Shiro-hototogisu

Toad lily is distributed to Japan, Taiwan and Korean Peninsula and 19 species are known.   Thirteen species of them are known in Japan, and 10 of 13 species are Japan endemic species.   Since it is mainly distributed to Japan, it is speculated to be native to Japan.

The representing species is Tricyrtis hirta (Thunb.) Hook., which is named Hototogisu in Japanese.   It is named after spots on the young leaf and the flower which resembles the pattern on the chest of a bird, a little cuckoo, which has Japanese name, Hototogisu.   Admiring the name, the plant, Hototogisu, is often used at a tea ceremony.   On the other hand, it is called Toad Lily in English speaking countries.

Shiro-hototogisu (meaning white Hototogisu) is white-flowered species of Toad Lily.   It is a Japan endemic species and grows naturally in half shaded areas of hills or low mountains throughout Japan from Hokkaido to Kyushu.

The flower blooms upwards and has no spots resembling Toad lily but one yellow spot on the base of each petal.   The flower looks six-petaled but there are actually three petals and three sepals.   Six stamens attached around the pistil to project from the center of the flower.   The anthers face down to split.  The pistil is divided into three parts above the stamens and each part is split into two parts respectively.   The separated parts have many transparent and non-cohesive trichome*.

* A filamentous outgrowth especially an epidermal hair structure on a plant

Classification: Liliaceae Tricyrtis
Scientific name: Tricyrtis hirta f. albescens (Makino) Hiyama
Japanese name: Shiro-hototogisu
English Name: ---
Native locality: Japan
Ecological description: Perrenial
RDB : ---
Planting place: Japanese Garden
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