There are many types of Tricyrtis. Some have an arched stem, some have a posterior stem, and some have an upright, upright stem. Its flowers can have flat petals, petals that do not open wide and are bell-shaped, or petals that open beyond the horizontal and bend backwards (they are reflections). The flowers can appear only on the tips of the plant or along the stem. The color of the flower varies from multi-colored shades of yellow, blue, pink, and white. Creating categories from this wide variation is difficult, but the species tends to cluster together with certain groups of these traits.
One of those categories to consider is hybrid species with parents in different species and groups. The following is a description of the toad lily species in this group.
Tricyrtis ‘Amanogawa’ (Milky Way Toad Lily) From Japan comes this splendid, but difficult to find, hybrid toad lily (Tricyrtis perfoliata HTricyrtis hirta). The stiff arched habit of the stem makes this toad lily perfect for arching over a rock or through ferns. The stems are lined, from late summer to early fall, with mottled brown leaves, resulting in creamy yellow, slightly mottled, orchid-like flowers at the end of each stem. “Amanogawa” in Japanese means “Milky Way Galaxy”. (Endurance zone 4-8)
Tricyrtis ‘Blue Wonder’ (Blue Wonder Toad Lily) appears to be a cross of Tricyrtis hirta and Tricyrtis formosana. The 30 “tall upright stems are topped with terminal panicles of pale blue petalled flowers with dark blue spots beginning in September. Spreads, though not as fast as T. formosana. (Hardiness zone 5-8, guessing)
Tricyrtis ‘Dai Nagon’ (Dai Nagon Toad Lily) This Tricyrtis hirta hybrid forms a congested 8 “tall cluster.
Tricyrtis ‘Eco Yellow Spangles’ (Eco Yellow Spangles Toad Lily) This hybrid of Tricyrtis latifolia and Tricyrtis flava was produced by Don Jacobs of Eco Gardens in Decatur, Georgia. Tricyrtis ‘Eco Yellow Spangles’ is a strongly arched plant, dressed in bright green foliage, adorned with spots of cinnamon. The large upward yellow flowers also have cinnamon spots. (Endurance zone 5-7, guessing)
Tricyrtis ‘Emperatriz’ (Empress Toad Lily) This toad lily hybrid forms a 30 “tall upright cluster, crowned from late July-September with terminal spikes of large orchid-like flowers … white background with flecks of color dark purple. (hardiness zone 5b -9, guessing)
Tricyrtis formosana Hhirta (Hybrid Toad Lily) Since these two species are easily crossed in the garden, many commercially sold plants such as Tricyrtis hirta and Tricyrtis formosana are actually this cross. The result is usually a much more vigorous plant than either parent. The offspring can inherit the habit of running or grouping from either parent. The 3 “long leaves support the nearly 3 ‘tall stems. In late summer and early fall, 1” flower branches, white with dark purple freckles, cover the plant. (Resistance zone 5b-9)
Tricyrtis ‘Kohaku’ (Kohaku Toad Lily) This is a hybrid of two distantly related species, Tricyrtis macranthopsis HTricyrtis hirta. The nearly prostrate 2 ‘long branches are adorned with deeply veined pointed green leaves. In late summer, each branch harbors the extraordinarily large dark purple terminal flowers and orchid-shaped white spots. Although this is a genetically interesting plant, it is not a garden specimen, especially in the Southeast. Perhaps it would be more suitable for the Pacific Northwest. (Endurance zone 4-8)
Tricyrtis ‘Imperial Banner’ PP 18,956 (Imperial Banner Toad Lily) This striking new toad lily occurred as a mutation in Tricyrtis ‘Empress’, which we believe to be a hybrid of Tricyrtis hirta Hformosana. The amazing leaves of Tricyrtis ‘Imperial Banner’ are bright green with a unique white central variegation pattern. Tricyrtis ‘Imperial Banner’ forms an absolutely stunning and unique 2 ‘tall x 2’ wide cluster, even before it is covered in midsummer with short terminal spikes of light lavender blooms with dark purple spots. Many of the plants that are sold commercially are actually Tricyrtis ‘White Waves’, which is easier to keep in tissue culture. Tricyrtis ‘Imperial Banner’ is very prone to reverting to solid green stems, which should be removed immediately. (Hardiness zone 6-8, at least)
