Plant profile | Hosta

— Excerpt from Foraging New Zealand by Peter Langlands

Hosta spp.


A broad-leaved flowering plant. The leaves have distinct indented lines that curve from the rib of the leaf up towards the pointed tip. While there are varieties with differently coloured foliage in gardens, the ones you’re likely to encounter in the wild are a bright light green. The pendulous flowers grow on long straw-like stems and are white or purple, opening into stars.


Mainly found in urban centres where the species is a garden escapee.


Found primarily in abandoned sections or near the edge of cultivated garden environments.


Fresh growth primarily in spring with the plant flowering over summer.

Key edible uses

The new shoots have an asparagus flavour and are good raw in a salad or cooked in stir-fries with the young leaves and crisp stems, which can be slightly bitter as they age; their flavour is best when lightly steamed. Chopping will overcome their potential to become fibrous, but young leaves make good wraps. The flowers are also edible, though use as a garnish as they are rather bland.

New hosta plant leaf sprouts coming out of the ground in spring, small plants, fresh, young, leaves, closeup, macro, eye level, sticking of out soil

New hosta plant leaf sprouts coming out of the ground in spring,

Peter Langlands Foraging NZ

About Peter Langlands

With a lifelong interest in the outdoors, Peter spends his time in a wide variety of environments that present a diversity of foraged foods, from alpine to coastal locations. After studying natural sciences at Canterbury University and postgraduate papers in zoology, foraging turned him from a zoologist to an accidental botanist. Peter now works as one of Aotearoa’s only licensed professional foragers, sourcing wild produce for chefs around the country, including the innovative Amisfield, running foraging workshops and sharing his love of the subject through his social media pages and website. Peter has spent a lifetime compiling Aotearoa’s largest database of wild foraged species and works with international foragers on expanding the spectrum and use of wild foods.

Foraging NZ

Excerpt from Foraging New Zealand by Peter Langlands

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