Tritsirtis: how to plant and care in open ground

Table of contents:

Tritsirtis: how to plant and care in open ground
Tritsirtis: how to plant and care in open ground

Description of the tricirtis plant, agrotechnology of planting and care in a personal plot, advice on reproduction, possible difficulties when growing in the garden, interesting notes, species and varieties.

Tricyrtis (Tricyrtis) is classified by botanists as a genus of herbaceous plants with beautiful flowers, it is included in the Liliaceae family. The native habitat of these flora representatives is in the Japanese territory and the Himalayas, as well as the eastern regions of Asia and the Far East, this also includes the Philippines and the lands of China. Among the species of the genus (which, according to the information provided in 2013 by The Plant List database, has approximately 20–23 units), there are such tricyrtis that are actively used in ornamental gardening. The plant prefers to settle in forests, where tree crowns provide partial shade, and the fallen deciduous mass saturates the soil with humus.

Family name Liliaceae
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Breeds By seeds or vegetatively (by dividing an overgrown bush, rooting of basal or stem cuttings)
Open ground transplant terms In the spring
Landing rules At a distance of 20 cm from each other
Priming Light, but nutritious, not dry, black soil is better
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral ground)
Illumination level Semi-shaded location or even full shadow
Humidity level Despite the drought resistance, regular watering is recommended, in dry times, abundant, but neat
Special care rules Fertilizers and watering are recommended
Height options 0.5m and more
Flowering period June to September
Type of inflorescences or flowers Single flowers or semi-umbellate, bundle-shaped or racemose inflorescences
Color of flowers Snow white, yellow, cream, pink, solid or spotted
Fruit type Seed capsule
The timing of fruit ripening From early summer to September
Decorative period Summer-autumn
Application in landscape design Planting in flower beds and flower beds, as a container culture
USDA zone 5–8

The name tricirtis was given due to the outlines of nectaries and the translation from Greek of the phrase "tria chtypimata" is perceived as "three tubercles". It is clear that later there was a transformation to the Latin "tricyrtis". Because of its similarity of flowers to real orchids, the plant is often popularly called "garden orchid", in Japanese lands you can hear the nickname "cuckoo" because flower petals have beautiful spots, similar in color to the plumage of a bird. In the Philippines, the flower is called the toad lily, as it is used by locals to catch frogs.

All tricyrtis are perennials, but in our conditions not all species can withstand winters and therefore they are grown in tubs, carried out in the garden in the warm season, but most of them will require careful shelter. Therefore, usually the types of "garden orchids" are divided into frost-resistant and thermophilic. The root system of the "cuckoo" plant is quite well developed and is not located very deep in the soil, while it is characterized by the ability to regenerate when injured or frostbite. The stems are generally straight or possibly ascending, and sometimes branched from the middle to the apex.

In height, tricyrtis stems can reach an average of 50 cm, but often exceed this value (somewhere 70–80 cm). However, there are varieties in the genus with lower heights. The stems are cylindrical in cross section. The color of the stems is green or with a reddish tint. Their surface is covered with pubescence of small fine hairs, which are also visible at the base of the foliage.

The stems of tricyrtis are covered with leaves, which are located on them in the next sequence. The outlines of the leaf blades can be both oval and lanceolate-oval, they are devoid of petioles or grow stalk-enveloping. Longitudinal venation is present on the surface. The foliage is painted in a rich green or dark green color scheme, but their upper side is decorated with not too noticeable speckling.

During flowering, which in the "toad lily" falls on the period from about the beginning of summer to September, the flower-bearing stem is pulled out. At the apex of the peduncles in tricyrtis or in the deciduous axils, single flowers form, but they can also gather in a racemose, semi-umbellate or bundle-shaped inflorescence. Moreover, the flowers are bisexual. The perianth is bell-shaped or tubular with six free petals grouped in two turns: the outer rim has sacs that secrete nectar, and the inner rim has vertical leaves with ridges on the back. In length, the flowers reach about 4 cm or sometimes a little more.

The petals of the tricyrtis flower are painted in snow-white, yellow, cream, pink and various other tones, while the color can be monochromatic, graduated (gradually lightening from the top of the petal to the base) and decorated with purple or crimson spots contrasting with the general background. Six toad lily stamens grow from the base of the petals, their filaments slightly flattened to form a short tube. The anthers are attached with the back to the threads. Tricyrtis on the outer tepals can be characterized by the presence of sacs or a short spur, which is a nectary. But not all plant species can boast of this.

