TOW favorite pink

Jim McKenney
Fri, 13 Aug 2004 00:54:26 PDT
At 11:15 AM 8/13/2004 -0700, Bob Werra wrote:
>Dear All, My favorite pink bulb is Tulipa saxatilis.
>It isn't spectacular, but it has alot going for it.  
>It goes flat open during the day -bright pink with a
>yellow center, the ??only fragrant tulip??,  

Bob, I'm glad someone else shares my enthusiasm for Tulipa saxatilis. 

Here on the east coast it's a real challenge to grow this one. I've always
thought it somewhat comical that the greenest, most callow gardener can
walk into a garden center in the fall and buy bulbs of this tulip - and the
miracle is that they sometimes do survive to bloom. Maryland is definitely
not California or Crete!

The one big problem with this plant here is that the foliage is typically
destroyed during the winter. But I've had success with it by planting the
bulbs very late (mid-December) - that way the foliage does not emerge until
the worst of the winter is over. I'm not sure this is the key to long term
success, but I like this tulip enough to keep trying. 

Incidentally, it is by no means the only fragrant tulip. This year I grew
Tulipa polychroma for the first time and was very impressed with the
fragrance. I don't know if that one will persist in northern California,
but another readily available species, Tulipa sylvestris, might, and it too
is nicely fragrant. 

Many garden tulips have a good fragrance - the old parrot tulip Orange
Favorite is a fragrant favorite here. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone7, where there are never enough

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