By Walt Bonvell
Out of the hundreds of perennials we have on campus, the hosta—also known as the plantain lily or August lily—is one of my favorites. It’s a plant I prefer to grow for the foliage and not the flower. There are some hostas that tolerate some sun, but most need full-to-partial shade. If you’re having trouble growing grass under trees, the hosta is a good grass substitute and can provide a nice landscape bed under your tree. To see what I mean, look under the trees along the steps leading from Dana Avenue up to the Alumni Center. Hostas require little care and are easy to divide in the spring. Leaf spot and slugs often find their way to the hosta’s foliage, and I must also warn you that planting a hosta is like planting lettuce for the deer. So if you have deer, don’t even look at the hosta. There are many hostas on campus, including a nice collection in front of Brockman Hall next to the sidewalk.