Friday, September 05, 2008

Tropical Fall

This is Tricyrtis Autumn Glow, a selected clone of Tricyrtis formosana, from the mountains of Taiwan. In contrast to most formosana clones and hybrids, this plant just grows like a weed here, and it would be a fine plant even if it never bloomed, for it forms a thick clump of 18" foliage with leaves that are bright, shiny green with a prominent yellow border. The petals of Tricyrtis formosana tend more towards a cherry pink, while the other Taiwanese toad lily, Tricyrtis lasiocarpa (T. formosana Amethystina) tends more towards bluish purple. Both species (and their hybrids) carry their flowers only in terminal sprays, instead of in the leaf axils along the stems like the commoner Tricyrtis hirta type of toad lilies. You get fewer flowers with these two Taiwanese species, but they open a few at a time over some weeks, and they are held more upright, for better appreciation, so it's a good trade-off.
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Another one for the wish list. I finally managed to keep one of my Tricyrtis alive two years in a row, and this year it bloomed, but the flowers were pretty plain and white, I had been expecting more spots. I've been wanting more, with good foliage and more spotted flowers, this one might do well here in Portland.
Megan... I'd think you could grow any old tricyrtis you want in Portland, but things don't always work out like they're supposed to.
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