TOAD LILY

FAMILY: Liliaceae | GENUS: TRICYRTIS

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
  • Full Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
  • Ample Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

Woodland plants that resemble false Solomon's seal (Smilacina) in foliage. Interesting, heavily spotted, inch-long flowers appear at leaf joints and in terminal clusters in late summer and fall. They are complex in structure, somewhat orchidlike: Each blossom has three petals and three sepals, with a column of decorative stamens and styles rising from the center. Need soil enriched with plenty of organic matter. Excellent companions to ferns, foamflower (Tiarella), and hostas. Unfortunately (like hostas), they are a favorite snack for voles.

tricyrtis formosana(Tricyrtis stolonifera)

  • From Taiwan.
  • To 212 feet tall.
  • Spreads by aboveground runners to form a clump 112 feet or wider, but is not invasive.
  • More erect than Tricyrtis hirta, with flowers mostly in terminal clusters.
  • Leaves are green, mottled with deeper green; brown or maroon buds open to white to pale lilac flowers spotted with purple.
  • Autumn Glow has green leaves with a wide yellow border; flowers are purple.
  • Gates of Heaven has bright golden foliage and purple flowers.
  • Late-blooming 'Variegata' has lavender blossoms and gold-edged leaves.
  • For the plant sold as Tricyrtis f.
  • Amethystina, see Tricyrtis lasiocarpa.

tricyrtis hirta

  • From Japan.
  • To 3 feet tall, 2 feet wide; it lacks runners.
  • Arching stems bear pale green, softly hairy foliage.
  • White to pale lilac blossoms are peppered with purple; they appear in leaf joints all along the stems.
  • The following are somewhat shorter than the species: 'Miyazaki' bears pink to white flowers with crimson spots; 'Miyazaki Gold' is similar but has gold-edged leaves.
  • Possible hybrid 'White Towers' (1212 feet tall) has pure white blossoms with purple stamens.

tricyrtis hybrids

  • Specialty nurseries offer many interesting hybrids, including the following.
  • Dark Beauty ('Purple Beauty'), to 4 feet tall, 1 feet wide, has large leaves and purple-and-white spotted flowers.
  • Empress, to 2 feet high and 1 feet wide, bears large, spidery-petaled blossoms in white heavily spotted with purple.
  • Tojen, to 3 feet high and 2 feet wide, has large flowers that are lavender-purple at the tips, fading to white in the center.
  • Blue Wonder has blue and deep purple speckles on creamy-white petals.
  • Lightning Strike, to 2 feet tall and wide, has pale lavender blooms with purple speckles; its leaves are heavily streaked with gold.

tricyrtis lasiocarpa

  • From Taiwan.
  • Formerly sold as Tricyrtis formosana 'Amethystina'.
  • Upright grower to 3 feet tall and wide; dark stems are set with large (to 12 inches long), glossy, green leaves speckled with purple.
  • From midsummer to early fall, stems are topped by branched sprays of inch-long, white-throated flowers marked with blue and purple.
  • Needs more sun than other toad lilies; thrives in part sun to light shade.

tricyrtis macropoda

  • From China.
  • Upright growth to 2 feet high, 16 inches wide.
  • Rounded gray leaves are unspotted.
  • Profuse show of white flowers with purple spots and backward-pointing petals.
  • Tricolor has gray leaves striped with pink and white.

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