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Wild Tulip

Wildtulpen Zwiebelblumen Lubera

Wild tulips are the secret stars in every natural garden. Although they do not attract attention from a distance, those who take a closer look will enjoy their delicate beauty.

   
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Wild Tulip 'Alba Caerulea Oculata'

Tulipa humilis 'Alba Caerulea Oculata'

£8.90 *

Wild Tulip 'Cynthia'

Tulipa clusiana 'Cynthia'

£5.90 *

Wild Tulip 'Fusilier'

Tulipa praestans 'Fusilier'

£5.90 *

Wild Tulip 'Heart's Delight'

Tulipa 'Heart's Delight'

£4.40 *

Wild Tulip 'Ice Stick'

Tulipa 'Ice Stick'

From £4.40 *

Wild Tulip 'Lady Jane'

Tulipa clusiana 'Lady Jane'

£3.90 *

Wild Tulip 'Lilac Wonder'

Tulipa bakeri 'Lilac Wonder'

£2.10 *

Wild Tulip 'Little Beauty'

Tulipa 'Little Beauty'

£2.10 *

Wild Tulip 'Persian Pearl'

Tulipa humilis 'Persian Pearl'

£2.50 *

Wild Tulip 'Shogun'®

Tulipa praestans 'Shogun'®

£2.30 *

Wild Tulip 'Showwinner'

Tulipa 'Showwinner'

£3.50 *

Wild Tulip 'Tubergens Gem'

Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha 'Tubergens Gem'

£2.80 *

   
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More useful information about Wild Tulip

The magical details of the partly tiny flowers not only delight the gardener's heart. Also, the fact that they are very popular with bees and other insects, is a reason to bring them generously in the garden and on the balcony. These types are one of the first tulip bulbs that open their flowers in the spring and they are therefore highly appreciated by both gardeners and insects, whether for their fragrance and graceful appearance or for the sweet nectar. In addition, they are the perfect underplant for all Lubera tree fruit trees that grow in pots on the balcony or on the patio.
 

The most famous types

Tulipa praestans: from each bulb of this wild tulip grows three to six upright, clawed, brown-green leaves, which are fluffy, hairy and about 20 inches long. In the early and middle of spring, the flowers form, which are bowl-shaped and up to 12 centimetres wide. They stand alone or in groups of up to five flowers on a stem and they have a striking, scarlet-orange colour. The stamens have yellow or purple anthers and red filaments that fade into yellow on the inside. This tulip grows wild in Kazakhstan and Tajikisan. A particularly popular breeding of Tulipa praestans is 'Fusilier', which forms several, very bright red flowers.

Tulipa biflora: this wild tulip is sometimes called Tulipa polychroma. It has only one or two linear, smooth leaves that can grow to almost 20 centimetres long and that are characteristically grey-green in colour. The flowers of this pretty tulip are star-shaped, about four inches wide and they smell intense. The basic colour is white and the flower stars of this bulbous species have red edges. Basically, the white flowers are yellow and turn into a greenish grey and sometimes a greenish pink hue.

Tulipa turkestanica: this delicate, but well enduring tulip likes to propagate itself. It has up to 15 centimetres long leaves of grey-green colour. In early and mid-spring hairy sprouts appear on up to 12 star-like flowers, each of which is three to five inches wide. They are of white basic colour. On the outside, the colour is greenish grey or greenish pink. In the centre they are yellow or orange. The stamens have purplish yellow or brown anthers and yellow stamens. Note: the flowers of Tulpia turkestanica stink and are therefore less suitable for balconies. This type of tulip comes from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Northwest China.

Wildtulpen Zwiebelblumen Lubera

Other well-known wild tulips

Tulipa bakeri: this wild tulip is sometimes also called Tulipa saxatilis, which is a synonym. It has the special peculiarity that it spreads via runners and forms quite dense flower carpets. This tulip is ideally suited for underplanting sunny edges of shrubs and it is also attractive in the foreground of a sunny flower bed. It forms up to 30 centimetres long, shiny green leaves. Only towards the end of spring will it appear in groups of up to four standing, star-shaped shrubs, which can reach up to eight centimetres, and which smell very strongly. At Lubera there is the variety Tulipa bakeri 'Lilac Wonder', which conquers the hearts of humans and bees alike due to its pretty soft pink and yellow flowers. This tulip is suitable for rock gardens.

Tulipa humilis: this wild tulip is native to southern and eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and northern and western Iran. It also grows wild in Azerbaijan. It forms two to five long, curly leaves per bulb, which are whitish-frosted, but not hairy. In early and mid-spring, single, but sometimes two or three standing star-like flowers form on each stem. They are up to seven centimetres wide. Most are pale pink to purplish-pink or magenta, depending on the variety. On the outside, the flowers are sometimes overflowering with greyish-green. At the base, many of these tulips are yellow or olive green in colour. Sometimes they also have a blue-black colour at the base. With some Tulipa humilis the petals have yellow or white edges. The stamens are equipped with yellow, brown or purple dust bags and yellow stamens. The flowers of the variety 'Persian Pearl' light up in an intense purple to magenta colour. The variety 'Alba Caerulea Oculata' on the other hand trumps with white, star-shaped flower. Both of these flower bulbs are suitable for placing between smaller perennials.

