Trivia – Edible Hosta

H. ‘Smash Hit’ (not fully mature)

Hostas are edible. The deer, rabbits, and slugs that make frequent visits to gardens even know this. That’s why many hosta growers add a little spice to their gardens with products like Liquid Fence, or other homemade concoctions containing various type of hot sauce to give them a little different flavor. But hostas can be eaten by us humans as well. If fact, if you search for ‘hosta recipe’ on the internet you will find many different recipes. One site even tells you when to harvest the leaves – they taste best young, just as the leaves are emerging. No wonder you see so much varmint damage in the spring if you don’t take step to protect the plants. On top of that, they have been eating bark and twigs all winter – those emerging hostas are just irresistible!

So, what is the best tasting hosta? Deer, rabbits, and slugs seem to have their favorites, so you may want to try those that are nearly all eaten first. Unfortunately the Hosta Treasury isn’t any help in this area – no descriptions yet for flavor. And the hosta hybridizers, if anything, are trying to make them more varmint resistant. Seriously, what gardener could take a hosta like ‘Smash Hit’ and harvest the leaves? Maybe if the leaves come from a few divisions planted in the vegetable garden. Hmm.