What are Hostas?

Hostas are small round mushrooms which grow on decayed logs or dead trees. They have white caps with black gills, and brownish stems. Some species of hosta (such as the common mushroom) may have a ring around their cap, but they all resemble the one pictured above.

The name “hosta” comes from Latin meaning “little house”.

They are not edible, but they are considered to be good for health. They contain substances called thymol and myrcene. Thymol is used in making cough drops and mouthwash, while myrcene is found in marijuana and other cannabis products.

Both these compounds have anti-inflammatory properties which helps relieve pain caused by arthritis, headaches, asthma attacks, etc.

How do I prepare them?

You can either eat them raw, or cook them. You can even freeze them for later use! Cooked hostas taste better than raw ones. However, if you want to eat cooked hostas, it’s best to boil them first before cooking. Otherwise, they will become too soft and mushy when eating.

When you cook them, use low heat to simmer them. You don’t want them to burn and lose their nutritional value. Boiled hostas taste best when eaten with some butter and pepper.

Since they do not have a strong flavor of their own, they can easily take on the flavor of whatever you cook them with.

You can add hostas to soups or stews, or even stuff them like you would an artichoke.

One caution: if you have a very low blood pressure, eating hostas may make your condition worse.

What do Hostas look like in Winter?

You can identify a Winter hosta by its yellowish color. It has yellow leaves and a yellow stem. The veins of the leaves become more prominent while the overall shape changes to that of an upside-down V.

Sources & references used in this article:

Control of Bacterial Soft Rot on Hosta during Cold Storage by KW Parda, JL Williams-Woodward – canr.org

Infection behavior and overwintering survival of foliar nematodes, Aphelenchoides fragariae, on hosta by S Rindels – 1995 – Iowa State University, University …

Fusarium root and crown rot: a disease of container-grown hostas by V Matthews – 1989 – JSTOR

Molecular characterization, differential movement and construction of infectious cDNA clones of an Ohio isolate of Hosta virus X by GB Jagdale, PS Grewal – Journal of nematology, 2006 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Growth and net photosynthetic rates of Hosta ‘blue vision’ during acclimatization in bright, natural light with CO2 enrichment by B Wang, SN Jeffers – Plant disease, 2000 – Am Phytopath Society

Phylogeny, coat protein genetic variability, and transmission via seeds of Hosta Virus X by D Grenfell, M Shadrack – 2010 – Timber Press

Biological and Molecular Characterization of a US Isolate of Hosta virus X by CM De La Torre – 2009 – rave.ohiolink.edu

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