Color changes

I'm a newbie here, although I've been active in r.g.edible and r.g.roses for some time. But since there isn't a r.g.perennials, at least on my news server, this seemed like the best group for my question.
We have a raised bulb bed, filled with "flower mix" soil from a local soil/gravel/bark vendor. We've had it for several years.
The problem is this. My wife planted it in tulips, all different kinds and colors. With the exception of a parrot tulip or two, they all now produce yellow blooms. Healthy plants, nice blooms, just not what we planted.
Over the last two years, we've gradually replaced the tulips with lilies. Guess what? Same thing! We now have one red lily and the rest are all yellow. Spreading like crazy, so they must be nice and healthy as well.
I asked a local garden "expert" about this back when it was only the tulips, and she said that cheap tulip bulbs would do that. I wonder what she'd say about the lilies :-).
Anyone in this group have a clue what's causing our bulbs to change their flower colors?
Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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I think what happens is that over time the stronger bulbs survive and the rest die. In your case, the yellow ones won the battle of natural selection. I bought a lot of bulbs on clearance last fall and kept the packages after planting them. To my surprise, several varieties of the tulips were completely different colors than the pictures and descriptions on the packaging. If you planted one color of lily and another color appeared, then there might have been a packaging mistake. I got several packages of Dutch iris that were suppose to be mixed colors. I planted each package in a different location. Nearly all of them were the same color - not a mix of colors. Again, either a packaging mistake or the mix was not random enough to yield packages with a good distribution of colors.
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over time the stronger bulbs survive and the

each
I would agree with the survival of the fittest theory. In my area, tulips are fairly reliable as long-lived perennials, some living for decades, which I realize is not the case in many parts of the country. However, over time, tulip beds will end up being yellow and red. The pinks, whites, purples, and stripes, except for the orange black stripes, are either shorter lived, or when they multiply making little bulblets, those bulblets are not reliably the same color.

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On Sun, 11 Jul 2004 01:10:16 -0700, "gregpresley"

What they said. :-) Whether through hybrid reversion or plain ol' hardiness, the more common and ordinary types will usually reproduce more vigorously. I've never had tulips rebloom reliably, so get new bulbs when I want tulips. I started with 1 bulb of a big yellow 'tiger' lily, and they've spread and reproduced all over the place. Survival of the yellowest? :-)
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Can't answer you question, but thought I'd mention my related experience. Several years ago, I spent lots of money on exotic dark-colored tulips, ordering them from one of the more highly touted mail-order companies. The next spring, when they came up they were all yellow. :-(((((((((((((((((( I always wondered how that could be.
--
Jean B.


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Jean B. wrote:

It seems that mislabeling is becoming more of a problem every year. I bought some very dark (almost black) Glads (from a local dealer) and gave some of them to a neighbor. All of our bulbs bloomed orange, very pretty, but not what we expected.
--
Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

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Well, how do bulb growers determine what color bulbs are going to be? I assume that the bulbs 'breed true' for a certain number of generations, but there is always the risk of cross-fertilization with other color groups. Dora2
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In my area, tiger lilies will swallow an entire lily bed in a couple of years, squeezing out the asiatics and orientals. Maybe you bought some yellow tiger lilies? Where are you located?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

I'm in the Spokane WA area.
Thanks to all that responded. Most reported on similar tulip problems. I could see that, but the lilies as well?
BTW, if yellow tiger lilies are spotted like the orange ones, no, I don't have any of those.
I don't remember now what exactly I did buy, but they did bloom true the first year, and several were still OK the second year. This year, the third, only one was not yellow.
And none have died - they're spreading outward in a circle from the original plants which appear to still be doing fine.
So it's not just the new bulblets changing color, and it's not a mis-labelling of the originals.
Concerning the tulips, it may be that the originals died off and were replaced by offspring that reverted to yellow. Since they've all been moved, I can't tell, but since others have had that occur, it's probably what happened to ours.
BTW, I have lilies planted elsewhere in the yard that just had their second year bloom, and none of them have changed yet :-).
--
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Hi Larry, I'm in Spokane also. Greg
area.
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