August is my favourite month for flowering plants especially in a shade garden. Fragrant hostas have just started flowering (I expect my ‘Fragrant Bouquet’ to open its first flower tomorrow, a H. plantaginea down the road is already open), Hydrangea paniculata cultivars are opening (I suppose they started late July but they’re usually at their best in August) and Turtlehead buds are starting to look like they’re going to do something. My two Bugbane plants are promising to put on a fantastic display this year (I’ve had C. ‘James Compton’ for a few years now and just planted C. ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ last year) though they may not open until September… but believe me you’ll see pictures when they do!
But today one of my favourite Flowering plants for shade opened – my toadlily. I’ve had this plant for four or five years without moving it (rare in my garden) and it’s quickly becoming one of those plants I don’t think I’ll ever be without.
Unlike many toadlilies with their spotted flowers and mottled or striped leaves ‘Tojan’ is fairly plain but sometimes that’s nice too. I think this is my favourite but I can’t say for sure right now – a little biased because it’s the only one I’ve grown. Pictured above is the typical flower cluster for the terminal flowers. Once these have all finished this plant will continue to flower from buds in the axils of each leaf along the almost 3′ arching stems from tip down so it’ll be in flower almost continually from now until frost. Mine receives maximum 3 hours of early morning sun and shade for the rest of the day and rarely gets watered. I think next year I will fertilize it though that will be the first time I give that a shot. Only problems I’ve had were some sort of beetle which sort of resembled a lily beetle… They were a fairly big problem last year but I had not seen them before and have not seen them since so maybe they’re not a huge problem.
There are a few good shots here showing the flowering and growth habit of the plant. I definitely agree with these people though that these should be planted where the flowers can be viewed up close. Even this being “plain” by toadlily standards is still an interesting flower on a fantastic plant.