Tricyrtis hirta, commonly called toad lily, is perhaps best known for its unique flowers, ability to bloom in shade and late summer to early fall bloom time. Features small, lily-like flowers (1 inch long) with six showy tepals (similar appearing sepals and petals). Flowers appear in the upper leaf axils and stem ends either solitary or more often in small clusters (cymes) of 2-3 flowers each. White to pale lilac flowers with heavy purple spotting. Arching, unbranched stems grow upright to 2-3' tall. Sometimes called hairy toad lily because all parts of the plant are hairy. This species of toad lily is not rhizomatous. Oval to oblong leaves (3-6" long) with parallel veins and clasping leaf bases. Borders, woodland gardens, shade gardens or naturalized areas. Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils in part to full shade. Prefers moist, organically rich, humusy, slightly acidic soils in part shade. Soil must not be allowed to dry out. Non-rhizomatous. Hardy in zones 4-8.
Growing Instructions for the Toad Lily
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall or winter for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year. 1. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. 2. Put the seeds in a ziplock bag. 3. Put the bag in the refrigerator and leave it there for 1 month. 4. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. 5. Sow the seeds on the soil. 6. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. 7. Water the soil so that it is moist but not wet. 8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.