Tulipa saxatilis

Tulipa saxatilis (340)

Common names:

  • Cretan Rock Tulip
  • Rock Tulip
  • Cliff Tulip
  • Candia Tulip

Location in the Gardens:

Season of interest:

  • Mid and late spring

Description of plant:

Bulbous perennial producing star-shaped, fragrant flowers, about 6 to 8cm (2.5 to 3in) across, are borne singly or in clusters of up to four. The flowers are pink with brilliant yellow base to the petals.

Spreading by runners, producing 2 to 4 linear, hairless and shiny, mid-green leaves, to about 30cm (12in) long.

Ideal growing conditions and habitat:

Well-drained soil. Full sun. HardyMulch in winter.

Likes a hot dry sunny place; eg in the south facing rock garden at Highdown.

Sir Frederick Stern said that:

“it enjoys itself coming up among the rocks and flowers beautifully every year”.

He noted that the Tulipa saxatilis ran in all directions, but he didn't mind, as he thought the flowers delightful.

Country of origin:

  • Wild hybrid from Crete
  • Sir Daniel Hall in his monograph of the genus, suggests that T. saxatilis originated as a wild hybrid with T. bakeri as a parent.

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