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Plant of the week: Tricyrtis macrantha (toad lily)

Tricyrtis macrantha (toad lily)

Larry Davidson

Why you should plant it

We are all searching for a long-lived plant that thrills with its radiance at this time of year.

Well, Tricyrtis macrantha is a true stunner, guaranteed to stand out in a garden filled with even the showiest autumn plants, including fluffy asters. It is also beautiful next to woodland species, such as epimediums or hostas.

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Where to plant it

This toad lily hails from Japan, where it grows in the wild on cliffs; it therefore demands really good drainage. It also might take a while to establish itself, so make sure it's in a sheltered spot where it won't dry out. It needs good air circulation and protection from the hot late-afternoon sun; dappled shade is best at that time of day.

Tricyrtis macrantha grows up to 45 centimetres high and 45 centimetres wide, so be sure to give it room.

What it offers

One of this Zone 5 plant's best qualities is its luminescence in the shade. It'll provide a strong clump of autumn-blooming beauty, its golden bell-like blooms seeming to lounge languorously over elegant, shiny green leaves. Once established, it will be long-lived and much-admired.

Source and cost

Get it at select garden centres, including Lost Horizons in Acton, Ont. (, for approximately $19.

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