A few brown leaves

Seedlings of the ‘Miyazaki’ toad lilies (Tricyrtis hirta ‘Miyazaki’) are numerous on the slightly humped bed just below the driveway. Several have been left to grow on, while dozens are weeded out each year. While ‘Miyazaki’ grows vigorously, as do most toad lilies in nearly full sun, its foliage is prone to scorching, in particular when facing reflected heat from the asphalt drive.

But, scorched leaves or not, this will hardly effect flowering that will begin early in September. Away from the drive, foliage is mostly unscarred, and several paces further, into the shade of low hanging branches of a redbud, growth is noticeably weaker, with stems that are are stiff in the sun flopping in the shade. Growth of all toad lilies is more vigorous in nearly full sun, and I suspect foliage damage would be lessened with regular irrigation. So, there seems ample evidence to declare that toad lilies are most appropriate for part to full sun, and not the shade garden.

In fact, the original ‘Miyazaki’ in the garden now suffers in the expanding shade of a red horse chestnut. Last year it did not flower, a notable occurrence, though it appears to have a bit more vigor this summer. Seedlings are similar, though several have slightly narrower leaves and a noticeably more upright stance than the typical angle of stems of ‘Miyazaki’.

I am remiss in not mentioning other toad lilies, and though the abundant and ever present seedlings have spread ‘Miyazaki’ around the garden, it is far from the favorite. Other toad lilies are similarly vigorous, though unfortunately, no seedlings are ever found. All but a few in damp ground (that were recently transplanted), which clearly is not ideal, grow to shrub-like proportions.

Tricyrtis ohsumiensis

Again this year, I have high hopes for a yellow flowered toad lily (Tricyrtis ohsumiensis, above). Several have been planted over the years in spots that proved to be too wet, or shaded, but now there is one that looks as if it’s in the right place. Is there anything special about the yellow flowered types? No, except I’ve killed the few I’ve planted, until now, and while it has a few sun blemished leaves, experience tells me this is not a problem.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Jean L Gudaitis says:

    toadlilies are my favorite. Never had them seed too much, though, but thanks for the tip about the sun. Mine may need some limbing up of overhanging things to really bloom. .

    1. Dave says:

      I’ve had to cut short my collecting of toad lilies. Now that one yellow is surviving I might need a few more, but several newer purchases are hardly different from others. If I see something very different I’ll make the purchase. Toad lilies work for me because they have a bit of flexibility in sunlight exposure, and they’re not finicky.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    How are toads affiliated with them?

    1. Dave says:

      I’ve heard it’s because of the spotted flowers, but what do I know?

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Well, you are more familiar with them than I am.

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