A tulip in San Diego

Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Sat, 03 Mar 2012 22:10:29 PST
For me 'Lilac Wonder' doesn't bloom every year, but it does bloom often enough, that I wish someone would make other crosses with different colors. The white and yellow forms of T. clusiana/chrysantha do very well and each cultivar rapidly fills the pot I put the original in. And they bloom every year. (They've barely begun blooming now.) And T. wilsoniana (I think it has a different species name now) does about as well as 'Lilac Wonder', plus it has that bright red color that is so striking.
However, all of these are small flowers and never look as bold as the Dutch hybrids, which is okay, but I keep wondering why no one has made any low-chill/warm-climate cultivars that are large and bold like all of the Dutch hybrids. (I have the same question about Hyacinths since the "Roman" types do very well here and in the Southern USA.)

However, a few years ago, an acquaintance sent me a bulb of what he called 'Texas Tulip', which has been found growing naturalized in various parts of Texas. It grows just like the Dutch hybrids and produces a large Dutch hybrid sized bright red flower with a black center. And what is more, it flowers every year and slowly produces offsets, which flower just as large. It is supposed to be Tulipa praecox. It is amazing for someone like me who has only lived in Texas and California and only sees the large brightly colored tulips grown as very expensive annuals. Occasionally Chris Wiesinger of the Southern Bulb Co.<http://www.southernbulbs.com/catalog/index.php> has them for sale, but they're very expensive per bulb. Is he still on the PBS list?

Does anyone know any more about this species? And could it be used in a breeding program to produce other large low-chill/warm-climate tulips?

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m
On Mar 3, 2012, at 12:15 PM, andrew wrote:

> Yesterday you can imagine my surprise when I saw Tulip 'Lilac Wonder'
> smiling at me! 

On Mar 3, 2012, at 8:09 PM, Tim Chapman wrote:

> I haven't tried 'Lilac Wonder' yet.  But the various forms and hybrids of T clusiana have done well here in south Louisiana.  Some of the white and red ones ('Lady Jane' or 'Peppermint Stick') are blooming now. The yellow forms ( sold as T chyrsantha I believe) tend to bloom a month or so later for me.  There are others that don't need chilling as well but I haven't tried them yet.  Mine don't spread as vigorously as others have reported, but they aren't dwindling down either. 

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