broken tulips

Jim McKenney
Thu, 15 Apr 2010 08:34:18 PDT
Ben Zonneveld wrote: “This one keeps repeating.

There are no broken tulips on sale that are caused by virus The ones for
sale are all just tulips with two or more colors. Only in the old days ( 100
Years back) virused tulips were in vogue.”


Ben, are you sure? 


Although it is true that broken tulips do not appear in the catalogs of most
bulb dealers, there are brokers in several tulip growing countries who sell
bulbs of broken tulips obtained from the Hortus Bulborum in the Netherlands.
The cultivars in question are said to have been in cultivation for a long
time, sometimes hundreds of years. 


I grow a number of these in my garden now, and off and on during the last
nearly fifty years have grown others. The tulips I’m talking about are not
the so-called Rembrandt tulips advertised in catalogs, tulips which fit your
description of “just tulips with two or more colors”. 


The tulips I’m talking about are sold with the warning that they are virus
infected; they are cultivars which are relatively stable with the virus
infections but which can pass the virus on to other plants. They grow much
more weakly than typical garden tulips; the flowers are smaller than garden
tulips of the same general type, the petals often are slightly distorted and
sometimes patches of mold develop on the petals. 


I’m running a garden here, not a laboratory, so I have not done tests to see
if they really are virus infected. 


Here are images of two I grow currently:


Ben, can you please check with your sources to confirm that these broken
tulips from the Hortus Bulborum are not virus infected – and let us know?


Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden



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