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Tulipa bakeri

Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials


Tulips vary considerably. Some are stately and formal, others dainty and whimsical; a few look decidedly bizarre. Bloom comes at some time from March to May, depending on the type.

Use larger tulips in colonies or masses, in company with low, spring-blooming plants. Use smaller, shorter types for close-up viewing—in rock gardens, near paths, in raised beds, or in patio insets.

Tulips are superb container plants; unusual kinds such as Rembrandt and Parrot are especially suited to this use.

Nearly all hybrid tulips and most species (wild) tulips need six weeks of temperatures below 45°F/7°C to initiate flower formation, and they aren’t bothered by summer drought. In mild climates, provide the necessary chill by refrigerating bulbs for 6 weeks (not near ripening fruit) before planting; then treat the plants as annuals.

Tulipa bakeri

Similar to and often listed as T. saxatilis. Lilac to purple flowers with a yellow base open to a wide, flat star; they are borne in clusters of three or four on stems to 6–8 in. high. ‘Lilac Wonder’, to 6–7 in. high, has lilac-colored flowers with a large, circular lemon yellow base. Midseason. Good in mild-winter areas.

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