Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Different Toadie

Tricyrtis hirta is what most gardeners think of as a toad lily; tall, arching foliage with numerous spotted flowers. There's another species though, Tricyrtis affinis native to Japan, that is quite interesting, if not arresting. The foliage tends to be more upright (to the point of stiffness compared to the graceful arching of hirta); the leaves are interestingly spotted, but other than the shared spotting, the several named clones of affinis that I grow in our garden are amazingly different in appearance. The flowers, while pretty, are much sparser and smaller than hirta types; their one advantage being that they are very upright on stems, so they are easily appreciated.
It's the interesting foliage though, that got these plants in through the garden gate: here is Tricyrtis affinis Lunar Landing, shown in early spring at the top, and below when blooming recently.
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Do you notice T. affinis struggling with our winters at all? I added both 'Lunar Landing' and 'Key Lime Pie' to my garden this year and crossing my fingers they will winter ok. I like them more for the interesting foliage than the flowers.

I also added 'Imperial Banner'...really wild foliage!! We'll see how it does.
Josh... you know, Tricolor and Lunar Landing do great, but Key Lime Pie seems to get set back most winters. Affinis by nature is kind of small and creepy.
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