This impressive hosta towers above any other hosta plant I have seen. The strong clump forming plants are fast growers with an outstanding upright growth habit. The leaves are massive measuring 18 inches in width with great substance. Lavender lowers appear on 5 foot tall scapes in midsummer. With the plants sheer size and fast growth rate, Empress Wu demands a soil that is consistently moist but no soggy. To achieve the mature growth size you will need to keep an eye on soil moisture and feed three times per season.

Empress Wu is a Hybrid of H. ‘Big John’ and was developed by Brian and Virginia Skaggs and is a member of their Zanadu Series.  The plants are protected by a US Plant Patent which forbids asexual reproduction.  Most nurseries are sold out of these so if you find one - jump on it.

Where to buy:

The Hosta Farm - $12.00 star

White Flower Farm - $19.95

Hosta Direct - $16.95

Naylor Creek - Sold Out

Fransen Hostas - Sold Out

Great Garden Plants - $19.95

Venero Gardens - $19.45


How hosta’s get their names:

As I mentioned above the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ was named in honor of the only female emperor to rule China.  All cultivars being introduced for commercial production must have a unique name. The breeder who develops the new cultivar is usually the person who comes up with the new name.  Sometimes the name is selected on the basis of the characteristics of the plant, for example one of the most fragrant hostas on the market is named ‘Fragrant Bouquet’.  The descriptive naming process used to be very common but in recent years hosta breeders are getting more creative with the names they select.  All “named” cultivars are registered with The American Hosta Society and The University of Minnesota Arboretum.  The Arboretum stores all the records for every named Hosta on the market.

More information on registering and selecting a name can be found at The American Hosta Society web site.


Hosta ‘Empress Wu’  PP20774

This impressive giant hosta was named in honor of the only lady emperor of China.  A stunning garden specimen that is one of the most sought after hostas this year.

Leaf color: shades of greens
Height: 4 feet
Width: 5-6 feet
Hardy: zones 3-9