Late flowering perennials are valuable for any garden, particularly woodland gardens or gardens in shade for part of the day. A beautiful plant from Japan known as the Toad Lily, Tricyrtis formosana is a star plant at this time of year.
Tricyrtis plants produce tall stems 60-90 cm or 2/3 feet tall with clusters of star shaped flowers at the top. The way they grow and flower reminds me very much of Orchids we grow as house plants. Buds are deep purple. Stems are purple. Tricyrtis flowers are usually white with purple speckles. Their leaves are also spotted which is probably why they are known as Toad Lilies. There are many new varieties with markings in other colours such as bright pink.
Tricyrtis are ideal woodland plants. They are easy to grow in shade/part shade as long as the ground remains fairly moist. They combine well with shade tolerant grasses and the autumn flowering Japenese aneomones Anemone x huphensis. Like them they are also best grown in large groups for impact.
Tricyrtis formosana plants are hardy and need little attention.
If you are in a particularly cold area then cut back after the first frosts when flowering is over and mulch with a generous layer of fallen leaves or garden compost to protect from winter cold and wet.
Toad Lilies flower from August until October. This year they are flowering for longer than usual probably because of the lovely mild weather we’re having. Today it was sunny and 20 degrees C here!
Hope you are enjoying the lovely mild autumn too.
Happy Gardening Gillain 🙂