Monday, May 12, 2008


Here we have t. acuminata, my very favorite of the species tulips. Sure I love the bright, striped clusianas, especially, these, shown in a group with some batalini “Bronze Charm” thrown in.

But if you’ve picked up anything from this blog, you should have gathered that I yearn for variety, for the unusual and unique—like giant elephant ear and $50 oriental lily hybrids. I don’t yet have any of the plants that are really more ugly than anything, like the “Hair” allium or some of the rudbeckia and echinacea that are all black center and little else.

The acuminata though. What I really like about it is its combination of real strength with apparent fragility. The slender petals endure far longer than many other species, including the tarda, the turkistanica, and most of the clusianas—though these "Cynthia" (above) have been out for a while. Acuminata dates back to the seventeenth century in depictions, but it is only shown in cultivation and has not been seen in the wild, as far as I know. Perhaps there was some kind of cross-breeding centuries ago.


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Acuminata sure is a wild one, you're right... but it's really hard not to love the species tulips! Our 'Little Beauties' have finally bloomed, after I'd given up hope they'd appear this year because due to a bad freeze period last year, we lost over half of our Darwins over the winter (and we had several hundred planted! waahh). The species ones made it through just fine, though, and have started to naturalize. Yay!

Speaking of the odd and bizarre (plants after our hearts, the weirder the better), have you ever planted a Dracunculus vulgaris or Dragon Arum? Ours is up and multiplying this year, much to our delight. If you're interested, stop by my place and use the tags on the recent post to see what it turns into, hehe. One of those bizarro world plants that makes people stop and stare as they go by!

Kylee said...

Hi Eliz... I too love these kind of tulips. I've got 'Lady Jane' and after not doing a thing last year, blooming the year before that, this year they're back better than ever. Go figure.

The Colorblend mixed tulips you sent me that I got a black eye during planting last fall? Not a single one came up! Maybe they'll make an appearance next year. LOL.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Liz, the unusual is always fun to see. I can't wait to see how you do with that giant you are lusting after.

EAL said...

Kylee, do you think an animal got at them? Because some people did not plant their bulbs until January and they still came up. You are the only person I have heard this from.

That is disappointing, particularly since you hurt yourself planting them.

Frances, said...

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for showing this and pointing out its toughness. We are always looking for the species that perform well, it is hard to tell from reading the glowing text in the catalogs which ones are really the best. The acuminata is going on our order list for fall. Any other recommendations?
Frances at Faire Garden

Gail said...

The Acuminatas do look spectacular and might fit nicely in the wild gardens of C&L. For years I have stared at the drawings (no photos) in the M&Z catalog but never ordered, maybe now I can get off the fence!

thanks Elizabeth for the nudge!


EAL said...

Personally, I'd go with Brent&Becky's over MZ.

EAL said...

Frances, I think the turkistanica, the clusiana, and the tarda are all pretty resilient. Bit I do notice that some disappear, so I always make sure to order a few every year. They are small and their foliage is insignificant, so it's no big deal.