Advertisement

Tulipa sylvestris


It’s probably been more than four years since a wild shade-loving tulip made its surprising appearance in a shady, grassy bed in my garden. Its color looked like the “before” shot in a commercial for women with faded blond hair. After a close examination on my knees, I determined it was actually a tulip. I know how long ago it was because my knees no longer permit close examinations.

Its inner workings looked like a tulip, so I cut off the flower with two thin attached leaves, carried it to my bulb class at the Chicago Botanic Garden and gave it to my class assistant. He returned the next week with an ID –Tulipa sylvestris, tulip of the woods. I was so excited I could have kissed him, but he escaped.

Tulip of the woods doesn’t seem to mind woodland shade, but is doing better under a redbud, which affords more light. In the winter of 2014, the bulbs showed up in my rose garden, where the soil is a little richer. The bulb spreads by seed and stolons and is native to the Mediterranean region and Central Asia. It has naturalized in central and northern Europe.

Adele Kleine

Photo courtesy of ibub.org

categories

popular

Article Thumbnail
Columns
Scent and Non-Scents

"Stand back! I’m about to have a Proustian moment. Wait...wait. Whew! It went away. For a second I thought I was going to ...


Article Thumbnail
Blog
Time to Plant Those Bulbs

There’s a nip in the air — I wouldn’t yet call it a chill — that prompted me to rummage through the box on the back porch ...


Article Thumbnail
Blog
Good Winter Reads

In our neck of the woods, there’s been little snow to speak of, but the temperatures finally dropped into the teens. And ...


Article Thumbnail
Departments
Designing Mini-gardens Using Potted Plants

Container gardening is so enjoyable because of its possibilities for creative expression.


Article Thumbnail
Departments
From the Editor - SeptOct 2017

There are people who say that autumn is their favorite time of year. I’m not one of them, although God knows I’ve tried. Yes, …


questions

I dislike staking perennials. Is there anything I can do to avoid it?

I have houseplants outside that I will need to bring indoors. What is the lowest temperature at which I can leave them outside?

I keep seeing photos of interesting plants I’d like to grow, but they’re labeled zone 6 and I’m in zone 5. What can I do to successfully overwinter these marginal plants? I’d like to try them, but I don’t want to waste my money.

ChicagolandGardening Advertisement