Plants forming clumps 80–90 × 50 cm; rhizomes compact. Leaves: petiole spreading horizontally, light green with purple streaks at base, deeply grooved, 18–25 cm; blade lustrous dark green, broadly ovate to cordate, 20–30 × 15–20 cm, apex acuminate; veins in 7–9 lateral pairs. Scape 80–95 cm. Inflorescences: racemes stiffly erect, flushed red at base, 20–30-flowered, to 1 m; floral bracts broad, pale green, white at base; sterile bract 1, leafy, occurring at midpoint. Flowers 4–5.5 cm, not fragrant; perianth urceolate-cylindric; tepals bluish purple, lobes not recurved; anthers spotted purple. Capsules short, triangular, stubby, apex blunt. 2n = 120.
Phenology: Flowering summer (July).
Habitat: Disturbed open areas
Elevation: 0–500 m
Introduced; Conn., Del., Ky., Md., Mass., Mich., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Vt., Va., W.Va., expected elsewhere, China, cultivated worldwide.
Hosta ventricosa, a natural tetraploid, undergoes pseudogamous apomixis and therefore breeds true, but is of no use as a seed parent in hybridizing. It can, however, act as a pollen parent. Like H. plantaginea, this species was an early introduction from China.