What Does A Flower Spike Look Like On An Orchid Tricyrtis Hybrids

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Tricyrtis Hybrids

There are many species of Tricyrtis. Some have an arching stem, some have a trailing stem, and some have an upright erect stem. Their flowers can have flat petals, petals that do not open far and are bell-shaped, or petals that open beyond the horizontal and bend back (they are reflex). Flowers can appear only at the tips of the plant or along the entire stem. Flower color varies from multicolored shades of yellow, blue, pink and white. Creating categories from this wide variation is difficult, but species tend to cluster together with certain clusters of these traits.

One such category to consider is hybrid species with parents in different species and groups. The following is a description of the toad lily species in this group.

Tricyrtis ‘Amanogawa’ (Tricyrtis perfoliata HTricyrtis hirta) From Japan comes this beautiful, but hard to find, hybrid toad lily (Tricyrtis perfoliata HTricyrtis hirta). The tight arching of the stem makes this toad lily perfect for climbing over a rock or through a fern. The stems are clothed in brown mottled foliage from late summer to early fall, leading to creamy yellow, lightly mottled orchid-like flowers at the end of each stem. “Amanogawa” means “Milky Way Galaxy” in Japanese. (Hardiness zone 4-8)

Tricyrtis ‘Blue Wonder’ (Blue Wonder Toad Lily) This appears to be a cross between Tricyrtis hirta and Tricyrtis formosana. The 30-inch-tall upright stems are topped by panicles of pale blue-petalled flowers with dark blue spots beginning in September. It spreads, although not as rapidly as T. formosana. (Hardiness Zone 5-8, guesswork)

Tricyrtis ‘Dai Nagon’ (Dai Nagon Toad Lily) This Tricyrtis hirta hybrid forms a clumping group 8 inches tall.

Tricyrtis ‘Eco Yellow Spangles’ (Eco Yellow Spangles Toad Lily) This hybrid of Tricyrtis latifolia and Tricyrtis flava was created by Don Jacobs of Eco Gardens in Decatur, Georgia. Tricyrtis ‘Eco Yellow Spangles’ forms a strong arching plant, clothed in glossy green leaves, decorated with cinnamon-colored spots. The large, upward facing yellow flowers are also spotted cinnamon. (Hardiness Zone 5-7, guesswork)

Tricyrtis ‘Empress’ (Empress Toad Lily) This toad lily hybrid forms a 30″ tall upright clump, topped from late July to September with spikes of large orchid-like flowers…white background with dark purple spots. (Hardiness Zones 5b -9, guesswork)

Tricyrtis formosana Hhirta (Hybrid Toad Lily) Since these two species cross easily in the garden, many plants sold on the market as both Tricyrtis hirta and Tricyrtis formosana are actually this cross. The result is usually a plant that is much stronger than either parent. Offspring can inherit the running or bucking habit from either parent. 3″ long leaves clasp nearly 3′ tall stems. In late summer and early fall, clusters of 1″ flowers, white with dark purple spots, atop the plant. (Hardiness zone 5b-9)

Tricyrtis ‘Kohaku’ (Kohaku Toad Lily) This is a hybrid of two closely related species, Tricyrtis macranthopsis HTricyrtis hirta. The 2′ long almost prostrate branches are decorated with spiky, deeply veined green leaves. In late summer, each branch is home to exceptionally large dark purple and white speckled orchid-like terminal flowers. Although it is a genetically interesting plant, it is not exactly a garden specimen, especially in the Southeast. It might be better suited to the Pacific Northwest. (Hardiness zone 4-8)

Tricyrtis ‘Imperial Banner’ PP 18,956 (Imperial Banner Toad Lily) This stunning new toad lily originated as a mutation of Tricyrtis ‘Empress’, which we believe is a hybrid of Tricyrtis hirta Hformosana. The stunning foliage on Tricyrtis ‘Imperial Banner’ is glossy green with a unique white mottling in the center. Tricyrtis ‘Imperial Banner’ forms an absolutely stunning and unique clump 2′ tall x 2′ wide, even before it is topped in mid-summer with short spikes of light lavender flowers with deep purple flecks. Many of the plants sold as these are actually Tricyrtis ‘White Waves’ which are easier to maintain in tissue culture. Tricyrtis ‘Imperial Banner’ is very prone to reverting to solid green stems, which should be removed immediately. (At least hardiness zone 6-8)

