We all recognize the tall, sturdy stems and colorful flowers of the Dutch Tulip. But the plant of the month is Species Tulip. I am talking about the tulips that are the parents of all hybridized tulips that have been grown since the seventeenth century. Many Species Tulips measure a mere 4-5 inches while many have a stem of at least 12-14 inches tall. However, where the Dutch Tulip is planted as an annual here in our area of South Carolina, the Species Tulips are perennial and colonize when they are happy where they are planted. They need full sun, well drained soil, front of the border or container and are exceptional in a rock garden.
Most nurseries do not sell the Species Tulips. They are available online or bulb catalogs. Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, John Sheepers and White Flowe Farm are good sources for purchasing these tulips. I prefer the taller ones such as: Tulipa Clusiana, ‘Lady Jane’, ‘Cynthia’, Tulipa vvedenski, ‘Tangerine Beauty’.