Just when I thought August was the month for surprise lilies, a fragrant North American cousin of the tropical Amaryllis we all buy around Christmas, one of my neighbors introduced me to a lovely second fragrant garden flower called an August Lily.
The name is where any similarities end.
The garden trend for several decades has been away from plants with fragrant flowers but I prefer to have plants in my garden that have a distinct aroma. Besides being a beekeeper, which means I am trying to add flowers that will attract my bees and feed the resident butterflies, the scent is what makes the flowers special. I also enjoy having cut flowers in my home.
My neighbor Elaine gave me a couple stems of these fabulous blooming hostas noting the scent is similar to jasmine. So it is, and that is only one of several reasons why these hostas are unusual.
"August lily” Hosta plantaginea, was first imported to England in 1790, and to the United States afterwards. It originated in China and is the southern-most naturally occurring hosta species, which make sit more heat tolerant. Most hosta species are from Japan and Korea.
The flowers are enormous by hosta standards, 6+ inches long and snow white, as compared to 1-2" long and purple for most hostas.
Virtually every hosta has flowers that open around 7:00 am in the morning. Hosta plantaginea opens at 4:00 pm in the afternoon.
The other curious difference is that this hosta blooms in August. Other hosta species I have bloom April-June.
So delighted to have this wonderful addition to my garden. The scent lingers nicely in a room, not too strong. It was a lovely way to be welcomed into my kitchen the next morning.
Thank you for such a lovely addition to my Missouri hillside garden, Elaine!