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Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Van Wade Hosta Collection

The Van Wade Hosta Collection is the Arboretum's first named plant collection. Van Wade, a world renowned hosta grower, attended OSU and has always felt a special affinity for the OSU campus. He is owner of the well known Wade & Gatton Nursery in Bellville, OH. The Hosta Collection emphasizes the evolution of the genus Hosta, featuring a historical group, sports and their lineages, fragrant cultivars, Tardiana group and many varieties introduced by Ohio hybridizers. The remainder of the collection shows the diversity of hostas now available to local gardeners.

In June 1995, the same year that the Central Ohio Hosta Society was formed, the first installation of three planned hosta installations took place. The installation included 312 plants of 50 varieties. It was planted with the help of nearly 40 volunteers under the guidance of Van Wade on June 7, 1995.


On June 4, 1997, phase II was planted with 153 plants representing 96 varieties. Again, it was planted with the help of many volunteers under the direction of the Central Ohio Hosta Society.

Phase III was planted in July 2012, bringing the total number of hostas to over 750. These gardens continue to be maintained by the Central Ohio Hosta Society with assistance from Chadwick Volunteers.



On Saturday, June 8, 2002, under bright skies, the newly designed Van Wade Hosta Collection was dedicated with Van Wade in attendance. A pancake breakfast preceded the dedication with pancakes flying through the air and happy attendees catching them. An instructive and thorough presentation on hostas by Volunteer Bill Olson followed the breakfast. He explained how the Central Ohio Hosta Society was given a challenge to create a unique and educational collection. His presentation illustrated how the group indeed rose to the challenge and created such a unique design.

Our Hosta Collections

The Chadwick Arboretum Hosta Collection is composed of 5 different Hosta collections:

The Tardiana collection features a mound of thick, variegated leaves with gold centers and irregular blue-green margins. Racemes are bell-shaped with pale lavender flowers on 20-inch scapes.



The Fragrance collection contains plants that were hybridized from Hosta 'August Lily.' The fragrant flowers are great for cutting.



The August Moon Sports collection includes hosta plants that were hybridized from H. 'August Moon'.


The Hybridizer's collection contains plants hybridized by Van Wade, owner of Wade and Gatton Nursery, and local hosta collector Dick Ward.



The Historical collection comprises plants that were grown many years ago and are credited with spiking the interest in hostas.

Ohio Big Tree Champion

The Abies cephalonica, Greek fir, in the Lane Avenue Gardens is one of two Ohio Big Tree Champions found in Chadwick Arboretum. This giant is in the non-native tree category and measures:

Circumference: 62 inches (Measured at a height of 4.5 feet)

Height: 70 feet (Measured form base of  trunk to top most twig.)

Crown Spread: 33 feet (The average of the crown spread measured at the narrowest point and again at the widest point.)

Ohio's Big Tree Program is a voluntary endeavor to locate, measure, record and appreciate the largest tree species in our state. The Ohio Division of Forestry helps to promote these living monarchs and their environmental legacy. You can find our Ohio Big Tree Champion just west of the trellis as you walk toward the Van Wade Hosta Collection.

Fossil Tree

Located just west of the Hosta Garden stands a majestic Metasequoia glyptostroboides. This dawn redwood is a beautiful, deciduous conifer. It has needle-like leaves, similar to pines and other conifers, but unlike other conifers, it drops these leaves in fall. The dawn redwood was thought to be extinct and was rediscovered in China in 1944. It has been around for over 100 million years and is thus nicknamed the "Fossil Tree". Additional information about the dawn redwood can be found on the Save the Redwoods League webpage.

Click Abies cephalonica or Metasequoia glyptostroboides for a photograph and one or more links to information about these trees from The Ohio State University Plant Facts, Wikipedia, and/or USDA Plants Database. Or click Plant Search Database and simply enter the botanical name (genus only will work) of any tree on The Ohio State University Columbus campus. If you do not know a tree's botanical name, you can find it by searching the web using the tree's common name. We are in the process of adding QR codes to our plant labels throughout the arboretum. If you are walking in the gardens and see a plant label with a QR code, use your smart phone or tablet QR reader app to access a photograph and description or link to additional information about the tree. If you don't have a QR reader app, you can download one for free from your app store.