Tricyrtis ‘Lemon Twist’ (Lemon Twist Toad Lily) This introduction by Darrell Probst is a cross between two dwarf Japanese species with yellow flowers, Tricyrtis flava and Tricyrtis ohsumiensis. The result is a vigorous hybrid with large, bright green, dotted leaves that form a sturdy clump 1′ tall and 1′ wide. The stems are topped, beginning in early October, with large, bright yellow flowers. In shape it is taller than? (At least hardiness zone 5-8)

Tricyrtis ‘Manten-no-hoshi’ (Manten no Hoshi Toad Lily) This Japanese selection, which has strong stems topped by clusters of white flowers heavily marked with rich purple, was developed for the cut flower trade. (At least hardiness zone 5-8)

Tricyrtis ‘Momoyama’ (Momoyama Toad Lily) The flowers on this 3′ tall Japanese Tricyrtis hirta hybrid are white in the center and pale pink towards the tips, with very little flower spotting. (Hardiness zone 4-8)

Tricyrtis ‘Moonlight Treasure’ PP 16,037, PVR (Moonlight Treasure Toad Lily) Tricyrtis ‘Moonlight Treasure’ is a new hybrid, created using the beautiful dwarf species Tricyrtis ohsumiensis and Tricyrtis nana. The result is a compact hybrid consisting of thick, beautifully mottled leaves that form a compact 10″ tall by 10″ wide clump. Beginning in late summer, the clusters are covered in large, buttery yellow flowers held just above the foliage. (At least hardiness zone 5-7)

Tricyrtis ‘Niitaka’ (Niitaka toad lily) This is probably a hybrid of Tricyrtis formosana x hirta, grown in Japan for the cut flower trade (hardiness zones 6-9 at least)

Tricyrtis ‘Purple Beauty’ (Purple Beauty Toad Lily) This probable hybrid of Tricyrtis formosana x Tricyrtis hirta produces a 3′ tall upright grower, tipped, beginning in September with terminal panicles of flowers with a base color of white that is purple with many spots. Tricyrtis ‘Purple Beauty’ is a loose group compared to T. ‘Blue Wonder’ (hardy zone 6-9, presumably)

Tricyrtis ‘Shikin’ (Shikin toad lily) This is another Tricyrtis hirta x T. formosana hybrid from Japan. (At least hardiness zone 6-9)

Tricyrtis ‘Sinonome’ (Sinonome Toad Lily) Tricyrtis ‘Sinonome’ has been rated as one of the best toad lilies in extensive multi-year trials at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It works just as well for us in a country of heat and humidity as it does in a cold windy city. The 3′ tall upright stems of this Tricyrtis hirta HTricyrtis formosana hybrid are covered in foliage from bottom to top. In late summer, the tops of the stems are home to pretty clusters of 1″ purple and white speckled flowers. (Hardiness Zones 5-9)

Tricyrtis ‘Taipei Silk’ PP 18,727 (Taipei Silk Toad Lily) This wonderful tricyrtis hybrid comes from Darrell Probst’s breeding program. The 30″ tall stems of this Tricyrtis lasiocarpa hybrid are covered in glossy green foliage and then topped, starting in September, with five-branched terminal sprays of 1.5″ wide flowers. Each flower consists of three rich lavender petals contrasted with three smaller white petals flecked with lavender. (At least hardiness zone 6-8)

Tricyrtis ‘Tojen’ (Tojen Toad Lily) (aka: Tricyrtis ‘Togen’) This is a robust Japanese hybrid with huge leaves that are almost three times the size of most other tricyrtis species and stay looking good all summer. Tricyrtis ‘Tojen’ forms a huge 2′ high by 3′ wide clump, topped beginning in mid-summer with lavender orchid terminal racemes without spots and white flowers with a yellow throat. (Hardiness zone 5-8)

Tricyrtis ‘White Waves’ PP 20,007 (White Waves Toad Lily) This new toad lily is one we found hiding amongst our stock of Tricyrtis ‘Imperial Banner’. Although similar to its parent, Tricyrtis ‘White Waves’ does not have the green stripes down the center of the cream central part of the leaf. This results in a more dramatic foliage color, but somewhat less vibrancy. For us, the 15″ tall clusters are covered in attractive purple-spotted flowers in early October. (At least hardiness zones 6-8)

these Tricyrtis all make beautiful garden plants for partially shaded, temperate sites. To enjoy!

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