Finally, yellow flowered toad lilies


Often ignoring his better judgment and good sense, the gardener too frequently opts for fussy plants, or ones that have only a slight chance for survival in his heat or cold. He forces shade lovers into the scorching sun, and otherwise tortures those he professes to love. He strives against reality, and then is immensely disappointed with the inevitable results.

I have suffered too many losses in my gardens (though fortunately more successes) by stretching reason, but also through carelessness, poor luck, or clumsiness that has killed finicky plants as well as ones that any child can grow without a care. Occasionally, I am bludgeoned into submission, and as sad as this seems, I long ago conceded that I am incapable of keeping the common tickseed (Coreopsis) alive for more than a few months.

Tricyrtis macrantha ssp. macranthopsis
Tricyrtis macrantha ssp. macranthopsis

And, so it is that finally I declare success in growing yellow flowered toad lilies (Tricyrtis). Two of them, in fact, after several failures that I acknowledge were entirely due to my lack of attention following planting. Long ago I accepted that I must plant larger pots for new plants to have a reasonable chance for survival. I am so easily distracted once I’m out into the garden that even if I go out with the intention of watering, I’m most likely to end up wandering and doing nothing at all.

As much as I prefer to purchase plants in larger pots through the garden center, I must occasionally obtain plants that are out of the ordinary from specialty growers by mail. I am careful to avoid the youngest plants in two and three inch pots, since these have hardly a chance for survival without extraordinary good fortune. Even a well rooted four inch pot is challenged if regular rainfall does not follow planting, and through prolonged periods of drought any plant that does not tolerate neglect will be challenged.

Tricyrtis ohsumiensis
Tricyrtis ohsumiensis

Admittedly, besides the splendid yellow blooms, these few toad lilies are not anything to brag on. Their foliage is brown along the edges, but after a dry late summer even well established plants have taken a turn for the worse. But, I’m confident all will survive, and next year I expect them to gain more substance so that they will better tolerate my lack of attention.

So, the yellow flowered toad lilies are not particularly lovely, or notable in any manner except that I’ve failed in a couple past attempts to grow them. These are not any more difficult to grow than any other toad lily, which require almost no attention at all in my experience. I suppose they should not be planted in full sun, but otherwise toad lilies are hard to kill. No matter that I have achieved what any novice might do easily, I am quite pleased with myself.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow! Someone needs to use this species to cross with others to get that beautiful color!

    1. Dave says:

      That’s what I’m afraid of. I keep buying as new cultivars are introduced, and they keep making more.

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