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Name That Tulip

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When I first saw these starting to bloom, I thought, “What the heck are those?”

After taking a closer look, I’m still asking the same question.

From a bulb company which shall remain anonymous, I once ordered some tulips that were supposed to be deep purple. I think it was ‘Gypsy Love’, but I’m not sure. The first year, the tulips bloomed pale; whatever they were,  it clearly wasn’t what they were supposed to be. I informed the bulb company, and the next year they sent me a replacement.

Those weren’t what they were supposed to be, either. They were the Nameless Tulip.
I gently retired from the fray.

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The interesting thing is, I haven’t been able to identify the tulips I got. They are fringed tulips, not a big class, since fringed tulips have only been around since the 1960s (yet another example of how tulips like to hold their sporting tricks in reserve. Who knows what they’ve got in mind to spring on us, down the line?).

So I looked in my catalogues that had fringed tulips, but I couldn’t find a photo or description that even vaguely came close to this one, not even in the catalogue of origin. It’s not as if this tulip could be easily mistakable for another. As a botanist friend remarked, it’s one of those really really bright attention-getting ones; it’s the kind that only childish people like. Uh, despite any recent ravings about primary colors, I just like this tulip (refer to my mission statement if you need an explanation. It will be at the bottom of the page this link takes you to). It’s vivid, it’s eccentric, it’s cheerfully all over the place.

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They do make a startling blaze in the woods, “like nothing else in Tennessee”; the woods almost revolve around them for a minute, when you look at them. I’m glad this tulip, whatever it is,  decided to propagate itself. I planted out the small bulbs the originals were reduced to into a small pot, and this year, I’m getting a return of four (I think I had twelve to start with), and it’s been two or three years since the first bloom. I do keep records on all this, but then I have to find the records.

A success story for me, as far as repeating tulips go.

So: can anybody name this tulip?

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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Anna/Flowergardengirl May 10, 2009, 5:27 pm

    It’s a very vivid tulip but I have no idea what its name might be. The only bulbs in my new gardens are some old Iris that my neighbor gave me. But in the Autumn, I’m going to plant lots of daffodils—the fancy kind. I’m going to go wild with them and put them everywhere.

    I hope mine will multiply like yours did!

  • I have no idea what it is, but I’d like to! Very vibrant tulip- it would go so beautifully with my almost black Paul Scherer tulips!

  • Pomona Belvedere May 10, 2009, 7:48 pm

    Flowergardengirl: Daffs and narcissus are a great investment, you won’t regret it. Check out ‘Thalia’ and ‘Hawera’ for more graceful woodsy types – but they’re all wonderful, and tough survivors.

    Tessa – Oh, I got Paul Scherer this year too! Great tulip – could not tell it apart from Queen of the Night, but that’s not a problem for me. You’re right, this tulip would look great with PS>

  • catmint May 11, 2009, 2:45 am

    My garden is full of nameless plants – at least you know it’s a tulip. (LOL)

  • Frances May 11, 2009, 3:23 am

    Hi Pomona, like nothing we have here in this part of Tennessee, anyway. I love the childish part. Life should be a series of delightful discoveries, IMHO. If we cannot hang on to our inner child, what’s the point? :-) A beauty with some fancy fringe, for sure. Glad you are having luck with returns too. The fake Lady Jane below looks like Tinka? Most of my bulbs come from Van Engelen, although Brent and Becky’s also gets my dollar. Don’t you think tulips are the flower voted most likely to not look as described? That has been my experience.
    Frances

  • tina May 11, 2009, 3:39 am

    Maybe it’s a ‘Lambada’.

  • Cyd May 11, 2009, 7:28 am

    It is a wonderful color. It looks like a fringed/parrot cross. About children in the garden, aren’t we all like kids with our favorite candy? I sure am. I agree with Frances tulips are always a surprise color wise.

  • Pomona Belvedere May 11, 2009, 8:25 am

    Catmint – thanks for the encouragement, have you been taking positive thinking lessons?

    Frances – yes absolutely, tulips are incredibly variable, the more I write about them the more I realize that. I think they have a sense of humor. This one’s an extreme case, though.

    Tina, I’ll check ‘Lambada’, thanks!

    Cyd – you know, I was looking through one of my tulip books and saw a picture of an older orange parrot that did look very similar. Hm.

  • Kris at Blithewold May 11, 2009, 8:29 am

    You’ve been busy posting while I’ve been busy avoiding the computer! – Oh the things I miss over the weekend – like the lovely Lady Jane… I don’t know your mystery tulip either but think it’s very interesting that our mystery this year also has fringed petals and is a bright color. – Ours is a horrifying electric yellow and we won’t letting it take up residence. I think it may be up to you to name yours! (‘Belvedere Blaze’?)

  • Gail May 11, 2009, 10:28 am

    It’s so very similar to the tulips I don’t recall planting in my garden!..A few weeks later there were even more…this time peppermint striped ones! Like the really odd weather we continue to experience we may never know what these are…but I like them, too! They are vibrant and alive parrots and look sensation in your photos! gail

  • Pomona Belvedere May 11, 2009, 3:36 pm

    It’s so interesting to hear other people’s stories about their own surprise tulips. I’m beginning to think that surprise is a major part of tulip character. I wish I could see pictures of your tulips, to see what turned up in your garden.

  • Pomona Belvedere May 11, 2009, 6:23 pm

    Tina, I looked up ‘Lambada’. In fact, I looked it up four times, because I’m taking to heart Frances’s comment that tulips are some of the most color-changeable flowers. I checked different pictures, and they were indeed similar to this tulip, but the background color looked much paler to me, and there was no sign of any of the intricate patternings that make the Mystery Tulip so cool (IMO). I sincerely appreciate the effort, this is as close as I’ve gotten to an answer. This one has me stumped.

  • mark June 6, 2009, 1:31 am

    Hi,
    This tulip is named “Fringed Solstice”
    See hereunder the official desription of the Royal Dutch Flowerbulbassociation.
    Gypsy Love is a non excisting tulip. please e-mail me the picture of what you have ordered so I can help you out

    Genus Tulipa
    Author G L. Prefix G
    Family Liliaceae
    Author F Juss.
    Author SVF Prefix SVF
    Cultivar ‘Fringed Solstice’ Cultivar Group Fringed Group
    Synonyms Trade Name
    Common Name Named After
    Species with subspecies etc.
    Description Exterior lemon yellow (CC 13A) with darker (CC 14A) margin and blood red (CC 45C) to currant red (CC 47A) flame, sometimes feathered, sometimes covering the whole tepal. Base agathia green (CC 142B). Inside dark indian lake (CC 187A) base spreading into lemon yellow (CC 14B), irregular blood red (CC 45B/46B) feathered. Filaments dark indian red lake (CC 187A), top and base a little chartreuse green (CC 1C).

  • Pomona Belvedere June 6, 2009, 12:14 pm

    Oh thank you! I really appreciate having what looks like the real name at last. A great name, too.

  • Cyd June 6, 2009, 6:06 pm

    What a wonderful name and man! I’m happy that you know the name now!

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