After pollination has passed, the "garden orchid" begins to ripen the fruits, with three corners representing wide-cylindrical capsules, when ripe, many small, flat, ovoid or rounded seeds are released from them.

The plant is not too difficult to care for and, with little effort, will decorate any corner of the garden.

Agrotechnics of planting and caring for tricyrtis in the open field

Tricirtis blooms
Tricirtis blooms
  1. Landing place "Garden orchids" should be with diffused lighting, but strong shading may also be suitable, which is why the plant is so loved by gardeners. It is important that such a flower bed is protected from drafts and gusts of wind. Also important is the absence of closely passing groundwater, since waterlogged soil will stimulate rotting of the root system. A good choice would be a location under the crowns of trees, which will provide the "toad lily" with protection from the sun, and fallen leaves can provide shelter for the winter months. However, for late-flowering varieties, it is recommended to choose more open places so that flower buds and buds can form on the peduncles.
  2. Soil for tricirtis must be nutritious and not poor, dislikes plant and dry soil. For looseness, a little river sand can be mixed into the substrate. If the planting is carried out in clay soil, then the "garden orchid" will not grow on it. The acidity of the soil should be normal within the pH range of 6, 5–7.
  3. Planting tricirtis performed in the spring, when frosts recede. When planting, the root system of the seedling should be examined, it should not contain flabby and overdried shoots. After that, a planting hole is dug so that the seedling fits there. It is recommended to leave the root collar at the same level as before. Soil mixture is poured around and its surface is slightly compressed. After planting, you need abundant watering with warm water. Also, so that the soil does not overheat, it is recommended to mulch it using peat, dry compost or sawdust.
  4. Watering when caring for tricyrtis, only warm water should be used, and although moderate moisture is preferred, moisture should not be allowed to stagnate in the substrate, as this will inevitably lead to decay of the root system. Although tricyrtis is hygrophilic (water-loving), it is also drought tolerant. On dry days, watering should be abundant, but again without waterlogging the soil. It is better to use a watering can with a spout so that the moisture gets directly under the root of the plant. Do not use sprays, as there is pubescence on the stems and foliage, and dark marks may remain from drops of moisture.
  5. Fertilizers when caring for tricyrtis, it is recommended to apply it in the spring, when the winter shelter is removed. Well-rotted compost or humus may be suitable for this. You cannot use fresh manure as a top dressing for the "garden orchid", as it will simply burn the plant. Tricirtis also responds well to the introduction of complete mineral complexes for flowering plants, for example, Fertiku or Agricola. After applying top dressing, it is recommended to mulch the soil around the plant with peat chips. It has been noticed that the "toad lily" can survive without fertilizers, but with top dressing, its growth and flowering improve significantly.
  6. Wintering. This will directly depend on the type of tricyrtzis being grown. If it is frost-resistant, then it can be left overwintering directly in the flower garden, but only if the bush is provided with shelter from fallen dry leaves or peat, and everything is covered on top with non-woven material, for example, lutrasil or agrofibre. As soon as the temperature becomes stable above zero in spring (since a slight decrease in the thermometer column can destroy young shoots), the shelter must be removed. If there is a thermophilic species of "toad lily" in the garden, then at the end of flowering and when a cold snap sets in, it is recommended to transplant such a tricyrtis into a pot in order to grow it at home.
  7. General advice when caring for tricyrtis. Like any garden flower, a "garden orchid" will need regular loosening of the soil around and weeding from weeds. It is a good idea to remove periodically faded inflorescences.
  8. The use of tricyrtis in landscape design. This plant is perfect for flower beds or flower beds in semi-wild or wooded gardens, shady gardens or naturalized areas are an excellent place to plant. Such bushes can be used to decorate the tree trunk zone. It is best to place the "garden orchid" in an area where it can be observed at close range, because the beauty and detail of small tricyrtis flowers tend to be lost if the plants cannot be seen and appreciated up close. The "garden orchid" also behaves well in cut, since its flowers with a star-shaped and variegated color are often used to decorate bouquets. The beauty of the “toad lily” can be emphasized by the neighborhood with ferns, characterized by decorative leaves (fronds), the same common lilies of various types, hosts or erythroniums, as well as trilliums and arizems. Such bushes can also be used to form curbs, it is good to fill voids in rockeries or on rocky slopes.

