Despite the slightly off-putting common name of toad lily, Tricyrtis Taipei Silk is in fact one of the beauties of the early autumn when its branched clusters of heavily spotted purple flowers, which shade to white at the petal centres, appear above the spare lance-shaped leaves. An Asian woodlander, so prefers some shade. Any reasonable soil but not too dry. 2 feet. 2 litre pot.


Tricyrtis is an unassuming kind of plant until the rather mysterious flowers appear, at an opportune time when a lot of other plants have gone over, and continuing to bloom over an extended period. Cut back old stems in early spring.

Taipei Silk is the result of a cross between Tricyrtis Formosana and Tricyrtis Lasiocarpa. Although the initial cross was made (in Massachusetts, of all places) in 1992, it wasn't until 2008 that a plant patent was issued. Horticulture is a slow moving business, it seems.

So why is Tricyrtis lumbered with the common name toad lily? We are tempted to invite answers on a postcard, but we in fact guess that it's to do with the speckling and spotting that is typical of the flowers in this genus.

Tricyrtis Taipei Silk is a hardy perennial plant with glossy leaves and heavily spotted purple to white flowers in autumn suitable for partial shade.

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