Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tricyrtis - can you get it in a different size?

Just as every season seems to have its own colours, they also have their own scale. The garden at the moment is fabulously blousy with eupatorium and cosmos interspersed with gladioli and dahlias - the asters and helenium are about to flower in amongst the fennel. Everything seems to be at least 4 feet tall.
And then there is the toad lily - Tricytis formosana - which grows to about 2 feet tall and has flowers about the size of a 10p piece. It is beautiful - rather orchid like - with recurving flowers, white spotted with purple, even the stamens are spotted. It is also a fantastically long lasting flower - I have had a stem on my mantlepiece for over 2 weeks and there are still 4 or 5 flowers to open. The problem is what do I sell with it? Not that many people buy bunches of a single type of flower unless it is dahlia or tulips and all the foliage that is out at the moment completely dwarfs the delicacy of the toad lily flowers.
The photo shows a bucket of flowers that I have picked to take along to Drymen Brownies this evening - the brownies are all going to try their hand at flower arranging so it will be interesting to see what they come up with.
Anyway the toad lily is a great plant to grow around here - it likes water, and richish soil - if you can grow hellebores you can grow these, and they are useful as they flower late August - October when there are no hellebores to look at!


Carol said...

I'm still waiting for my toad lilies to bloom, but they grow right next to the hellebores. I don't know what you put them with!

Diane said...

Thanks for mentioning Hellebores and toad lilies! We have a semi-shaded woodland area in the front of our house and I'm hoping to naturalize hellibores, epimediums, and toad lilies (we're thinking of the deer). Also thinking of using mertinesia (virginia bluebells)and/or phlox divericarta (woodland phlox). I just hope the voles don't get to these new plants...