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.
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.
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?