Silver Crown

'Albo Marginata' or 'Silver Crown'
White-margined Hosta, Funkia,
or Plaintain Lily

"The Leaves like Women interchange
Exclusive Confidence --
Somewhat of nods & somewhat
Portentous inference."

-Emily Dickinson


The genus name Hosta is after the Austrian physician & botanist Nicholas Host (1761-1834). Hosta has also become the common name, displacing the old name Funkia, after the German moss expert, all-round botanist & pharmacist, Heinrich Christian Funck (1771-1839).

Silver CrownNo doubt the slang meanings of "Funky" (a bad moldy stench, a piece of rinky-dink equipment, a feeling of depression or panic, or a 1960s variety of soul music) was the nail in the coffin of Funkia as a well-liked name for hostas.

Hosta undulata 'Albo Marginata' is also known as 'Silver Crown' & 'Obscura Albomarginata,' yet it was officially registered as 'Fortunei Albaomarginata' & had the "Fortunei" unofficially dropped when the species H. fortunei was renamed H. undulata. It also gets listed by the common mispelling 'Alba-Marginata.' It soon became a garden standard after its release in 1991.

It pops out of the soil in April as a set of "horns" which by late April or in May have opened into deep green leaves with bright white edges. It's a gorgeous foliage plant, until the slugs get to them at least, & slugs love hostas, so be sure to check out the skinny on slug control.

Most hostas are rather fond of dryish shade, but not outright droughtiness. In field trials testing the drought-hardiness of hostas, 'Albo Marginata' scored relatively low. It is hard to resist hostas for those dark areas of the garden beyond the reach of irrigation, but the white-margined variety should not be allowed to get too awfully dry.

It is not true that hostas require shade, as they will adapt as easily to sunnier locations, though needing more water. They transplant with great ease, too, preferably in autumn while dormant, but anytime really.

It grows a foot or eighteen inches tall, & spreads wider over time, to one foot quickly, three feet or wider eventually.

Although grown primarily for the foliage, 'Albo Marginata' has a fairly nice flower, pale violet bell-hats hanging from tall stems, in July. The vast majority of hostas have this exact flower so the blossoms are not their most unique factor about these plants.


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