Plants forming clumps 80-90 × 50 cm; rhizomes compact. Leaves: petiole spreading horizontally, light green with purple streaks at base, deeply grooved, 18-25 cm; blade lustrous dark green, broadly ovate to cordate, 20-30 × 15-20 cm, apex acuminate; veins in 7-9 lateral pairs. Scape 80-95 cm. Inflorescences: racemes stiffly erect, flushed red at base, 20-30-flowered, to 1 m; floral bracts broad, pale green, white at base; sterile bract 1, leafy, occurring at midpoint. Flowers 4-5.5 cm, not fragrant; perianth urceolate-cylindric; tepals bluish purple, lobes not recurved; anthers spotted purple. Capsules short, triangular, stubby, apex blunt. 2n = 120. Flowering summer (July). Disturbed open areas; 0--500 m; introduced; Conn., Del., Ky., Md., Mass., Mich., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Vt., Va., W.Va., expected elsewhere; China; cultivated worldwide. Hosta ventricosa, a natural tetraploid, undergoes pseudogamous apomixis and therefore breeds true, but is of no use as a seed parent in hybridizing. It can, however, act as a pollen parent. Like H. plantaginea, this species was an early introduction from China.
Scape to 1 m; lvs ovate or cordate, ca 10 cm wide; fls blue or purple, 5 cm, the slender tube abruptly expanded into a campanulate limb; 2n=60. Native of e. Asia, occasionally escaped from cult. in our range.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.