January 13, 1761
Today is the anniversary of the death of the Austrian botanist and physician Nicolaus Thomas Host.
Host was the physician to the Austrian emperor in Vienna. The genus Hosta was named for Host by Austrian botanist Leopold Trattinnick in 1812.
Hostas were brought to Europe by the Dutch nurseryman Philipp Franz Von Siebold. He had visited Japan and brought specimens back to his Leiden Nursery. This is why Hosta Sieboldiana is a famous prefix to so many hosta varieties.
Hostas are dependable and tough. They are undemanding herbaceous perennials that give us lush greenery in shady spots. Hostas belong to the Asparagaceae family along with Asparagus, Agave, Lily of the Valley, Sansevieria, Yucca, and Hyacinth.
The common name for hosta is plantain lilies - they used to belong to the lily family.
Nicholas Host died in 1834.