Tulipa polychroma - an excellent miniature species for the rock garden, with charming white
"star cups" on 2-3" (5 - 7.5
cm) stems. The center of the flower is yolk yellow, but it's the outside
of the flowers that give this species its character. The back of the outer 3 tepals are are tinged
gray-olive-mauve, and the back of the 3 inner tepals are lightly striped with green and blue.
flowers are deliciously scented. Here are three views showing the flowers from above, and side
views to illustrate the outer petal markings. In these photos, the broad shoots
green foliage is that of T. bakeri, a species that invariably gets mixed
up in the bulb
bins where Holland bulbs are sold. T. polychroma has 2 - 3 refined
linear gray leaves.
Tulipa polychroma is a member of the
Biflores section of Tulipa, and is closely related
to both T. biflora and T. turkestanica, all being central Asian
species. Another member
of the Biflores section is the unique and showy T.
Photos by Mark
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and textual content copyright © 2004 Mark McDonough
page was last updated on 02/01/04