Friday, October 1st, 2010...12:00 am

The Toad Lily

Toad lily (day 56) by Photo Munki

Another plant growing in the shade in the garden in Bryn Mawr, Pa, that I believe was also bought from Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, was the Toad Lily. What a strange common name for such a pretty flower. The Latin name is Tricyrtis . The owner of the garden when showing me around told me to look at her Solomon’s seal. It was an interesting mistake because both plants have arching stems and when you take a superficial glance at the leaves, the Toad lilie’s leaves are arranged similarly to the Solomon seal’s leaves. But the flowers are so different, once you see each, you would never mistake the two plants. The Solomon seal flowers in Spring and early summer and are inconspicuous bells but the Toad lily blooms at the end of summer into early fall and are showy and delightful. Some people say the flowers look something like orchids.

There are different varieties, some having white or yellow flowers, but most have flowers that have purple spots or blotches on a white background.  See here.  Some will grow in zone 4 but most will grow from zone 5 through zone 8 though some will grow in zone 9.

This low maintenance plant, the Toad Lily, enjoys the same shaded area and woodland soil and lighting and has similar requirements to those that Begonia grandis has, though it can tolerate drought a little better than the begonia. My trout lilies have buds but they have not opened yet, I think because of the drought we have had.

If you have a shade garden, once you see this delightful plant, you will be smitten.  See here.  You can buy the plant or you can buy seeds and plant them in your garden.  See here or here.

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