A number of Species Tulips can play an important role in the build up to the Great Tulip Crescendo of late April and May.

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I mentioned Tulipa turkestanica about 2 weeks ago when it first started to bloom. Now they are in full stride.

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It’s worth noting that T. turkestanica is not only long-lived for a Tulip, but that it will also naturalize. It does so in our garden, anyhow.

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The foliage is interesting – long and wavy, staying close to the ground, and a sort of matte blue-gray.

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T. dasystemon is another naturalizer. It opens its first cheerful, white-tipped flowers just as T. turkestanica is at its peak (which is to say right now). T. dasystemon‘s  baby bulbs stay together in tightly packed clumps. The foliage is upright, narrow, and shiny.

Later this spring I should really lift and divide both these species.

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Tulipa praestans ‘Fusilier’ does not naturalize, but it is reasonably perennial.

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But that scarlet red color is irresistible. T. praestans peaks at about the same time as T. turkestanica.

The earlier Species Tulips make useful, somewhat carefree heralds for the grand hybrid Tulips yet to come.

32 Comments on “3 Early Species Tulips”

  1. Ok – so your header is not T. tarda (as I thought), but T. dasystemon. I’d like to try T. turkestanica and love ‘Fusilier’. Wish the species were all still with me – the heat made them go over so fast. Lovely post!

  2. For over a decade I had exactly one of the red one. This spring there are two! I should plant more. Also this spring I found that a new fritillaria has appeared, far from the parent. Yippee!

  3. Tulips are so well designed to look great in the sun. Yours are shining like beacons. I have some of the yellow white tipped one flowering. The stems were leaning to the sun so much that I experimented by turning them around to see how quickly they could change. They were facing it again the next day.

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