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Hosta Host

hostasBeneath the fountain-like splays of 600 hosta plants in a new garden bordering the Cathedral of Learning near the Fifth Avenue entrance, curious passersby can find placards identifying the names of the plant varieties. There’s “Lime Piecrust,” a pale-green hosta the color of a tween’s backpack; “Lakeside Coal Miner,” a blue-green hosta with wavy leaf-lines; and “Island Charm,” a speckled hosta. There’s even “Cathedral of Learning,” a hosta that was bred especially for Pitt’s hosta garden, the largest in Western Pennsylvania. The Cathedral’s namesake has broad leaves and stalks of violet flowers that grow straight and tall. From seed to certification by The American Hosta Society, the plant took five years to develop.