Can you help me determine the specimen of hosta this is? It has a very thick stem and a bud on top. Way different then any hosta I have seen. thank you for your help.
Thank-you for consulting Toronto Master Gardeners.
Hostas are extremely popular hardy perennials and there are literally hundreds of hosta cultivars available in the Toronto area. This makes it very difficult to identify your particular plant. It looks like one of the “albomarginata” group. The oddly formed stems and flowers you have noticed are not a normal characteristic of the particular hosta variety.
The unusually formed stems and flowers your hosta specimen are “fasciated scapes”. The word “fasciated” means bundled. One source describes it as “scapes fused into a broccoli-like formation” with the flowers and buds “congested” at the top. From what I can make out in your photo, I think your hosta has this unusual type of flower structure.
Fasciation is not unique to hostas. It is a random oddity which is thought to be caused by a hormonal imbalance. This can result from a hormonal imbalance due to either a random genetic mutation or from environmental factors. The condition will not affect adjacent plants, and it may not occur in this particular plant next season.
Here are a couple of brief notes on fasciation: