A tulip in San Diego

Eugene Zielinski eez55@earthlink.net
Sun, 04 Mar 2012 18:48:03 PST
I checked on the description of Tulipa praecox in Richard Wilford's book on
Tulips (2006).  He describes it as stoloniferous and triploid, and probably
derived from Tulipa agenensis (syn. T. oculus-solis).  It differs from T.
agenensis by having broader tepals (and leaves) and a yellow band running
from the tip to the base of the inner tepals.  Wilford notes that the outer
tepals of T. agenensis are significantly longer and more pointed than the
inner tepals, a characteristic shared with T. praecox.  T. praecox is found
from southern France to Italy, Greece, and Turkey.
It's interesting that this species isn't more prevalent in cultivation. 
Wilford suspects that it is due to its dull red color; other tulips are
more vibrant.

Eugene Zielinski
Augusta, GA

from original message:
> However, a few years ago, an acquaintance sent me a bulb of what he
called 'Texas Tulip', which has been found growing naturalized in various
parts of Texas. It grows just like the Dutch hybrids and produces a large
Dutch hybrid sized bright red flower with a black center. And what is more,
it flowers every year and slowly produces offsets, which flower just as
large. It is supposed to be Tulipa praecox. It is amazing for someone like
me who has only lived in Texas and California and only sees the large
brightly colored tulips grown as very expensive annuals. 
> Does anyone know any more about this species? And could it be used in a
breeding program to produce other large low-chill/warm-climate tulips?
> --Lee Poulsen

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