Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hostapedia is a BIG Must-have

I need a book stand for my new book, the Hostapedia. I knew the book was big – just not this heavy – 9.8  pounds.

Hosta collectors will find the Hostapedia much more than just a compilation of hosta facts. When you combine author Mark Zilis’ education and real life experiences with his attention to details, you can be assured that he is more than qualified to assemble an 1100 page reference book about hostas.

The Hostapedia is all about the actual plants, so don’t expect to find information on hosta disease and pests, or how to propagate plants. What you will find is lots of information on over 7000 hostas, including origin, history, description, and performance. The author’s reports on plant performance are based on his own observations of mature plants.  His information can be more accurate than some of the information recorded when some plants are registered as many plants are not really mature when registered. You will also find information on hybridizing, naming, registration and plant form.

The book features more than 1800 color photos of mature hostas. Many of the photos are of less common or not readily available varieties, like H. Oze, H. Intrigue, H. Orange Crush and H. Geneva. Serious collectors will find it interesting to browse these pictures.

With many of the hosta descriptions Zilis included a list of similar types; plants that have similar traits. I really like this feature as I am always on the hunt for unique varieties and do not want to build a collection of look-a-likes. However, I would recommend that readers use this information in conjunction with other sources as I did not always agree with the listed plants, for example, it was suggested that Delta Dawn was similar to Gin and Tonic.  I find the color and leaf shape of these two plants to be quite different.

The author also included personal photos of some of the prominent people in the hosta world – yes there is a whole world built around hosta. I enjoyed these photos and would have liked some stories to go along with them. Perhaps that is a topic for another book.

I have spent numerous hours enjoyed my Hostapedia and have not made a dent in all the great information featured. I would recommend that every hosta collector own the Hostapedia.


  1. Ooooooh the Hosta Holy Grail. My (future) MIL gave me this for Christmas 2009 and I, for once, wasn't even remotely interested in any of my other gifts. :)

  2. Here in Bufalo, we read "The New Encyclopedia of Hostas." Author Mike Shadrack lives here - as a matter of fact, anyone coming to Garden Bloggers Buff10, here in Buffalo this summer will get to visit Mike's garden. I've not yet been there. I'm told it's referred to as "FallingWater North" because house & garden are built around a stream.

  3. Very good informative book Hostapedia i like it i m willing to read this
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