The Japanese Toad Lily
If you are looking for an autumn flowering plant with unique flowers then what is commonly called the Toad Lily, (Tricyrtis hirta) could be the answer.
A wonderful woodland type plant with pretty spotted star shaped flowers they love a moist position in dappled shade, but away from cold winds.
Tricyrtis hirta alba ‘Empress’ or Empress Toad Lily is pictured right. Flowers vary from almost plain white through spotted yellows and deep carmine pinks.
Also known as Toad Lilies for some reason which is unclear to us as the flowers remind us of orchids.
With orchid like flowers, these wonderful plants are not bulbs but rhizomatous perennials, and although they can be grown from seed if you are starting out, go for established plants.
Originally from Asia (Japan, Taiwan and China) Tricyrtis hirta is probably the most widely available in Australia.
Tricyrtis hirta ‘Miyazaki’ is the ”Miyazaki” Toad Lily, flowering in late summer to autumn and reaching around 60cm in height. Grows well in filtered shade and copes with dry soils.
A humus rich moist soil, grow alongside Dicentra, Hosta and Trilliums. They can reach a good height, almost .3m so a little room is required. Plant around 8cm deep
Growing conditions and care
These wonderful plants are not bulbs but rhizomatous
- Choose a humus rich soil in part shade.
- Morning sun with afternoon shade is suitable.
- Make sure the soil is moist however not soggy.
- Plant the rhizomes at around 8 cm (3 Inches) deep.
- Fertilise with a liquid seaweed fertiliser and top dress with aged manure and compost each spring.
- Established clumps can also be divided in spring.
Although they can be grown from seed if you are starting out, go for established plants.They can also be propagated from root cuttings.
Where to plant
A humus rich moist soil, grow alongside Dicentra, Hosta and Trilliums. They can reach a good height 50 -70 cm, so a little room is required. Plant around 8cm deep.
Tricyrtis hirta can be grown in good sized containers if required.
Tricyrtis are available for sale form the following nurseries
'Sylvan Vale' 375 Olinda Creek Rd, Kalorama, VIC.3766
Including a large range of Rare and unusual bulbs, corms and perennials
Large variety of Epimediums, Woodland plants and Herbaceous perennials
Mail order or nursery. We do not send to Tasmania or WA
'Umbango' 750 Humula Rd, Humula NSW 2652
Phone 0408692773 Great Range of Perennial plants available for sale by mail order.
PO Box 7040 Leura NSW 2780
Rare woodland plants, Trilliums Epimediums, Arisaemas, plus much more.www.lynnsrareplants.com.au
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.
125 Palmer Rd Jindivick 3818
Open Thursday - Sunday 10am - 4pm
Specialising in growing and selling Rare and Unusual Trees, shrubs Perennials Bulbs and Climbers, a unique nursery with amazing stock.