Wednesday, March 18, 2015

TULIPS FOR THE SOUTHERN GARDEN. TULIPA CLUSIANA

About 10 years ago I purchased a handful of tiny bulbs labeled Tulipa clusiana, Lady Jane. I was told they were species tulips and their small size would be perfect for my rock garden. And perfect is what they were. Thriving on utter neglect they appear every spring unfurling their petals in the morning and closing at night. They seem more than content with the gravelly, dry soil and are a perfect companion for my Parry's agave.


One of their great advantages is that they do not require the same chilling as the larger tulips and are perfect for a climate which has milder winters. Furthermore they naturalize quite readily.The burgundy tipped stamens are distinct against the almost pure white petals.


By evening time the flowers close showing their pretty pink undersides. I have found the Lady Jane variety to be the most successful in my garden. Every year I am tempted to try others but have had little success.

19 comments:

  1. I had one open today!! I planted 3 bulbs, 2 years ago. I hope mine spread as well as yours have.

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    1. Mine have spread slowly but are in extremely poor, dry soil with no additional watering. With a little more care I thnk they would spread better.

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  2. Wow these are stunning, love them!

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  3. Love these little ladies. My 'Cynthia' clump needs to be moved out of the deep shade that swallowed it up, but until that happened it seemed to do fairly well here, too.

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    1. I had some 'Cynthia' too but they seem to have disappeared. Planted some new ones in the fall but they haven't appeared yet.

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  4. They are beautiful! I tried a species tulip in my former garden, although I don't recall which one. (As I reall, it was yellow with a pink underside.) It did come back for 2 years but in smaller numbers, eventually disappearing almost entirely. It doesn't get cold enough here perhaps.

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  5. Mine are open too, love them!

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  6. They are pretty! I especially like the pink underside--I'm a sucker for pink!

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  7. Do these do okay in colder climates too? I'd love to try them, so lovely!

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    1. I'm sure they do Alan because they come from much colder areas in Europe and the middle east.

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  8. These are so lovely! I planted some years ago but either they've disappeared or (as has happened with other bulbs) they are running a couple of weeks later here than where you are. Fascinating how we live so close and yet our microclimates have us on differing bloom schedules, isn't it?

    I have a few leafings out that I'm unsure of the identities for around our beds. I'm encouraged to keep a closer eye peeled now for distinguishing blooms. It is always fun to see what made it for another year's display.

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    1. It is interesting how quickly the foliage pops up and then suddenly deep in the crown you see the start of a bud. A few days later the flowers open. Let's hope you will be surprised in the coming weeks.

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  9. Beautiful! The burgundy, yellow and white look so perfect together. Added to my want list.

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  10. I just moved back to Austin after many years in Colorado. I miss my little bulbs from that garden so when the T. clusiana came up this week, it made me very happy.

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    1. Welcome back to Austin Cyndi. Having lived here before you will be aware of the challenges you face in this variable and difficult climate. Watching local garden bloggers and what they grow is a great resource.

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  11. So pretty!! I love the pink on the underside.

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  12. So pretty and good to know they work in our climate. I miss tulips from our years on the east coast and it sounds like these don't decline over the years as the larger hybrids do. I'll look for these.

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  13. I garden in quite the opposite of a mild climate - especially this year with its record-breaking snow and cold! - but I might have to give these a try just because they are so pretty and elegant.

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  14. I haven't had as much luck with mine as you have. They haven't appeared in a couple of years. But maybe this year they'll return, with the extra rain we've received. Yours are beautiful.

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