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Funkia (Hostas)

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Funkia (Hostas)

Funkia (Ludwig P. Funke, 1755–1807, and H. C. Funk, 1771–1839. German naturalists). Liliaceae. DAY LILY. PLANTAIN LILY.

Five or six Japanese perennial herbs, producing attractive clumps of foliage and interesting blossoms. Flowers in terminal racemes or spikes, white or blue; perianth funnel-form, 6-parted and more or less irregular, the lobes not widely spreading; stamens 6, the filaments filiform, the anthers long-oblong and versatile. Pod oblong and angled, many-seeded, splitting into 3 valves; seeds flat and black, winged at the apex.

Funkias are hardy and of the easiest culture. Their dense stools or clumps of foliage are in place along walks or drives and in the angles against buildings. A continuous row along a walk gives a strong and pleasing character. Make the soil rich and deep. The clumps improve with age. The large-leaved kinds grow vigorously in moist, shady places. Of some varieties the leaves are strikingly variegated. Bloom in summer. Foliage is killed by frost. Propagated by dividing the clumps. Some species produce seeds freely, and seedlings can be grown readily if seed is sown as soon as ripe.

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