Sunday, October 14, 2007

Toads In The Rain

It's been raining steadily all morning; one of those cool, misty rains of late fall that my Mother used to call "equinoctial rains". These late fall rains are always very welcome as they soak in completely, but it makes for a quiet inside day, while I putter around cleaning the greenhouse to get ready for winter, and Liz is absorbed in a murder mystery involving an ax and a malevolent pharmacist (it does concern me, when at intervals she exclaims "So that's how it's done!" I've been rather conservative about life insurance on myself, always feeling it's asking for trouble being worth more dead than alive.
At any rate, it was a good morning also to take photos of two toad lilies: Kohaku at top, and macranthopsis below it. Kohaku is a wonderful hybrid from Japan that is a cross between the species Tricyrtis hirta and macranthopsis. The latter is sometimes called "Chinese toad lily"; it is yellow with red spots. Kohaku inherits two good traits from macranthopsis: yellow at the base of the petals, and thick petal substance. It also inherits two iffy traits: a very pendulous plant habit, and very late flowering... these latter two habits require that some thought be given to plant placement; a spot which catches some late fall sun to hasten flowering is excellent... if the spot happens to be on a berm where Kohaku can tumble down over a large rock to keep it off the ground, so much the better.
I would love to see more crosses between hirta and macranthopsis; one would hope that a hybrid could be produced with yellow flowers and purple spots.
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I've been enjoying your site for weeks. Can you tell me, what would you say is the best environment for a toad lily? I just picked up my first one to see how it'll go, Tricyrtis hirta 'Miyazaki'. Thanks.
You have an Awesome variety of tricyrtis!!! Very inspiring.
Benjamin... toadies would like Seattle; they like it cool, shady, and wet.

Shady... thanks; more coming.
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