Tulipa Species Three

Tulipa species I-S are found on this page.


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Tulipa karabachensis is a rare species from Central Asia. Photo by John Lonsdale.

Tulipa karabachensis, John Lonsdale

Tulipa kaufmanniana is known as the waterlily tulip as the flowers look like a waterlily when they are fully open. They are a popular tulip in cultivation as they bloom early and are available in many colors as cultivars. In the wild this species grows on stony, grassy slopes in the mountain shrub belt of the western Tien Shan. Photos by David Victor are shown below of it growing in the wild on the western Tien Shan mountains, Kazakstan, in June 2004. These were all taken in the Ulkun-Kyindi Valley at some 8,000 feet and the sequence of shots clearly shows the great variability that the species shows in its natural habitat.

Tulipa kaufmanniana, David VictorTulipa kaufmanniana, David VictorTulipa kaufmanniana, David VictorTulipa kaufmanniana, David VictorTulipa kaufmanniana, David Victor

Photos below were taken by Janos Agoston. Photos 1 and 2 show the wild form. Photos 3 and 4 are of the cultivar 'Fashion' and 5 and 6 of the cultivar 'Giuseppe Verdi'.

Tulipa kaufmanniana, Janos AgostonTulipa kaufmanniana, Janos AgostonTulipa kaufmanniana 'Fashion', Janos AgostonTulipa kaufmanniana 'Fashion', Janos AgostonTulipa kaufmanniana 'Giuseppe Verdi', Janos AgostonTulipa kaufmanniana 'Giuseppe Verdi', Janos Agoston

More cultivars photographed by Janos Agoston are shown below. Photos 1 and 2 show 'Johann Strauss', photo 3 'Showwinner', and photos 4-6 'Stresa'.

Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Johann Strauss', Janos AgostonTulipa kaufmanniana 'Johann Strauss', Janos AgostonTulipa kaufmanniana 'Showwinner', Janos AgostonTulipa kaufmanniana 'Stresa', Janos AgostonTulipa kaufmanniana 'Stresa', Janos AgostonTulipa kaufmanniana 'Stresa', Janos Agoston

'Scarlet Baby' photographed by David Pilling.

Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Scarlet Baby', David PillingTulipa kaufmanniana 'Scarlet Baby', David PillingTulipa kaufmanniana 'Scarlet Baby', David Pilling

Video time lapse by David Pilling, Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Scarlet Baby', taken on 13th April 2013 between 12:43 and 15:35 as a depression moved across north west England from the south west, changing the weather from sunshine to rain.


Tulipa linifolia , native to Uzbekistan and Afghanistan is a terrific rock garden size tulip species, with gorgeous brilliant red flowers that open wide to catch the sun. The red color didn't photograph accurately and appears to have a magenta tone. T. clusiana var. chrysantha can be seen in the right side of the photo in the first photo by Mark McDonough. The second picture by Max Withers gives a better idea of the color of this species. His plant was purchased from the UC Botanic Garden. Photos 3-5 from Mary Sue Ittner shows a pot blooming in 2008 and bulbs on a 1 cm grid.

Tulipa linifolia, Mark McDonoughTulipa linifolia, Max WithersTulipa linifolia, Mary Sue IttnerTulipa linifolia, Mary Sue IttnerTulipa linifolia bulbs, Mary Sue Ittner

Tulipa neustruevae is native to Central Asia (western Tien Shan). It resembles Tulipa dasystemon, but grows at lower elevations, is a brighter golden yellow and has fresh glossy green leaves. It can be grown in a rock garden or raised bed and flowers March to April. Photo taken in a Portland, Oregon, garden March 2009 by Mary Sue Ittner.

Tulipa neustruevae, Mary Sue Ittner

Tulipa orithyioides grown from seed collected by Josef Halda in the early 1990s. Photographed in a bulb frame in Oregon in late February, by Jane McGary. This tiny tulip, only about 5 inches tall, is kept dry in summer. The species was offered in the 2004 catalog of Janis Ruksans, who also collected it in Central Asia.

Tulipa orithyioides, Jane McGary

Tulipa orphanidea is found on hillsides and fields in Western Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. Growing from 15 to 30 cm, it has 1 to 3 dull red, orange red or orange yellow flowers with a blackish or dark green blotch in the center suffused greenish or yellowish on the exterior of the outer segments. Anthers are brown or dark green. A number of forms have been individually named including Tulipa hageri and Tulipa whittallii and are regarded as species by some and considered as variants of this species by others. The funnel shaped flowers open wide in the sun. Photos from Mary Sue Ittner who purchased these bulbs as 'Flava', but when they bloomed they don't fit the description.

Tulipa orphanidea, Mary Sue IttnerTulipa orphanidea, Mary Sue IttnerTulipa orphanidea, Mary Sue IttnerTulipa orphanidea, Mary Sue IttnerTulipa orphanidea bulbs on a 1 cm grid, Mary Sue Ittner

Tulipa orphanidea 'Flava' is described as having flowers that are greenish yellow on the outside, tinged with red along the edges and towards the tip of the tepals. Inside the flower is lemon yellow with a small bronze-colored blotch.


Tulipa polychroma is from Iran and Afghanistan. It is 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 tinged matte olive-mauve, and the back of the 3 inner tepals are lightly striped with green and blue. The flowers are deliciously scented. Flower photos by Mark McDonough. The first three views show the flowers from above and the side to illustrate the outer tepal markings and the last at late anthesis, the outer tepals age to a pale ruddy rose color. Seed and seed pod photo by Ina Crossley.

Tulipa polychroma, Mark McDonoughTulipa polychroma, Mark McDonoughTulipa polychroma, Mark McDonoughTulipa polychroma, Mark McDonoughTulipa polychroma, Ina Crossley

Photo of wild plants by Gideon Pisanty

Tulipa polychroma, Gideon Pisanty

Tulipa praestans grows on rocky slopes, screes, and in light woodland to 3000 meters (9840 feet) in the southern Pamir Alai, Central Asia. Flowers are scarlet and cup shaped. This species is widely grown in the open garden in suitable locations and long lived. One of the characteristics of this species is that it can produce mulitple flowers per bulb. Pictures below show bulbs that I have been growing in Northern California for more than twenty years, stored dry in summer, prechilled for six weeks in November, and planted in pots. They were originally purchased as the cultivar 'Fusilier' which supposedly can produce up to seven flowers per bulb. I cannot remember if the original bulbs had multiple flowers, but for as long as I can remember my bulbs only produce one flower per bulb. The red flowers first appear in the leaves and then the stem gets longer. If we happen to have a warm sunny day when it blooms (February to March here in coastal Northern California), the flowers open wider. Photos 1 through 4 by Mary Sue Ittner show it in bloom three different years and the bulbs on a 1 cm grid. The last two photos were taken by Janos Agoston and show the culitivars, 'Van Tubergen's Variety' and 'Zwannenburg Variety'.

Tulipa praestans, Mary Sue IttnerTulipa praestans, Mary Sue IttnerTulipa praestans, Mary Sue IttnerTulipa praestans bulbs, Mary Sue IttnerTulipa praestans 'Van Tubergen's Variety', Janos AgostonTulipa praestans 'Zwannenburg Variety', Janos Agoston

Tulipa pulchella is sometimes considered a form of Tulipa humilis. This beautiful plant has been thriving in Tumwater, Washington for five years. The flowers are born on 15 cm stems, but only open fully in bright sunlight. Note the black base, as opposed to the yellow of other varieties.

Tulipa pulchella, Dave Brastow

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