(Hostaceae/Liliaceae). Funkia, Plantain lily. Genus of about 70 species of mostly clump-forming, occasionally rhizomatous or stoloniferous perennials. Found in sun-baked volcanic cliffs, rocky streamsides, woodland and alpine meadows in China, Korea, Japan and E. Russia. Numerous varieties have been raised mainly in the USA. Grown mainly for their decorative, bold foliage produced in dense mounds of overlapping, ovate to heart-shaped leaves which are retained into September. Often green, yellow, blue or glaucous, thick or variegated, they emerge from the ground in a distinctive vase-like shape. One sided racemes of bell or funnel shaped flowers often pale lavender and on scapes appear in summer. Sun tolerant providing the soil is moist enough. Large clumps make excellent ground cover under deep rooted trees, borders or near water. They will not tolerate drought. Yellow leaved ones colour better in sun with some mid-day shade. Glaucous or variegated ones are better in the shade. Take several years to mature and many are now slug resistant. The larger the better!