadly heart-shaped leaves and tubular-bell-shaped deep-purple flowers in summer.  To 50cm.  [RHSE].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘[Hemerocallis caerulea is] Thought to bloom best in the stove, but thrives very well in the greenhouse; and some cultivators assure us, that it succeeds in the open ground better than with any other treatment.  Introduced by George Hibbert, Esq.  Seeds freely, and is easily propagated by offsets.’  [BM t.894/1805].  It was not unusual for newly introduced, often very expensive, plants to be treated as tender at first, their hardiness tested only when they became more widely available. 

Paxton’s Dictionary gives a date of introduction of 1790 for Funkia ovata which it describes as synonymous with Hemerocallis caerulea.  According to Johnson’s Dictionary, Hosta caerulea was introduced to Britain in 1733 but this may be Hosta caerulea Jacq., a different plant, also known as Cornutia punctata, and figured at BR f.1204/1829.  ABR pl.6/1797.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.207/1843].


Published Jan 06, 2010 - 05:16 PM | Last updated Jan 07, 2010 - 01:29 PM

Figured are heart-shaped leaves and spike of tubular-bell-shaped deep-purple flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.894, 1805.

Hosta ventricosa (Salisb.) Stearn | BM t.894/1805 as Hemerocallis caerulea | BHL

Family Hostaceae
Region of origin

China, Korea

  • Hemerocallis caerulea Andr.
  • Funkia ovata Spreng.
  • Bryocles ventricosa Salisb.
Common Name

Blue plantain lily

Name in the Camden Park Record

Hemerocallis caerulea 

Confidence level high