A mature Northern Exposure is a very large hosta… measuring around three feet high and five or six feet across, or more. The flowers are a light lavender and the leaves are thick with a puckered texture… very large (12 inches) and broad and heart-shaped. In early spring the leaves are a lovely shade of pale greenish blue with a wide irregular creamy yellow border… almost identical in color to the Frances Williams hostas growing nearby… but by late summer the Northern Exposure’s creamy yellow margins have become a light creamy white and the greenish blue leaves have become a cool pale green… and the two hostas no longer look alike.
My first Northern Exposure was a gift from my husband. This hosta had just been introduced in 1997, and the next summer my husband discovered a new local source of small hosta plants. By sorting through the hostas as each new shipment came in, he was able to keep surprising me all through that summer with many of the hostas I had been wanting for years and could never find.
Northern Exposure is a wonderful hosta to have if you’re interested in growing your own seedlings. It produces seed pods in great quantities and I have found the germination rate to be astounding, but the best thing about this hosta is that its seedlings grow into an amazing variety of different sized hostas with different leaf colors, textures and shapes. My favorite seedling… of all the hosta seedlings I have grown over the years… came from a Northern Exposure and is one of the first seedlings I ever grew from my own collected seeds. This hosta is now larger than its “mother” and has huge puckered leaves that are so dark blue they look black.