Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Toad Lilies Glitter in the Fall Garden

I discovered Toad Lilies (Tricyrtis sp.) early in my foray into the gardening world. Before Max's Garden even existed, I ordered some from Bluestone Perennials. I was enamored with their orchid-like blooms that came at a time when not much else was going on in the garden. That first purchase was 'Sinonome' and it still grows and blooms here in the shaded Trellis Garden, four years later.

Tricyrtis 'Sinonome'

As I visited various nurseries over the last few years, anytime I encountered Toad Lilies, I came to a full stop and usually picked one out to take home, if it was a variety I didn't already have. That's exactly what I did a couple of weeks ago, when Marsha and I visited Carolee's Herb Farm, where I found 'Samurai.'

Tricyrtis formosana 'Samurai'

Tricyrtis 'Tojen'

When the plants were young, the blooms were only at the upper few inches, but now that they are more mature and established, they are blooming all along the leaf axils of the stems.

Tricyrtis hirta 'Miyazaki'

Tricyrtis 'Lightning Strike'

They still make me stop in my tracks when I walk by them. They're one of the highlights of the fall garden.


Zone: 4-8
Water: Average
Soil: Neutral to Acidic
Sun: Part to Full Shade
Bloom: Late Summer to Mid-Fall


Gail said...

The first year i blogged I saw Toad Lilies at several sites...so of course, two came to live at C&L! Tricyrtis 'Empress' (it looks a little like your beautiful Sinonome~~big speckled flowers) and what was labeled as Gilt Edge...It's a chartreuse foliaged beauty with very small flowers. They are delightful in the shady wildflower garden each fall. gail

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

These Toad Lilies are such interesting looking blooms! I really don't have shade now, so am without one of these beauties. Maybe in SC......

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I love Toadlilies, for their flowers, for their architectural stature, for their late blooms, for their foliage.... you get the picture.

Unknown said...

I adore them as well. I only have a few varieties though. I usually buy them if they are priced well. Such a magical little bloom.

sweetbay said...

Those Toad Lilies are beautiful. Great photos too!

Shady Gardener said...

Kylee, I've been enamored with toad lilies, too! I have several varieties... that if I don't get mulched before long (judging by this Fall's weather!) might not appear next year!!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I'll have to see if toad lilies would grow on the east side of the house. They sure are pretty! I've never grown them.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

That's right, rub it in! I had toadlilies last year but this year I seem to have misplaced them.

Thanks for the info it will be a big help when I buy me some new toadlilies.

carolee said...

I'm so glad you enjoy your new toad lily. I picked up 4 (new to me) varieties on a recent trip to N.C. The most exciting one is "White Waves." Also added a variegated "Impress" and "Blue Wonder" and a couple with HUGE yellow blooms. I think I see another shade garden in my future!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I just love toad lilies too Kylee. You have a great collection of them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kylee, this is a plant that we have never tried, hard to believe there is such a thing in existence! There will grow in our zone I see, shade is a little hard to come by, but there might be a place for them. I like your first one, Sinonome. :-)

Anonymous said...

I've never seen one before! How cool is that! I'll have to seek some out. I love their look. Thanks for posting the pictures.

Anonymous said...

It's an exotic looking plant and that's a hard look to achieve in our neck of the woods. Your pictures are so crisp and clear. Now let me go see your kitties.

Kylee Baumle said...

Gail ~ I've seen photos of 'Empress' and 'Gilt Edge.' The latter looks very much like 'Samurai.' They're a very unique plant, aren't they?

Janet ~ Oh, for sure you could use them in your new home, which is going to be in a wonderful location, by the looks of your pictures! I'll bet you're so excited to have it all done and start living there!

MMD ~ I'm with ya!

flowrgirl1 ~ The more I see, the more I want! Of course, that's just plants in general... LOL

sweet bay ~ Thanks! They really are wonderful plants!

Shady Gardener ~ I've not yet begun to fall mulch. I'm waiting till our Indian Summer gets here and is over. We'd better get one!

Sue ~ I'll bet they will. Morning sun isn't as harsh, so I think they stand a good chance. Mine are in dappled to full shade, so I have no experience in growing them where they get full sun even part of the day.

Yolanda Elizabet ~ Oh, you really must find yourself some more! Anyone that has the kind of green thumb you do can't be without some. I'm sure it was the garden gremlins that absconded with your toad lilies! Shame on them.

Carolee ~ Oh I DO love it. I especially love the deep purple coloring of the blooms, and the cream edge to the foliage. You'd mentioned you got some new ones. I'm jealous, you know! I have to go outside the area to find them in person, so I always look around when we're out of town. You can be sure I'll be watching for new ones next year. Will you be carrying many? I've seen photos of a yellow-blooming one and it was GORGEOUS. Must have...

Lisa ~ Thanks, Lisa! I need to get over to your blog and see if you've posted pictures of any in your own garden?

Frances ~ Oh you HAVE to get some for fairegarden! 'Sinonome' is lovely, but the most vigorous grower is the 'Miyazake.' I think my favorite blooms are those of 'Tojen,' though they aren't speckled.

Daisy ~ Yep, very cool. Get some! :-)

Anna ~ It is quite exotic, for sure. I think that's why it appeals to most people, regardless of where they garden. Oh yes, the kitties! I just got some sugar from Lily. :-)

Garden Lily said...

What beautiful photos! You've convinced me that I need some toad lilies for my garden, too.

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