Read also about the care and cultivation of lachenalia indoors.

Tricyrtis breeding tips

Tricirtis in the ground
Tricirtis in the ground

When propagating "toad lily", it is recommended to use both seed and vegetative (division of an overgrown bush, rooting of basal or stem cuttings) methods.

Reproduction of tricyrtis with seeds

It is important to remember that this method is rather complicated and it will take a long time to wait for flowering. After the seed pods are ripe and open, you can collect the material and sow the seeds just before the onset of winter. Then the seeds will undergo natural cold stratification. If it was not possible to sow the seeds of the "garden orchid" in the fall, then the spring time is also suitable, but before that it is recommended to hold the seed material for 1, 5-2 months on the lower shelf of the refrigerator, where the heat indicators will be in the range of 0- 5 degrees.

Before planting, the seed material of tricyrtis is removed and soaked in any growth stimulator. It can be either Kornevin or plain water with aloe juice. No special soil is required; regular garden soil will do. When seeds are planted in the soil in a flower bed, the hole should not be deeper than 3-5 cm. After that, it is recommended to water the crops using a watering can with a sprinkler nozzle so as not to wash the seeds out of the substrate. After that, during germination, it is necessary to regularly check the condition of the soil so that it does not dry out. Flowering in such young "garden orchids" can only be expected the next year from the moment of their germination.

Reproduction of tricyrtis by cuttings

To do this, you can use it as the root parts of the bush, but then it is better to do rooting in the spring, and for stem cuttings summer will be a good time for rooting. They are buried in a chosen place in the garden and watered.


That if only one piece of tricyrtis root remains in the soil, then a new plant can begin to grow from it.

Reproduction of tricyrtis by dividing the bush

Usually, the division of the "toad lily" bush is combined with a transplant so that the plant is less stressed. For this, the bush is carefully removed from the soil, the remnants of the earth are cleaned from its root system, as well as those parts that have dried out or rotted. The division is carried out in such a way that each of the tricyrtis divisions has at least a couple of growth points, an adequate number of roots and stems. It is recommended to generously sprinkle all cut sites with crushed activated charcoal or charcoal to ensure disinfection. The planting of the parcels is carried out in pre-dug holes in the garden bed. Plants are placed in a hole and a fertile soil mixture is poured around, then watering is carried out.

Often, gardeners do not remove the tricitris bush completely from the soil if a transplant is not needed, but simply dig out a part of it and separate the cut with a sharpened knife and plant it in a prepared place.

Possible difficulties when growing tricyrtis in the garden

Tritsirtis grows
Tritsirtis grows

You can please gardeners with the fact that the "garden orchid" is practically not affected by diseases and serious pests.

The problem when growing tricyrtis in the open field can be:

  1. Waterlogging of the soil from watering or prolonged rains. Then the root system of the plant is subject to decay. Therefore, when planting, as a preventive measure, it is recommended to add river sand to the substrate. It is also worth paying attention to the composition of the soil when planting.
  2. Too high level of lighting (the flower bed is all open to the sun), under the influence of which the leaves turn yellow and wither.
  3. Dry and poor soil, in which the growth of the "garden orchid" will not be comfortable.
  4. It is recommended to make top dressing periodically.

However, when the leaves and stems are just starting to grow, they can be nibbled by slugs or snails. It is necessary to periodically collect gastropod pests by hand or scatter wood ash or crushed eggshell around the tricyrtis bushes. Some gardeners use metaldehyde preparations such as Meta-Groza.

Read also about the difficulties in growing aspidistra

Interesting notes about tricirtis

Blooming Tricirtis
Blooming Tricirtis

The position of the genus in botanical taxonomy, to which the "garden orchid" belongs, has changed many times. Previously, the genus was isolated into an independent family with the name Tricyrtidaceae, But then the species were transferred by scientists to the Melanthiaceae family. But later, in connection with the research of tricyrtis according to the APGII system, in which the classification of flowering plants is carried out, they were introduced into the subfamily Calochortoideae, which in turn is part of the Liliaceae family.

