A number of Species Tulips can play an important role in the build up to the Great Tulip Crescendo of late April and May.
I mentioned Tulipa turkestanica about 2 weeks ago when it first started to bloom. Now they are in full stride.
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.
The foliage is interesting – long and wavy, staying close to the ground, and a sort of matte blue-gray.
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.
Tulipa praestans ‘Fusilier’ does not naturalize, but it is reasonably perennial.
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.