A Woodland Tulip and it’s Relatives

 

Tulipa sylvestris

Tulipa sylvestris

From the beginning planting the Woodland Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris) was a bit of an experiment.  Not only had I never seen Tulips in a forest environment before but we have a good population of deer hereabouts.  But when I saw the name (literally Tulip of the woods) and read in the Brent and Becky’s catalog that they had naturalized at Mount Vernon … well, I had to give them a go.  Out of ten bulbs planted only 5 came up (squirrels?) and offered their buds early in the spring.  The first time it looked like they were going to flower, I walked out to find that the about to open flowers had all been snipped off and eaten.  My immediate guess was that it was the deer in retaliation for my fencing off the rest of the vegetable garden.  But it could have been the rabbits.  In any case they left me two buds that were not as far along.  Apparently they prefer the full-fledged flower and not the foliage.  I waited and watched.  This time (so far so good) I’ve been able to enjoy the two remaining flowers.

 

 

Tulipa sylvestris alternate view

Tulipa sylvestris alternate view

Apparently they spread by stolons (in the manner of strawberries or bermuda grass) if they like their environment so I can hope that the plants will spread even if they didn’t get their full flowering this year.  I think I will plant some in the orchard in the Fall to increase the survival options as I do like the idea of tulips that mulitply.

Speaking multiplying Tulips, the Tulipa tarda planted in the rock garden 2 years ago are multiplying quite nicely.  They are a small species tulip with a bright yellow face when the sun is out.

Tulip tarda

Tulipa tarda

In the same rock garden a new planting this year is the Double Early Tulip ‘Monte Carlo’.

Tulip 'Monte Carlo'

Tulip 'Monte Carlo'

This turned out to an inspired color choice (which I ascribe to blind luck) because it stands right next to the Iris bucharica.

Iris bucharica

Iris bucharica

And together they make a happening in the rock garden right now.

Tulip 'Monte Carlo' and Iris bucharica

Tulip 'Monte Carlo' and Iris bucharica

The other Tulip happening is under the Crabapples where I planted Tulip ‘Flaming Purissima’ with my elder son two years ago.  The result is pure splendor when viewed in the morning light.

Tulip fosteriana 'Flaming Purissima'

Tulipa fosteriana 'Flaming Purissima'

And here they are seen as a group.

Tulipa fosteriana 'Flaming Purissima'

A Group of Tulipa fosteriana 'Flaming Purissima'

4 comments on “A Woodland Tulip and it’s Relatives

  1. Gail

    What a beauty! I wouldn’t mind the Tulip of the Woods naturalizing here! In fact your entire tulip collection is stunning! The pink, ‘Flaming Purissima’ are keepers for sure! gail

  2. Jean

    Those are some beautiful photos and flowers. Are the tulips blooming at the same time as the crabapple? That would be glorious. It’s a shame about your deer/rabbits/squirrels and the tulips, but they are quite pretty.

    1. jw

      Yes, the Tulips come first and then, just behind, the crabs are opening up too.

  3. Jan (ThanksFor2Day)

    I’d love to have a woodland tulip–it’s quite pretty! Of course, your iris and other tulips are, as well!