Garden Wish List for 2021: Toad Lilies (Plant Dreaming)

I grabbed this screenshot a while back from Erin the Impatient Gardener's instagram handle when she was doing a late Summer/early Fall walkabout.    One thing to note (for me):  I find it hard to find and follow gardeners that are near our zone (We're in Zone 5b) and that's a BIG reason why I follow the Impatient Gardener so closely:  she's in southern Wisconsin and deals with many of the same things we deal with here in the Chicago suburbs.  

But...back to the screenshot of her Instagram story: the copy she overlaid to her image says it all (for me):  "You should know and grow toad lilies."

I took this screenshot because, frankly, at the time I knew NOTHING about Toad Lilies.  That was...Until now.  After hearing Erin talk about these, I went to the Google machine and was introduced to these Japanese perennial plants.  From the Wisconsin Master Gardener:

These perennial herbaceous plants, native to Asia (from the Himalayas to Japan and the Philippines), are generally found in shady conditions on the edge of forests.
...In the last two decades or so, many new cultivars and hybrids were developed in Japan and the United States, including forms with variegated foliage and dwarf habits.

No longer a botanical curiosity, many Tricyrtis species are commonly available in garden centers and local nurseries with even more offered by specialty nurseries.
...Toad lilies are best planted where their small, unique flowers can be appreciated up close. They make subtle but exotic-looking specimens for the edges of shady borders, woodland paths or in naturalized areas. They are particularly effective in masses but single plants make a good accent with other shade plants. They combine well with other perennials that also like moist, shady conditions, including anemone, astilbe, ferns, hellebores, hostas, lungwort (Pulmonaria), and trout lilies (Eythronium spp.).

There's a lot more to read from the University of Wisconsin Extension office Master Gardener program here.  I've posted quite a bit about integrating some Japanese gardening ideas over the years on the blog that you can see here, but it doesn't seem that I've posted about Toad Lilies even once.  

After you read that post from the U of W Master Gardener program, head over to this post from Erin - the Impatient Gardener - on her own site from four years ago.  It opens the same way I opened my post:  

Truth be told, I had no idea what a toad lily even was until I asked some blogging friends to share their favorite perennials back in 2012. Two of them chose toad lilies. It’s a rather horrible common name don’t you think?

Interesting....She learned about them in 2012.  The neat thing (for me) about the Gardening Web with people like Erin sharing their experiences?  It might have taken me eight years, but I finally learned from these Toad Lilies her - thanks to her sharing her knowledge.   

I suppose these will go on my 2021 to-do list - adding some Toad Lilies to the beds around our newly added Barrenwort, the All-gold Japanese forest grasses or the Twinkle Toes Lungwort that we put in this Fall.  

BTW, this is the second time that I've posted about something I picked up from Erin the Impatient Gardener.  The first was earlier this season when I shared how she turned me on to how she sharpens her pruners.  

You can find her on her site here:  Or on her YouTube Channel here. I don't do The Facebook, but you can find here on there, too.  But, I think the best place to start is with her Instagram handle.  She posts stories all the time and you'll quickly figure out how great she is to follow. 


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