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 >http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/ > >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.