Yellow Flowered Tricyrtis Species

Yellow Flowered Tricyrtis Species

There are many types of Tricyrtis. Some have an arching stem, some a trailing stem, and some have an erect upright stem. Their flowers may have flat petals, petals that do not open far and are shaped like a bell, or petals that open beyond horizontal and bend backwards (are reflexed). The flowers may occur only at the tips of the plant or all along the length of the stem. The flower color varies from multi-colored hues of yellow, blue, pink, and white. Creating categories from this wide variation is difficult but the species tend to clump into together with certain groups of these traits.

Two such categories to consider are the toad lilies with flowers that dangle downward, pendant-like, with yellow flowers either with or without an upright stem. The following is a description of toad lily species in this group.

Pendant Gold Bell-Flowered Species

Tricyrtis ishiiana (Weeping Toad Lily) (syn. Tricyrtis macrantha var. ishiiana) This rare Japanese toad lily is very similar to Tricyrtis macrantha and will probably become a subspecies of it. The arching stems are adorned with clasping green leaves…slightly narrower than Tricyrtis macrantha. In September and October, the stalks are adorned with both axillary flowers and terminal clusters of large golden bells. Tricyrtis ishiiana is best planted high where the floral show can truly be appreciated. High humidity and/or good soil moisture keeps the leaves from desiccating when the flowers are borne. (Hardiness Zone 4-8a)

Tricyrtis macrantha (Weeping Golden Tricyrtis) Growing off shaded rocky cliffs, Tricyrtis macrantha is best viewed from below. Famed UK plantsman Brian Mathew writes, “Of all the tricyrtis species, the Japanese endemic Tricyrtis macrantha and its allies probably rate as having the most fascinating and beautiful flowers.” In September and October, the long arching stems are topped with large bright yellow bells, speckled red inside. The very rare, true Tricyrtis macrantha is quite similar to the more commonly grown Tricyrtis macranthopsis, except that the leaves are wider and the leaves do not clasp around the stems as in Tricyrtis ishiiana and Tricyrtis macranthopsis. (Hardiness Zone 4-8a)

Tricyrtis macranthopsis ‘Juro’ (Juro Toad Lily) This is the rare double flowered form of T. macranthopsis from Japan. (Hardiness Zone 4-8a)

Tricyrtis macranthopsis (Weeping Golden Tricyrtis) (syn. Tricyrtis macrantha ssp. macranthopsis) Like the aforementioned species, Tricyrtis macranthopsis has a dramatic weeping habit. The stems rise to 12″, then arch out to 3′. In early fall, the end of each stem is clustered with stunning 1″ long, pendant, yellow bell-like flowers. The foliage burns easily when planted in a dry or sunny location… a perfect spot would be near a shady creek bank. (Hardiness Zone 4-8a)

Pendant, Upright Gold Flowered Species

Tricyrtis perfoliata (Perfoliate Toad Lily) This rare Japanese endemic hails from the moist cliffs of the Nanuki River on Japan’s Kyushu Island. Tricyrtis perfoliata is one of several weeping toad lily species, but the only one that has upward-facing open flowers (like Tricyrtis flava) instead of the bell-like flowers of Tricyrtis ishiana and Tricyrtis macrantha. The 2-3′ long arching stem passes through the basal ends (perfoliate) of the glossy green leaves. The stems are then laden with a stunning show of 1.5″ wide axillary yellow flowers in late summer/early fall. This is not a great specimen for regions with hot, dry summers. (Hardiness Zone 5-7)

Tricyrtis perfoliata ‘Spring Shine’ (Spring Shine Toad Lily) This Japanese selection of T. perfoliata has a wide yellow band down the middle of each leaf. The clump is adorned in fall with the upward-facing yellow flowers that is typical of the species. (Hardiness Zone 5-7)

These Tricyrtis all make wonderful garden plants for partially shaded, temperate locations. Enjoy!