Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tulips - species

These are the smaller tulips that we grow, the species ones, that are not usually annuals here and which seem to be able to keep going. We do grow them in kind of rocky soil, where cactus thrive, but they also don't seem to attract the varmints that eat tulip bulbs on the larger ones. Maybe the bulbs are just too small to bother with.
This first one is Tulipa acuminata, with it's dainty blooms. Actually, all of these have smaller blooms than what most people think of as tulips. Acuminata is sometime called Fire Flame Tulip. It has been grown since at least 1813. You can see how small it is when you consider that it is pictures in front of a clump of miniature iris.

Next is Tulipa clusiana 'Cynthia', one that has only been here for 2 seasons. These pictures are all from last year, but these all are budded and about to bloom. This one starts out a creamy yellow and changes to more creamy white with the red on the outsides of the petals. You can see how happy it is growing right there with a large cactus.

This one is Tulipa ' Heart's Delight'. It is one of the Kaufmanniana Tulips. They are, as a group, very early flowering and some, like this one, have the same kind of mottled foliage as the greigii tulips. 'Heart's Delight' is only about 8 inches tall.

This one is 'Lady Jane' - guess why I just had to buy this one! It is quite similar the 'Cynthia' pictured above, but is always pink/rose and white. The flowers open up fully flat in the sun.

This is a clump with 'Little Beauty' (The reddish one) and 'Little Princess' (the orange one). These barely get over 4 inches tall and seem to multiply nicely. They also live with cactus. Maybe they think the bunnies will be scared off by the thorns. Not much chance, I don't think, since the bunnies come into the cactus bed to eat the fruit from the cactuses in the winter.

Next is Tulipa sylvestris. It is yellow, just plain yellow, but just so cheery. It is about 8 inches tall on a thin stem. It is more of a southern flower, not totally happy here, but it is surviving. It has naturalized freely at Monticello but I never expect it to happen in my garden and am just happy to keep it alive.

This is Tulipa tarda. It is a star shaped, quite open form in yellow and white. It is an early flowering one and has been in commerce since at least 1933. I think in general the older varieties do better in my garden. Although I do fuss over my plants, with the size of our gardens, plants that can take care of themselves are most appreciated.

Some of these are blooming now, some almost done, but most are just budded and coming soon. I hope our nasty weather this week doesn't hurt the buds. We are expecting snow tomorrow and Tuesday, though they say there will be no accumulation. After that there will be unseasonable cold weather for most of the week. I hope all of those things that have started like the magnolias and lilacs can just slow down and wait for spring to return.

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