A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Weirdness Chronicles 2007 - Chapter 3

Spring is busting out all over. Every day I run around the yard with my camera recording each new blossom. Today I was thrilled to see these new tulips in bloom. I didn't know what kind they were but I did know two things: they are planted in the Wildflower Garden so they must be some kind of species tulip and I was meticulous about my record-keeping so identification would be a breeze.

Except that it wasn't. I have every single bulb that I ordered for last fall recorded on spread sheets sorted by the catalog from which they were ordered. Nothing. I even checked my spreadsheets from the previous year, admittedly incomplete. Still nothing. I don't recall any freebies involving tulips.

The occasional snowdrop or crocus popping up unexpectedly, I can accept. But tulips of a type I've never grown before? That's just plain weird.


At 8:39 PM, Blogger DWPittelli said...

They look to me exactly like Tulipa tarda, a species from Turkestan, hardy to Zone 4, which is known to increase by seed well without any extraordinary coddling. (In case you're not familiar with Google images, note that they have 1,700 hits on "tulipa tarda.") Tarda is, however, known for multiple flowers per bulb, but I would expect that depends on the age/size of the bulb.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Happens to the best of us... we end up with a tulip or two that we don't remember planting at all.

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

It looks like the botanical tulip tulipa tarda. I have them too although mine have multiple flowers. It's a great tulip to have as it comes back year after year and if they like your garden, they multiply as well. What more could a gardener possibly ask for? ;-)

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Annie in Austin said...

What a cool surprise, OldRoses. DWPittelli says it grows easily from seed, so maybe the seeds were in with another plant?

MSinclair Stevens of Zanthan Gardens gets the species Tulipa clusiana to bloom in Austin. This sweet species tulip would also be worth a try next fall.


At 9:08 PM, Blogger Ki said...

Very nice tulips. I bought some last year and only one flower just opened today but I see many more buds so hope for a good display. I guess Middlesex county is a bit warmer as you seem to be a step ahead of us in bloom time.

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

How fun! Do you think that maybe they were something you planted before last year... something that maybe just didn't flower for you last year so you forgot about it? Even if they really are a mystery, how cool. :)

At 10:56 AM, Blogger joey said...

I also think the creamy star-like face belongs to the species tulip, T. turkestanica. To my delight, mine also seems to pop up where I don't remember planting them (years ago). Indeed, they increase in size each year and if it wasn't pouring ouside, I'd be out photographing them myself.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Marc said...

Pretty neat little plants. Is it possible that they were incorrectly marked by the place you bought them as something else? Is there anything on your spreadsheet that should be in that location that isn't?

I don't know if it happens with seeds or bulbs much, but I used to always buy tomato or pepper plants that were marked one thing and when they ripened they were a totally different variety. Maybe that happened here. It sounds good, doesn't it? That way its not your fault. :)


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