Hello Fellow Gardeners!

One of the most beloved of all spring-blooming bulbs is the tulip. Hardly does another flower evoke the colour and exuberance of the garden to come than this harbinger of the new season.

In this Alert we'd like to introduce you to a twist on the classic tulip: botanical tulips. Read on, dear gardener, to learn more about these jewels of the spring garden.

Enjoy!

Cheers, Gary and the Phoenicians

 

 

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The Magic of Botanical Tulips
Jewels of the Spring Garden

A Brief History of the Tulip: Once upon a time no one in the western world had ever heard of a tulip. The Turks knew all about them and grew them as early as 1000 AD. So, unbeknownst to us, across the wilds of central and western Asia and in Turkish gardens about 100 species of exceptional little bulbs would emerge from their winter dormancy every spring to sparkle with their vibrant, beguiling colours.


Tulipa acuminata

Then in and around the late 16th century tulips arrived in Europe. They soon became de rigeur and a sign of status in households both rich and poor. Botanists began to hybridize them creating more and more exciting forms. By late 1636 and early 1637 'Tulipmania' was at its peak in Holland. The bulbs were so popular that the most desirable varieties could cost more than a house in Amsterdam at the time!

The tulip craze lead to a huge speculative market in tulips, one in which ordinary men clammered to participate because of the vast amounts of money being made. They sold their businesses, family houses, farm animals, home furnishings and dowries in order to buy bulbs that they had never seen.

Eventually, supply increased and the price of tulips plummeted. The "Tulip Crash" sent many people into bankruptcy. Others lost all of their savings. All because of the tulip. The Dutch government then introduced special trading restrictions in order to avoid further fits of uncontrollable plant lust on the part of its population.

Today tulips are one of the most beloved of flowers and one of the world's major commercial flower crops, both for cut flowers and horticulture.

Mini Botanical Tulips: Before the Dutch got to them, before there were Darwin tulips, Triumph tulips, parrot tulips and bouquet tulips, fringed and lily-flowering tulips, peony-types and viridifloras, French and Kaufmanniana tulips and all of the other large, bold and colourful hybrids there were the species -- those small, beguiling denizens of Asia with an allure and beauty all their own.


Tulipa vvedenskyi 'Tangerine Beauty'

Botanical tulips are what tulips used to look like and still look like in the wild. They are smaller in bulb size, height and flower size than your standard spring tulips but they are just as colourful and perhaps a little bit more sophisticated looking more like a sparkling jewel than a big brash boisterous flower.

Botanical tulips also offer something that the big hybrid tulips don't: STAYING POWER. Whereas the hybrids need to be babied and fertilized in order to encourage rebloom, the botanical tulips, given good growing conditions, have a strong tendency to be long-lived perennials that bulk up over time into impressive colonies. They will return year after year and will usually multiply with each passing season. Consequently, they are great for naturalizing. They also work well at the front of the border, planted under groundcovers, and in pots.

This year at Phoenix we are pleased to offer 30 different species and varieties of botanical tulips, some of which have rarely, if ever, been offered in Canada before. They can be ordered now for pick-up or shipping in late Sept/early Oct. We hope you'll be inspired to try some in your garden. Here are this year's bulbs:

