Bay area Tulipa

Jane McGary
Thu, 11 Apr 2013 08:53:19 PDT
Although I don't garden in the SF Bay area, I am from there and have 
family members still in central California, with gardens. In addition 
to Tulipa clusiana, you could try any of the tulips from Crete. 
Tulipa bakeri is one, and the other two (all three are lumped by some 
botanists although they are very different in appearance to us 
gardeners) are T. cretica and T. saxatilis. Bakeri (as a clone, 
called I think 'Violet Beauty' or some such typical Dutch name) and 
saxatilis are available from commercial sources if you want to risk 
bringing in diseases; T. cretica is easily and quickly grown from 
seed. I grow it in my unheated bulb house and have photographed it 
right next to the sea in Crete.

Tulipa hageri, mentioned by Max, is not the same as T. bakeri. I'm 
not sure whether it is still a recognized species, but some I bought 
from a Dutch nursery have persisted for many years in my former 
garden, which experiences fairly cold winters. It is red with 
brownish tint on the outer tepals. T. saxatilis (pale pink) was also 
permanent there. I was out there the other day and saw 'Lilliput' in 
flower; it is claimed to be a selection of T. humilis.

There are also some low-elevation tulips from the Middle East that 
you could try if you could acquire seed. Most of the tulips I've 
grown from seed take about 5 years from sowing to flowering 
(germination occurs the first year). I'm growing about 30 species 
from seed this year and hope to see what they look like eventually. 
In flower here now are several collections from western Iran made by 
the Archibalds and sent out without species identification. I'm 
pretty sure one is T. montana, a lovely pure red that increases fast. 
There is also a tall, slender yellow one that has the right color and 
range for T. mucronata, but I don't see why my plants would be 
noticed as "mucronate." There is a very big red one from a Halda 
collection many years ago that I can't identify either. In a few days 
there will be some "Neotulips" from the Balkans and Italy, which are 
thought to be escapes from ancient introductions; one, T. rhodopea, 
is a large, showy deep rose. I don't know what the winter chill 
requirements for these species are, though.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

At 08:11 AM 4/11/2013, you wrote:
>Being from St. Louis, I'm not sure that a species that grows in Missouri
>would have a chance in the Bay Area if cold is required.
>Paul Licht, Director
>University of California Botanical Garden
>200 Centennial Drive
>Berkeley, CA 94720
>On 4/11/2013 8:03 AM, Maxwithers wrote:
> >   Oakland. I did not give it any special care. Clusiana was 
> reliable in the same spot. There is a beautiful red form of T. 
> bakeri (also known as T. hageri I think?) from Crete that Nick 
> Turland managed to grow in Missouri, but I never found a commercial 
> source in the U.S. You should try to get some from MOBOT! That 
> would be a valuable contribution to Bay Area gardens.

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