‘Tortifrons’ is called Kogarashi Giboshi, the
“autumn wind hosta,” was found in a garden near Tokyo by Okami. It was reduced
to cultivar rank by Schmid (1991). It must be vegetatively propagated to retain
its very narrow, twisted leaves. It is very late blooming (“in the autumn
wind”), and is fertile with some of the seedlings exhibiting its odd twisted
appearance. It appears to be a highly unusual longipes mutation found in
the wild. Difficult to grow well.
The leaves broaden and lose their twist sometimes. I found that this sport is not as stable as once thought. I moved mine into more sun later as it also began to lose its twist. That seems to help. There are several, different clones out there, some have really narrow leaves and others wider ones. Some plants under the name H. 'Tortifrons' are not! Since 'Tortifrons' comes from H. longipes f. sparsa (= sparse flowering), there are but very few flowers on it. Mine usually have about a dozen or so. 'Tardiflora' has many more scapes and flowers and I have counted 50 or more flowers on it.
W. George Schmid