Tulipa 'Little Beauty' - Tulipa 'Little Beauty' is a four-colour stunner. She has deep pink petals with an interior of black, royal blue, and white. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa 'Little Princess' - Tulipa 'Little Princess' has firey orange flowers and dark black centres edged in yellow sure to brighten up any dreary spring day. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa 'Peppermint Stick' - Tulipa 'Peppermint Stick' has alternating deep pink and white petals creating a cheery bicolour effect a bit like a candy cane. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa acuminata - A prized heirloom from 1813, Tulipa acuminata has upright stems and narrow, wild, twisting yellow petals variably tipped with scarlet as if in flame. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa aucheriana - Tulipa aucheriana is a botanical tulip with pink flowers on very short stems and elongated twists of bluish green foliage. The flowers open wide on warm sunny days to reveal sunny yellow centres. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa batalinii 'Apricot Jewel' - Tulipa batalinii 'Apricot Jewel' starts out a clear yellow orange and gradually acquires peach tones, sometimes with red highlights, above narrow, twisted foliage. If the weather is right, the blooms can last a month. Botanical tulips are miniature to small in size and not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa batalinii 'Bronze Charm' - Tulipa batalinii 'Bronze Charm' is an apricot yellow botanical tulip feathered bronze above narrow, grey twisted foliage. The pointed buds open wide on warm sunny days. Botanical tulips are miniature to small in size and not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa batalinii 'Red Gem' - Tulipa batalinii 'Red Gem' has vermilion blooms above narrow, grey twisted foliage in late spring when other botanical tulips have finished. The buds open wide on warm sunny days revealing black centres. The species, native to Iran, Uzbekistan & Turkestan, is named for a director of the Imperial Botanical Garden in St Petersberg. Botanical tulips are miniature to small in size and not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa chrysantha - Tulipa chrysantha has alternating red and bright yellow petals. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa clusiana 'Sheila' - Tulipa clusiana 'Sheila' is a lovely botanical tulip with long stemmed, pointed petals in rose and peach with yellow. The flowers open wide on warm sunny days. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa clusiana 'Tubergen's Gem' - Tulipa clusiana 'Tubergen's Gem' is a botanical tulip with long stemmed, pointed petals in striking red and yellow. The flowers open wide on warm sunny days. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa clusiana var. stellata - Tulipa clusiana var. stellata is a botanical tulip with pointed petals, pure white on top and lipstick pink beneath. The flowers open in wide star shapes on warm sunny days. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa hageri 'Splendens' - Tulipa hageri 'Splendens' is a botanical tulip with 3-5 dark coppery red flowers per stem that deepen in colour as they age. Lightly fragrant with greyish foliage sometimes edged in red, it is native to Greece. The flowers open wide on warm sunny days to reveal sunny yellow centers. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa heweri - Tulipa heweri is a new species of botanical tulip discovered in 2008 with yellow or ochre flowers and orange on the outer petals. It produces 2-3 flowers per stem and was collected in Afghanistan. The flowers open wide on warm sunny days. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa humilis 'Alba Coerulea Oculata' - Tulipa humilis 'Alba Coerulea Oculata' is a rare and beautiful selection with pure white flowers with steely navy blue centres. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa humilis 'Lilliput' - Tulipa humilis 'Lilliput' is a very petite botanical tulip with bright, rounded red buds that open to reveal blue centres. The leaves are narrow and blue green. The flowers open wide on warm sunny days. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa humilis 'Odalisque' - Tulipa humilis 'Odalisque' is a very petite botanical tulip with goblet shaped fuchsia-pink flowers in mid March and April. The leaves are narrow and green brushed at the edges with carmine. The flowers open wide on warm sunny days to reveal sunny yellow centres. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa humilis 'Tete a Tete' - Tulipa humilis 'Tete a Tete' has deep cherry pink double flowers with green highlights in the outer petals. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Waterlily' - Tulipa kaufmanniana 'Waterlily' has bell-shaped, upward facing, pale yellow flowers with dark yellow centres often flushed with some pink in bud whose petals flare, reflexing outwards. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa kolpakowskiana - Tulipa kolpakowskiana is a botanical tulip with yellow flowers streaked in carmine red, atop narrow, undulating leaves. Native to Central Asia, it has been recorded since 1877. The flowers open wide on warm sunny days and the tips of the petals become recurved. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa linifolia - Tulipa linifolia has red flowers with broad, pointed petals, and narrow, undulating leaves. The flowers open wide on warm sunny days to reveal black centers and the tips of the petals become recurved. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa orphanidea 'Flava' - Tulipa orphanidea 'Flava' is a botanical tulip with glowing flowers with bronze and red on a yellow background atop narrow green foliage. The flowers open wide on warm sunny days to reveal black centres. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa praestans 'Shogun' - Tulipa praestans 'Shogun' has light orange flowers with a red flush at the centre and occasionally red stripes. It is multiflowering with multiple flowers per bulb. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa pulchella 'Eastern Star' - Tulipa pulchella 'Eastern Star' has magenta flowers with a bright yellow base in the centre of the flower. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa saxatilis - Tulipa saxatilis has lavender-pink petals with a bright yellow base in the centre of the flower. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa schrenkii - Tulipa schrenkii is a long stemmed botanical tulip with red, bowl shaped flowers that may have yellow tips and centres and broad, rippling, blue green foliage. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa tarda ("Dasystemon Tarda") - Tulipa tarda is one of the most popular species tulips with cheerful yellow petals tipped with white and boasting up to 6 flowers per bulb! Often confused with the single-flowered T. dasystemon in horticulture but our bulbs each year are multi-flowered suggesting T. tarda. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa vvedenskyi 'Girlfriend' - Tulipa vvedenskyi 'Girlfriend' has yellow to apricot flowers with exotic, red blushing flaring around their centres. The foliage is narrow, wavy and prostrate with burgundy stripes. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.
Tulipa vvedenskyi 'Tangerine Beauty' - Tulipa vvedenskyi 'Tangerine Beauty' has asymmetrically opening, fire red flowers flushed with yellow and narrow, wavy, prostrate bluish foliage. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years. Tulipa wilsoniana - Tulipa wilsoniana is a perfectly miniature botanical tulip with cup shaped flowers that have been described as the perfect red. The bloom is large in relation to the plant sitting on a short stem just above the gently wavy, blue-green foliage. Botanical tulips are miniature to small species tulips, cultivars of species, or dwarf named cultivars not far removed from their wild ancestors. They are strongly perennial and will naturalize when happy unlike the large Dutch hybrids which are often treated as annuals or which fail after a couple years.

