Tricyrtis 'White Towers'

Common Name: toad lily 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Liliaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy


Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, organically rich, humusy, slightly acidic soils in part shade. Soil must not be allowed to dry out. This is a stoloniferous plant that will colonize in the garden over time in a non-invasive manner. A light winter mulch will help protect roots.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tricyrtis, commonly called toad lilies, is a genus of about 16 species of herbaceous perennials from the Eastern Himalayas to the Philippines. They are valued garden plants in large part because of their unique flowers, ability to flower in shade and late summer to fall bloom time.

Genus name comes from the Greek words tri- meaning three and kyrtos meaning humped as the bases of the three outer petals are swollen and sacklike.

Common name presumably relates to the spotting on the flowers.

'White Towers' is a compact, clump-forming cultivar that typically grows 16-30" tall on upright-arching stems and features small, pure white, lily-like flowers (1 inch long) and broadly ovate, stem-clasping, shiny, medium green leaves (to 4-6" long). Flowers bloom in the upper leaf axils and stem ends in late summer. Flowers bloom earlier (July-August in St. Louis) than most other toad lilies. Each flower has six showy tepals (similar appearing sepals and petals). 'White Towers' is varyingly sold as a cultivar of T. latifolia or T. hirta or as a hybrid.


No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs and snails are occasional visitors.


Borders, woodland gardens, shade gardens or naturalized areas. Best sited in areas where they can be observed at close range because the beauty and detail of the small flowers tends to get lost if plants can not be examined and appreciated close up. Good cut flower.