As a cultivated plant, the "cuckoo" has been cultivated from about the middle of the 19th century, but the peak of popularity among tricyrtis falls in the middle of the last century.

It is curious that the local name among the aboriginal peoples "toad lily" was due to its juice, which turned out to be attractive to frogs for food. The natives smeared their hands with such liquid, and this provided them with an easy process of "hunting" for edible amphibians.

Types and varieties of tricirtis

Since all types of "garden orchids" are usually divided into winter-hardy and thermophilic, we will not deviate from this classification here either.

Winter hardy varieties of tricitris:

In the photo Tritsirtis short-haired
In the photo Tritsirtis short-haired

Tricyrtis short-haired (Tricyrtis hirta)

also referred to as Tricirtis Hirta. The plant prefers to settle on shaded rocky cliffs and stream banks in central and southern Japan. Bushes of this type tend to grow strongly in width, therefore, underground shoots are formed, located in a horizontal plane to the soil surface. The thin stem can rise to a height of about 40–80 cm. It is cylindrical in cross section, with short dense pubescence on the surface. The leaves are large and wide, encircling the stem. Their foma varies from broadly lanceolate to elliptical. Pubescence is also present on their surface. The length of the leaf plate measures 8-15 cm with a width of 2-5 cm. At the top of the stem, the leaves grow stalk-enveloping.

The very tip of the stem or leaf sinuses becomes the place where the buds of tricirtis hirt will form. Usually there can be 1–3 flowers. The color of their petals is whitish or pale purple with dark purple or crimson spots. The length of the tepals is 2, 5–3 cm. The flowers are usually longer than the pedicels. The flowering process begins in late summer and extends into the autumn months.

It is recommended to use this type of "garden orchid" for places in the garden with not too strong lighting, the plant perfectly tolerates shade. Preference should be given to light soil, which is mixed with peat chips. Winter hardiness is relative.

Varieties of tricyrtis shorthaired are:

  • Massumana (Tricyrtis hirta var.masamunei) characterized by snow-white petals with burgundy specks, there are yellow spots at the base of the petals.
  • Black (Tricyrtis hirta var.nigra) characterized by the formation of bunches of flowers throughout almost the entire stem. The buds originate in the leaf axils. Stem-embracing leaves. The color of the petals is dark cherry color, there is a darker mottling on the back of the petals, which have a pale pink tone.
  • Albomarginata (Albomarginata), possesses leafy plates with pale cream stripes on the edge, exquisite ornate flowers bloom when blooming in autumn. The petals in them are white, they have maroon dots on them. The stem is high, erect, growing. A shady location is recommended for cultivation.
In the photo, Tritsirtus broadleaf
In the photo, Tritsirtus broadleaf

Tricyrtus broadleaf (Tricyrtis latifolia)

or Tricirkus bakeri (Tricyrtis bakeri). It occurs naturally in the shady forests of Japan and China. The stem height is about 60 cm, but on average the height parameters vary in the range of 0.4–1 m. The leaves are ovate, obovate or ovoid-elliptical, green with dark spots, which are seen more clearly at the beginning of the growth of the deciduous mass. It blooms in mid-summer earlier than other tricyrtis and until September. Flowers at the top of the stem in clusters of inflorescences are green, yellow and white with dark spots of purple-red color. After pollination, the seed pod ripens. High winter hardiness, can be kept without shelter.

In the photo Tritsirtis slightly pubescent
In the photo Tritsirtis slightly pubescent

Tricyrtis weakly pubescent (Tricyrtis macropoda)

an East Asian plant species native to China, Korea and Japan. Typically, the stems grow up to 60–76 cm tall. The leaf plates are shiny, ovate-elliptical to oblong-lanceolate, dark green. Their length is up to 10-15 cm. Leaves grow sessile or have short petioles. Leaves usually remain attractive throughout the growing season. Small lily-like flowers with petals ranging from white to pale lavender. The length of the corolla reaches 2.54 cm. On the surface of the petals there is a dense purple spot.

Flowers of tricyrtis weakly pubescent are collected in branched terminal inflorescences, mainly on the tops of the stems. In the inflorescence, there are 3-4 flowers. The flowering process stretches from late summer to early autumn. Each flower has six showy projections (similar to sepals and petals). The common name "toad lily" refers to the blotchiness on each flower, they are valuable garden plants because of their unique flowers, their ability to bloom in the shade until late summer.

