Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tricyrtis - Toad Lily


One of the highlights of the autumn gardens is a little thing affectionately known as the toad lily (Tricyrtis sp.). Not a very pretty name, but oh what a pretty bloom it has! They remind me of little orchids growing in my shade gardens.

This year, I had one cultivar bloom as early as August, which is not normal, but then there was nothing normal about this year's growing season either. 'Tojen' is still managing to eke out some blooms, but it was in its prime about a month ago.


'Lightning Strike' bloomed for the first time for me. It was planted last year, but didn't show its colors, possibly due to shock from transplanting later in the season. I don't know that the flowers are as stunning as some other Tricyrtises, but I do love the stripey foliage that gives it that perfect name.



The first toad lily I ever planted was 'Sinonome' and I've had it for three summers now. It hasn't really spread much at all, but its speckled blooms still make me smile.




Newest to the garden is 'Miyazaki Hybrids', which I got last year from Bluestone Perennials. It's similar to the other toad lilies and I'm considering combining a couple of my colonies of plants due to their similarities.

When Kim and I were shopping at Petitti's last Saturday, we saw some very nice upright Tricyrtis there and I was very tempted by them, but resisted. Of course, once I got home and saw my own toad lilies blooming, I immediately wished I'd gotten a couple more at Petitti's. But there are always things I want and wish I'd purchased instead of exercising the miniscule amount of will power I conjure up on occasion.

Most toad lilies are hardy to zone 5 and like part or full shade. The longer we live here, the more shade we have, so I always keep my eyes open for plants that thrive in it. Tricyrtis is one of them.

9 comments:

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Great pictures!! I have those, too but I am having trouble with my macro setting on my camera and I can't get a good shot. Yours are perfect :-) We are very much in the shade and these are great little "doers" and they show up when everything else is getting rough looking. Great perennial....

verobirdie said...

Those are beautiful plants. I did not know them and I'm glad you show me some.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Oh, Kylee, I love these! With all the changes in my garden the past month I've cleared some shade places that I can now have shade plants in pots. Do you think toad lilies would do well in pots? I don't have ANY experience with them. Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Ki said...

Wow, you have beautiful toad lilies. We just have the very plain ones but after seeing yours I just may have to look for better ones. I especially like the Tojen. The only thing I don't like about our toad lilies is that the plants are growing larger and larger, overgrowing smaller plants. But it's a hardy plant for semi-shade. BTW, great photos!

Lynda Lehmann said...

Kylee, I have never seen lilies like this, not even in a botanical garden. They're gorgeous and so exotic looking. Thanks for sharing them...

Anna said...

These are very beautiful shots. Never really seen this flower before, but then my garden does not have much variety, however I always enjoyed the spring filled with lilly of the valley on the side of my house and forgetmenots front of the house. Again, escellent and thanks for sharing useful information. Anna :)

jodi said...

Delectable! If I hadn't already fallen for toad lilies, your post would have incited immediate plant-lust in me. I'm hoping that my plant will overwinter nicely, and that will be the perfect excuse to get more of these elegant, intriguing perennials in my garden next year.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I keep thinking about those upright toad lilies, too! If they ever go down to 75% off, Kylee, I may make an emergency trip for both of us. ;)

By the way, how many flowers do you have on 'Lightning Strike'? I was underwhelmed by the first few, but the more that bloom, the more I fall in love with the way they daintily brighten up even that lively foliage.

Wallis said...

My single toad lily is two years old and both years it has grown well, however, in early August it developed rust over most of its leaves. Yesterday, I cut off all the rusty leaves and probably will not see any flowers. Does anyone have any information about the rust?

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