Tricyrtis ‘Lemon Twist’ (Lemon Twist Toad Lily) This introduction by Darrell Probst is a cross between two yellow-flowered Japanese dwarf species, Tricyrtis flava and Tricyrtis ohsumiensis. The result is a vigorous hybrid with large, light green, speckled leaves that form a robust 1 ‘tall by 1’ wide cluster. The groups are finished off, from the beginning of October, with large light yellow flowers. In shape, is it taller than? (Hardiness zone 5-8, at least)
Tricyrtis ‘Mantenimiento-no-hoshi’ (Keep no Hoshi Toad Lily) This Japanese selection, which has strong stems topped with terminal clusters of strongly marked white flowers with deep purple, was developed for the cut flower trade. (Hardiness zone 5-8, at least)
Tricyrtis’ Momoyama ‘(Momoyama Toad Lily) The flowers of this 3’ tall Japanese hybrid of Tricyrtis hirta are white in the center and pale pink towards the tips, with very few flower spots. (Endurance zone 4-8)
Tricyrtis ‘Moonlight Treasure’ PP 16.037, PVR (Moonlight Treasure Toad Lily) Tricyrtis ‘Moonlight Treasure’ is a new hybrid, created using the beautiful dwarf species Tricyrtis ohsumiensis and Tricyrtis nana. The result is a compact hybrid made up of thick, beautifully spotted leaves that form a compact cluster 10 “tall by 10” wide. Beginning in late summer, clusters are topped by large buttery yellow flowers that are held just above the foliage. (Hardiness zone 5-7, at least)
Tricyrtis ‘Niitaka’ (Niitaka Toad Lily) This is probably a hybrid of Tricyrtis formosana x hirta, bred in Japan for the cut flower trade (Hardiness Zone 6-9, at least)
Tricyrtis ‘Purple Beauty’ (Purple Beauty Toad Lily) This probable hybrid of Tricyrtis formosana x Tricyrtis hirta produces a 3 foot tall, crowned upright grower beginning in September with terminal flower panicles with a base color of white that is very spotted purple. Tricyrtis ‘Purple Beauty’ is a loose clumper compared to T. ‘Blue Wonder’ (Hardiness Zone 6-9, guessing)
Tricyrtis ‘Shikin’ (Shikin Toad Lily) This is another hybrid of Tricyrtis hirta x T. formosana from Japan. (Hardiness zone 6-9, at least)
Tricyrtis ‘Sinonome’ (Sinonome Toad Lily) Tricyrtis ‘Sinonome’ was rated one of the best toad lilies in extensive perennial trials at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. It works just as well for us in the land of heat and humidity as it does in the cold and windy city. The 3 ‘tall upright stems of this Tricyrtis hirta HTricyrtis formosana hybrid are covered with leaves from the bottom up. In late summer, the tops of the stems are home to pretty clusters of 1 “purple and white speckled flowers (hardiness zone 5-9).
Tricyrtis ‘Taipei Silk’ PP 18,727 (Taipei Silk Toad Lily) This delicious tricyrtis hybrid comes from Darrell Probst’s breeding program. The 30 “tall stems of this Tricyrtis lasiocarpa hybrid are clad in bright green leaves and then topped off, beginning in September, with terminal sprays branching in five directions of 1.5” wide flowers. Each flower is comprised of three rich lavender petals in contrast to three smaller white petals with flecks of lavender. (Hardiness zone 6-8, at least)
Tricyrtis ‘Tojen’ (Tojen Toad Lily) (aka: Tricyrtis ‘Togen’) This is a robust Japanese hybrid with gigantic foliage that is almost three times the size of most other tricyrtis species and is well maintained been all summer. Tricyrtis ‘Tojen’ forms a massive clump 2 ‘high by 3’ wide, crowned, beginning in midsummer, with terminal clusters of spotless lavender orchid and white flowers with yellow throats. (Hardiness zone 5-8)
Tricyrtis ‘White Waves’ PP 20,007 (White Waves Toad Lily) This new toad lily is one that we found hidden amongst our stock of Tricyrtis ‘Imperial Banner’. While similar to its parent, Tricyrtis ‘White Waves’ does not have green streaks in the middle of the creamy central part of the leaf. This results in a more dramatic but slightly less vigorous leaf variety. For us, the 15 “tall clumps are crowned in early October with attractive purple-spotted flowers. (Hardiness Zone 6-8, at least)
Thesis Tricyrtis all are wonderful garden plants for temperate and partially shaded locations. Enjoy!