Non-hardy varieties of tricirtis,

which will not be able to survive even with slight frosts, and is recommended for indoor cultivation or transplanting into pots with the arrival of autumn:

In the photo Tritsirtis hairy
In the photo Tritsirtis hairy

Tricyrtis pilosa

may occur under the name Tricyrtis elegance … The stem reaches 50–90 cm, tall and powerful. Leaves are ovate-oblong to oblong-lanceolate, their size is 8–14 x 6–9 cm, beautiful on both sides, the base is cordate or round, with an elongated apical point. Umbellate inflorescences are apical, and sometimes are located in the leaf axils along the entire length of the stem. In the inflorescence, there can be both few flowers and a large number of them. Foliage and stems are covered with hairy pubescence.

Each flower of tricyrtis hairy is attached with pedicels. The petals spread horizontally at a 45 degree angle or grow upward. Their color is greenish-white, with black-violet or purple-brown spots. The shape of the petals is ovoid-oblong or lanceolate. The size is 1, 2–1, 8 cm x 5–6 mm. In this case, the outer petals are slightly wider than the inner ones. The stamens are almost identical. The fruit is a capsule of 2-3 cm. Flowering, like fruiting, falls in July-September.

In the photo Tritsirtis long-legged
In the photo Tritsirtis long-legged

Long-legged tricyrtis (Tricyrtis maculata)

growing in natural conditions falls on the lands of Japan and China. The height of the stems reaches 40–70 cm. In section they are cylindrical, the upper part is pubescent of short hairs. Stem-embracing leaves. Their length varies within 8–13 cm, with a width of about 3–6 cm. The foliage is ovoid or elongated. During summer flowering, inflorescences are formed on the tops of the stems or in the leaf axils. The inflorescences are composed of flowers with white or whitish-pink petals, decorated with a large number of spots of crimson color.

In horticulture, the following hybrid forms of long-legged tricyrtis are especially popular:

  • Purple Beauty or Purple beauty. Does not differ in height. The leaf plates have a leathery surface. Flowers are rare. The petals in them have a white color and purple spots. At the same time, the flowers of this species are distinguished by a beautiful whitish-red core, which is formed by half-spliced pistils. There is a yellow circle at the base of the spliced petals.
  • Raspberry Mousse or Raspberry mousse, characterized by flowers with petals of a brown-purple hue, without specks.
  • Blue Haven or Blue harborwith leathery foliage and large flowers. The shape of the corollas is bell-shaped. The color of the pistils in the corolla is red, the stamens are pale orange. The petals at the base have a blue color, but gradually it changes to yellow, and at the very tips acquiring a purple color with a blue top.
In the photo Tritsirtis yellow
In the photo Tritsirtis yellow

Tricyrtis yellow (Tricyrtis flava)

may occur under the name Tricyrtis yatabeana … Grows in the mountain forests of subtropical Japan. Stem 25-50 cm tall, hairy, 7-15 cm long. The flowers are yellow, without spots, sometimes with a spotted top, in the apical inflorescences. Blooms in late summer. Little known in culture. Can be used for rocky hills. Shelter is needed in winter.

In the photo Tricirtis Taiwanese
In the photo Tricirtis Taiwanese

Tricyrtis Taiwanese (Tricyrtis formosana)

or as it is also called Formosan tricirtis … With slightly fleecy stems up to 80 cm, they grow shiny oval-green leaves with dark purple spots. The flowers are pink-purple or white-pink, with purple speckled brown spots, bloom in late summer. The stems of the plant form stolons.

Hybrids of this species:

  • Tricyrtis Tojen. In this hybrid form, light purple flowers with a white base are located on shoots up to 50 cm;
  • Tricyrtis White Towers. The height of the stems is 50 cm. The flowers are white, the stamens in them are pink.

Related article: Popular species for growing trillium outdoors.

Video about growing tricyrtis in open field conditions:

Photos of tricirtis:

Photo of Tricirtis 1
Photo of Tricirtis 1
Photo of Tricirtis 2
Photo of Tricirtis 2
Photo of Tritsirtis 3
Photo of Tritsirtis 3
Photo of Tritsirtis 4
Photo of Tritsirtis 4
Photo of Tritsirtis 5
Photo of Tritsirtis 5