Monday, May 07, 2012

Species Tulips

Autumn displays overpowered with photos of new hybrids and dramatic sized tulips do one thing: encourage impulsive purchases. (At least I am tempted)  However great the impulse is to buy, their repeat bloom is never equaled to the first year. :(

Having a small garden, I can't waste space taken up by Darwin hybrid tulips. I instead I look for species choices.

One I purchased last year and have had much success in my previous garden is: Tulipa clusiana 'Chrysantha'

Their narrow leaves and later blooming time is welcome in my garden. Once their flowers fade, I cut their stems down and I find planting them near another perennial camouflages their fading leaves late May. They stand shorter (10inches) and flower for a lengthier time than many of the Darwin hybrids.

So cheerful!
Species tulips also bloom better over the years. At least in my experience. They also tolerate part shade. Well worth it.

The size of species bulbs are nearly a third of the Darwin hybrids. If you have limited space to plant groupings, this is your best bet!

Darwin is about 2 x's taller.

Here you can see the difference between the Darwin size and this Chysantha. My neighbour kindly gave me 5 bulbs last fall as a gift, and I couldn't say no thanks. I find in small spaces, Darwin's just take over. I will find them a new home later this month. ;)

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