I've gotten little species tulips from bulbmeister.com, from
tulipworld.com, & from odysseybulbs.com, besides in a few local shops that
bother to stock in more than the usual three. I've always gotten good
bulbs that performed well, & was usually selecting stuff that naturalizes.
Odyssey sends the most perfect-looking bulbs, but no matter the source
they perform well, as likely they come from the same couple producers.
bulbmeister is right now having a 50% sale on left over stocks, & for many
zones it's not yet too late to get them in the ground.
When making choices, don't neglect to check out Tulipa vvendensky, one of
my favorites. The flowers last SO long, are so intensely colored, & even
the wavy octopus leaves are interesting.
Also bare in mind the kaufmanianna group easily fall over shortly after
bloom & need some kind of groundcover to help hold them upright. I've not
had any other species tulips show this problem. Since kaufmanias are
frequently crossed with greigiis (which do not tip over) it's a wonder to
me the kaufmanias don't have improved features of stronger stems, but the
first stormy day can knock them right down. I've tried to "thicken up" the
kaufmania patches with other sorts of bulbs added among them this season,
hoping they will brace each other next spring, but may someday end up
planting something like a dwarf lemon thyme over them if they continue to
Many of the things sold as botanicals are actually hybrids, but so long as
they can naturalize I don't mind that that's slightly misleading. I just
love species tulips. My partner Granny Artemis likes hybrids too but I
discourage getting too many of those, the exceptions being delicate little
lily-tulips & some of the "green stripe" varieties she insists upon, &
they are quite nice too, but for the most part I prefer natural species
tulips, some for being subtler & longer lasting & for spreading. A few
like in the greigii group are just as 'loud' as any of the hybrids, but
shorter so they can still be tucked here & there without seeming too
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
Any of the big bulb suppliers will have them - Scheepers, Van Burgondien,
McClure and Zimmerman, Brent and Becky's. Little late to order them now,
though. Most mail order companies will have shipped by mid September/early
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