Tulipa clusiana, also called lady tulip: this is a very delicate, very elegant wild tulip, with various extremely pretty varieties available. Typically, they have three outer petals, which are pink-tinged. The other petals are usually white and yellow in some varieties. Tulipa clusiana originally comes from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This wild tulip forms under suitable conditions with which it can spread quite well over the years. Clusiana tulips were brought to Europe around 1800 and named after the famous Dutch botanist Carolus Clusius. They appreciate very sunny sites and like rocky locations, ideally in a rock garden with particularly well-drained soil. Under such circumstances, lady tulips are particularly durable. A special variety is Tulipa clusiana var. Stellata, with its wide-open, white flower stars, which rise succinctly over the rocky ground of rock gardens. The flower bulbs of the lady tulips are well suited for combining with low perennials.

Planting and care

These flower bulbs are quite simple and unpretentious, and they will always bloom like new over many years if they like the location. That means they need open, well-drained soil and plenty of sun. The smaller species like to grow in rock gardens and on the edge of a sunny flower border. Wild tulips are also suitable for pots, boxes and even for smaller containers. When planting, it is important to plant the rather small bulbs about twice as deep as they are big. This means that a planting hole of perhaps six to ten centimetres is sufficient. The distance between the individual bulbs should be as irregular as possible so that the wild tulips look natural. The best way is to throw a handful of flower bulbs on the ground and plant them right where they fall. The distance can, therefore, be between about 10 to maybe 30 centimetres, so that the groups loosen a bit towards the outside. Then it looks as if the flower bulbs have taken over the spot by themselves. When it comes to care, the wild tulips need almost nothing. The most important thing for all types of wild tulips is that the soil is not too humid and that they never endure waterlogging. They do not really need fertiliser because they are used to thriving under modest conditions. Only wild tulips in containers should be occasionally supplied with liquid fertiliser during growth if they grow in the same soil for more than one year. Freshly planted in new soil, they need no food for the first year.

Propagation

Wild tulips like to grow wild in the garden if they like the location. And they can also actively proliferate by breeding bulbs. After a few years, you can cut out a few clumps, picking out the bulbs and planting a new colony of these tulips elsewhere in the garden. Otherwise, these flower bulbs are simply left in the ground year after year, so that they emerge again every spring and become naturualised as they please. If they grow in the lawn, be careful not to mow too early. Only when the foliage has completely retracted and the seeds are scattered, the lawnmower may be used. Between perennials in the flower bed they are left to stand until they have completely died back. Even in a rock garden you can leave these tulips in peace. Their foliage is not so large that it visually disturbs the other perennials, and it will soon disappear by itself between the foliage of the growing perennial plants.

Wild tulips fit to columnar trees

The bulbs of wild tulips are relatively small. Therefore you can plant all kinds of these flower bulbs in containers together with fruit trees. On this occasion carefully scratch away the topmost layer of the substrate. Lay the bulbs about 5 centimetres deep between the roots of the trees, making sure that the shoot tip is always pointing upwards. Then fill with fresh substrate, preferably a mixture of universal soil and compost. With the fresh soil and new food, not only the wild tulip bulbs but also the small fruit trees are happy and the procedure is a win-win story. Visually, it is very pretty in the spring when the fruit trees bloom together with the different species of small tulips.

From the sea to the mountains

In nature, there are around 100 to 150 species of wild tulips. No one knows how many there actually are. This is because most are found in difficult-to-reach steppes and mountainous regions in Central Asia, and not all species are well researched. The plant genus Tulipa belongs to the lily family (Liliacea). The name goes back to the Turkish word for turban. Most wild tulips grow in hot, dry locations. They are as common at sea level as in steppes to mountainous and very rocky regions. Wild tulips are found in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The vast majority of tulip species occur in Central Asia. There are many wild tulip species in Turkey as well. Common among the wild tulips in gardens are Tulipa praestans, Tulipa bakeri, Tulipa humilis, Tulipa biflora, Tulipa kurkestanica and Tulipa clusiana (in the picture above, the Clusiana variety Tulipa 'Hearts Delight' can be seen). All wild and all bred tulips form bulbs that survive in the winter and they are perennial. Next year, after flowering, new bulbs will form, which in turn will save the flowers' power the following year. Tulips can thus be grown for many years. Wild tulips succeed particularly well since they are less demanding than the large-flowered, highly bred hybrids, which are usually seen in gardens.

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