Tulipa clusiana

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Sat, 18 Apr 2009 18:35:53 PDT
Adam, there are several wild tulips which are stoloniferous. Familiar
examples are Tulipa sylvestris, T. saxatilis (and evidently the related T.
cretica), T. whittallii and many (all?) of the forms of T. clusiana in the
modern sense. Tulipa praecox, widespread and probably introduced in southern
Europe, is also said to be stoloniferous. This is a striking plant. 


Note that of those mentioned, all except T. sylvestris and some forms of T.
clusiana have other than diploid chromosome counts and rarely if ever set
viable seed. They are thought to be clones. 


You asked if the original Tulipa clusiana sets seed. Most of the old books
say no, although I've heard at least one person claim that it spreads by
seed in the garden. Perhaps it occasionally sets apomictic seed. 


I'm surprised that more people don't plant these stoloniferous tulips
because if they survive at all they soon form thick colonies. However, in
most cases there are more leaves than flowers.  



Jim McKenney


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