Tricyrtis hirta
Common Name: Japanese toad lily 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Liliaceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: White to pale lilac with heavy purple spotting
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy


Easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils in part to full shade. Prefers moist, organically rich, humusy, slightly acidic soils in part shade. Soil must not be allowed to dry out. Non-rhizomatous. May self-seed in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tricyrtis hirta, commonly called toad lily, is perhaps best known for its unique flowers, ability to bloom in shade and late summer to early fall bloom time. Features small, lily-like flowers (1 inch long) with six showy tepals (similar appearing sepals and petals). Flowers appear in the upper leaf axils and stem ends either solitary or more often in small clusters (cymes) of 2-3 flowers each. White to pale lilac flowers with heavy purple spotting. Arching, unbranched stems grow upright to 2-3' tall. Sometimes called hairy toad lily because all parts of the plant are hairy. This species of toad lily is not rhizomatous. Oval to oblong leaves (3-6" long) with parallel veins and clasping leaf bases.

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.

Specific epithet means hairy.


No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs are an occasional pest.


Borders, woodland gardens, shade gardens or naturalized areas. Plant in areas where they can be easily observed at close range, because the beauty and detail of the small flowers becomes lost at a distance.