Toad-Lily With Grasses And Nicotiana

Tricyrtis flowers and buds with grasses

High up on my photogenic flowers list comes tricyrtis, also known by the folk name toad-lily. This one is all the more picturesque for the curtain of grasses and backdrop of nicotiana (those pale, drooping, trumpet-like flowers).

Layered symmetry is a big part of a toad-lily’s charm. Looking down at the main flower, beneath three forked tongues joined triskelion-style, you’ll find a ring of legs with shoes that appear to be dancing. Well, they might if, like me, you’ve been keeping up with this year’s Strictly. The three narrow petals have a delicate smattering of freckles and are positioned between three darker sepals, their ends curling back. The yellow splotches (almost hearts, if you squint enough) give this particular form a sunny glow. 

A detailed description of tricyrtis with the correct botanical terms can be found on this website, together with some amazing close up shots.

I’m linking to Cee’s Flower of the Day.

26 Replies to “Toad-Lily With Grasses And Nicotiana”

  1. They are the most exotic looking flowers that you’d expect to find in a glasshouse rather than a border. Lovely image Susan.

  2. Oh my! You have been staring at flowers too long. My former editors said the same about the stamens on passion fruit flowers. Of course, there is a lot to see in one of those flowers! Have you seen the rats in the cones of Douglas fir?

  3. Certainly very exotic flowers and an interesting origin of the common name which doesn’t evoke the idea of a beautiful flower at all!

    1. I had thought that the name was just because they looked like toad-sized lilies and because of the mottled effect many of them have.

  4. Wow, Susan, your photo is fabulous.

    I’d photographed the same Toad Lily next to a shady path in the Royal Botanic Gardens here in Melbourne, but my images are nowhere near as great as yours (or the link you gave us).

    My excuse is that it is a very windy path and it took me ages to find it in flower a second time for photography purposes.

    1. Thanks Vicki. I was lucky to see it on a nice, calm day. I tried to take some smaller, spotted ones a couple of days ago and couldn’t get a decent shot at all.

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