Tulipa Sylvestris

The earliest tulips in our garden are usually the wild tulip, Tulipa sylvestris, that I planted along the front fence line to take over from the early daffodils, and this year is no exception.

Tulipa sylvestris flower closedA dozen of these colourful, pointed flower buds are already bobbing along the fence line on their red-washed stems, their outer petals just beginning to curl back.

Tulipa sylvestris flower closed

Each year I exclaim over their exquisite shape, and the delicate brush strokes of pink and green that decorate their golden robes and stem. They always put me in mind of inquisitive birds, somehow.

Tulipa sylvestris flowers in budWith a few more days of sunshine, they will fully open into simple golden stars that sparkle through the long grass.

Tulipa sylvestris flower in budThe first of our hybrid tulips are just a week or two slower, poised on the brink of their own annual show.

Tulip bud peeking out of foliageI love tulips, from the elegant species to their more glamorous cousins. Each year I plant new bulbs in pots, putting the previous year’s bulbs out into the ground to take their chances. Some keep coming back year after year, while others prove ephemeral, but it’s always a thrill to see which ones return – one I’m already looking forward to as the buds begin to colour up.






13 thoughts on “Tulipa Sylvestris

  1. Tulipa Sylvestris is not one of which I was aware, but you make it look very special. I lve those dark atmospheric photos! I wonder if those tulips naturalise and spread? I’m imagining a huge bank of them now…

    • They are meant to be very good at naturalising in grass – and they are a good height for a species tulip too. Ours do seem to be increasing steadily in the long grass along the fence line. A huge bank of them would be quite something!

  2. I remember swooning over your T. sylvestris last year Sara! I have Tulipa orphanidea Whittallii Group just hovering on the point of opening, beaten by the tulips in the front garden, which I am loving. I can’t tell you how delighted I am to have soil that tulips clearly thrive in, hopefully the tulips still tightly budded in pots will make their way into the ground in Autumn and reward me next year, I can’t get enough of them – until the foliage starts to die back…

    • I swoon over them every year too 🙂 I look forward to some pics of your species tulips, they sound pretty in orange. Hurrah for tulip-friendly soil. I’m amazed that our Barcelonas are back again for the third year in our heavy clay!

  3. I am a real convert to tulips now too, and will be doing the same with my bigger ones that were new in pots. These T sylvestris look gorgeous!

    • I love love love tulips. Must make a pilgrimage to the Dutch bulb fields one year, that would be pretty spectacular. I highly recommend the T. sylvestris, they are meant to be good at naturalising and spreading in grass… and ours seem to be bulking up.

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