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New Plant
New/Featured for 2020

Full Sun
Full Sun

Partial Shade
Partial Shade

Shade Lover
Full Shade

Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Picture Available
Picture Available

Drawing Available
Drawing Available

(PPAF) = Propagation of this plant prohibited without a license.

Hardiness Zone Map


Tricyrtis

Toad Lily

Some say this fascinating species owes its common name to the Philippine Tasaday Indians’ practice of wiping their hands with juice from the blossoms before setting out to collect frogs. Others say it’s the unusual spotted flowers that account for the name. Whichever story is true, the blooms have such detail and quiet beauty that they should be admired close-up. They open on gently arching stems for long periods in late summer and early fall, when most other flowers are already spent. With a moist, humus-rich soil, all the Toad Lilies will form elegant clumps.

A jewel of the shadows, waxy lily-like flowers are defined by pronounced violet anthers and creamy white and powder-blue petals dramatically splashed with bluish purple flecks. Compact gently arching stems and ovate emerald-green leaves forge a stylish vase-shaped base for rounded maroon buds and exotic-looking late season flowers. Inheriting hirta and formosana ancestry, ‘Blue Wonder’ needs to be ensconced along a path where its amazing detail is easily relished.

Blooms September–October

Size: 18" – 2' 0" high x 12" – 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Tricyrtis</i> ‘Dark Beauty’

An easy-to-keep late season temptress, this formosana and hirta hybrid flaunts orchid-style alabaster-colored flowers, each artfully spangled with saturated purple spots and a gold-tinged center. The eye-catching floral pageant unfurls from rich, velvety maroon buds that crown tall lusty stems clad in broad, 8 in. long semiclasping leaves. Sure to pique fall visitors, ‘Dark Beauty’s polished dark greenery can accompany Anemone ‘Wild Swan’.

Blooms September–October

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Tricyrtis</i> ‘Empress’ <i>Tricyrtis</i> ‘Empress’

Renown for its extralarge and wider open flowers, this exquisite, newly introduced Toad Lily is a formosana hybrid. Fanciful, spidery spaced petals are inscribed by occasional darkened tips and irregular rich deep purple spots, stipples and mottling on a creamy white background. An enticing fall mainstay in the darker corners of your landscape, ‘Empress’s showy terminal blooms are supported by a robust upright gathering of shiny, semiclasping dark green foliage that stays dapper all season. Moist humus-rich abodes ensure a luxe clump.

Blooms August–September

Size: 2-1/4' high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Tricyrtis formosana</i> ‘Autumn Glow’

Beaming with prominent, broad yellow margins, ‘Autumn Glow’ promotes one of the most striking variegations amongst the species. Dark purple speckles plus amethyst-colored dapples tattoo ornate clustered creamy-hued flowers, surmounting sturdy branched stalks and glossy rich green foliage. A lucent beacon for bright shade, this handsome Tricyrtis quickly produces a robust colony that looks splendid amid companions such as Geranium ‘Blogold’ and Persicaria ‘Golden Arrow’.

Blooms August–September

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Tricyrtis formosana</i> ‘Samurai’

Smaller in stature than the other Tricyrtis cultivars we offer, the wine-colored upright stems of this garden “warrior” are a striking complement to its light green leaves. A further touch of light is achieved by the irregularly variegated, creamy leaf margins. Orchid-like purple flowers have dark plum speckles, and gold and white highlights at their centers. Skirt it with Epimedium ‘Lilafee’.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 16" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Tricyrtis</i> ‘Hatatogisa’

These purple-spotted, dark dusty blue flowers with white centers evoke images of early night skies sprinkled with stars. The dark green foliage is also spotted, and combines with deep purple buds to give this spectacular Tricyrtis long lasting appeal. Plant with Kirengeshoma and double the intrigue of the flowers and foliage.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Tricyrtis hirta</i> ‘Moonlight’

Attired in neon-bright chartreuse foliage, this hirta ‘Variegata’ sport is a shining beacon for any shady spot that needs some oomph. Arching stems feature arresting, purple flecked white flowers that heighten the illuminated composition.

Introduced by Bluebird Nursery, ‘Moonlight’ maintains its refreshing, well-groomed look throughout the season.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 20" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Tricyrtis lasiocarpa</i>

A favored standout among Tricyrtis, this exceptional species sprouts an attractive tightset clump of sturdy erect arching stems garbed with glistening green and purple freckled alternating leaves. Amethyst and blue petal tips embellish white upward facing orchid-style blooms that populate large well-branched terminal sprays. Hailing from Taiwan, where it has been observed growing in nearly full sun, Amethyst Toad Lily’s lovely long blooming flowers can model their ornate features in a brighter garden bed.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 3' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 7.

<i>Tricyrtis</i> x ‘Sinonome’

Long esteemed in Japan for its elegant cut flowers, ‘Sinonome’ presents a pleasing vase-shaped clump of upright stems lined with lustrous, clean-looking dark green foliage. Emerging from buds the color of chocolate, white, upfacing blooms show off richly colored ruby freckles. One of the more heat and drought tolerant Toadlilies, this Tricyrtis could be planted next to Aster divaricatus.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Tricyrtis</i> ‘Taipei Silk’

Cresting showy 5-branched terminal panicles, the gleaming 1.5 in. wide jewel-box-like flowers are comprised of a subtly gold-dusted center and 3 ivory-colored petals with reddish purple speckles plus 3 darker petals colored in deep violet and mauve. A 2005 Darrell Probst cross between Tricyrtis formosana and Tricyrtis lasiocarpa, "Taipei Silks" elaborate late season floral display is presented above stiff straight stems and lustrous greenery. (pp#18,727)

Blooms September–October

Size: 2-1/2' high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our Featured Plant: Crocosmia ‘Zeal Tan’

Captivating Crocosmias, Plants that Dodge to Dog Days of Summer, 2020 T-shirst have arrived!

Captivating Crocosmias!

Crocosmias boast a bounty of late summer color as our gardens transition into autumn. Displayed on the ends of gracefully arching spikes above winsome sword-like leaves, the clustered tubular flowers range from yellow, peach and orange to fire-engine red. The prismatic tones meld well with white-flowering Hydrangeas and perennials such as Selinium wallichianum, Actaea simplex 'Atropurpurea', Alcea 'Polarstar' or Aster 'Bridal Veil'. The yellow and melon shades sparkle amid the blue blossoms of Aconitum, Caryopteris 'Longwood Blue', Perovskia 'Blue Steel' and  Aster 'Little Carlow'. For sizzling fun you could create a hot border, intermingling them with Kniphofia 'Bee's Sunset', Helenium 'Potter's Wheel' or Helianthemum 'Fire Dragon'. Be sure to add some to your next cut arrangement!

Commonly known as Montbretia, they do their best when provided with good drainage, moderate moisture and some protection from hot afternoon sun. Please feel free to check out our extensive collection of Crocosmia cultivars in the perennial section of our online catalog.

Dodge the Dog Days of summer….

with plants that pack a punch of blooms and alluring leaves at this time of year. By late August, our borders can look a tad tired and may be in need of some sprucing up. Adequate moisture and an additional application of compost will ensure late summer vitality. You can trim perennials, such as Nepetas and Geraniums, and savor their fresh new growth plus a flourish of blooms, often until the first frost! We hope some of the plants featured in this newsletter lift your spirits and maybe even inspire a little awe as summer wanes. 

All of us Digging Dog plant wranglers wish you Happy Digging and good health.

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