Monday, 12 November 2012

Terrific Tricyrtis!

I have been starting to get a bit of a Tricyrtis collection going over the last couple of years. They're great for colour late in the season, yet despite their exotic appearance they are on the whole easy to care for and pretty hardy. They are particularly useful for spots in semi shade. Their main requirement is constantly moist soil.

T.formosana is totally indestructible and where it all started for me.............
It's one of the earlier Tricyrtis too bloom, and is a real doer.
There can be quite a lot of variation in the colour of different unnamed T.formosana...............

Next came T.hirta. Not as bombproof as it dislikes winter wet, but in a sheltered spot that gets plenty of winter sun it will thrive.

The next three all seem to need more sun to do well.
Things started getting serious as far as collecting them goes when I purchased the T.hirta cultivar Taiwan Adbane....................

Hardier than the pure species and taller growing it quickly forms a clump.

T.formosana "Harlequin" looks very similar given a quick glance, but look again and the differences are clear.........

T.hirta Lightning Strike...............

Taipei Silk is an early bloomer that seems happy in fairly heavy shade................

I've saved the best till last - Tricyrtis ishiiana..............

Its growth habit is very different to that of most Tricyrtis with the individual flowers emerging from the leaf axils and hanging from arching stems.............
Give it the conditions that it demands (constantly moist soil in full shade with good light) though and it will reward you well. Mine was very happy growing under a Weeping Willow..............

For anyone unfamiliar with Tricyrtis now is the time to share the rather unflattering common name - Toad Lily!


  1. What a stunning collection you have. I'm afraid my one and only Tricyrtis bit the dust after two successive heavy wet seasons here. I really must try again, but I think this time I'll keep it potted up and not plant it out in the garden.

    1. Thanks! I have a few more coming along for next year.

      I suspect that yours maybe was weakened in the dry period as they love damp conditions. They also (on the whole) dislike burning sun.

  2. I love the dainty orchid-like blooms and have tried growing them here in Edmonton but our season isn't quite long enough for them. Thanks for stopping by. Keep warm!

    1. Not sure if you have a greenhouse, but if you do grow them like this;
      Grow in a 10inch pot sunk in the ground.
      Lift the pot before the first frosts and place in the greenhouse over the winter. Water rarely.
      In the spring give the pot a good soak and then wait for the new growth to emerge.
      Sink the pot again in early summer.

      Taipei Silk is one that responds really well to this type of growing.