Saturday, April 25, 2009
Species tulips? Big fan.
It’s hard to believe I ignored these when I first saw them in a catalog many years ago. Back then, I wanted the big Darwin hybrids or some other showier variety of tulip. These days, it’s the opposite; I’m buying more species tulip and fewer hybrids. (Though most of these “species” are actually cultivars of wild tulips.)
It’s important to remember how small these are, though. I find that they only really succeed when placed in ground cover (as above), grouped with other early spring bloomers, or as an accent with bigger perennials. Even 5-7 can look pretty measly surrounded by bare ground, where perennials have yet to emerge.
At first I sort of assumed that these would all be early bloomers or all bloom pretty much at the same time—catalog times often are incorrect depending on zone—but some of them don’t emerge until May. I’ve made some goofs “pairing” different varieties that didn’t end up blooming together. And I see this spring that I still need to fill in a few spaces between the groupings.
So far this year, I have the white/yellow turkistanica, the orange-red batalini “Bright Red,” and the enchanting magenta/gray/yellow humilis “Persian Pearl.” There are quite a number to come, as well, of course, as my hybrids, which I pretty much treat as annuals.
ADDENDUM: I am not so sure that's a batalini. It was planted a while back and I now see that batalinis are later bloomers. But I don't think it's praestans either, as it is not multi-flowering.