Tricyrtis formosana

Tricyrtis formosana – Toad Lily

Extraordinary, sculptural, orchid-like flowers; with both the petals and anthers bearing purple spots.


This is a lax open perennial herbaceous plant, growing up to 1M forming a creeping clump from spreading rhizomes. However, the plant is not invasive. Indeed, once you have it you are more likely to want more of it rather than less. It flowers in early autumn (March – May)


T. formosana is native to shaded areas of forests, thickets and roadsides in Taiwan. However, its range stretches from Nepal to the Phillippines, and it is fully hardy.

Soil / Aspect:

It seems to be the soil that is most important to T. formosana. It prefers rich, well composted, moist soil and as long as they get part shade and are kept moist during summer. Provided they get this, they are tolerant of a range of climates. In garden design terms, T. formosana will often be grown with hostas and ferns underneath trees in a woodland setting.


T. formosana will need to be kept well watered in the first year,  but once established this is a tough plant. Plants can be lifted and divided in early spring when the first growth is visible.