These botanical tulips are available now for pre-ordering for pick-up or shipping in late Sept/early October.

Visit the Rare Bulb Pre-Order on our Phoenix Perennials Mail Order Site to see our full selection of over 200 rare bulbs. Both mail order and local customers should place their orders through our mail order system. Local customers should select the pick up option when checking out. Quantities are limited. Please order early to secure your favourites.

Our selection of rare bulbs will ship or be ready for pick-up in late September or early October, depending on when they arrive from Europe. Some bulbs may arrive later in a second shipment. For local customers, we will email you when it's time to pick up.

For mail order customers we will also email you in advance of shipping. We recommend you place separate orders for plants, bulbs, and Cypripedium as each is ready at different times and we wish to ship when these products are at their freshest. If you place multiple separate orders, put a note to us when you check out about these orders and we will see if we can ship your items together though the default will be to ship separately. If you combine plants, bulbs, and Cypripedium in the same order we will assume you want everything shipped together and will wait until your order is complete, unless there are reasons why we might want to ship ASAP.

Changes from last year:

  • We have made changes that should ensure we receive 90% of our bulbs this year so the majority of your order should be complete. These bulbs are rare for many reasons but mostly because they are slower to bulk up than bulbs that are more commonly available. For this reason, supplies at harvest time can be less than expected and we are usually shorted on some varieties. Please be understanding if we contact you in the fall that some of the bulbs you ordered are not available.
  • We will no longer be processing payment in advance. Payment will be processed just before pick-up or shipping.
  • We have made adjustments to our shipping calculations and packing methods that should decrease shipping costs this year on bulbs.

Ordering: Visit the Rare Bulb Pre-Order on our Phoenix Perennials Mail Order Site for full details. Mail order and local customers should both place your orders through our mail order system. When checking out, local customers should select the pick-up option. Mail order customers should select their preferred shipping method. The minimum order value to place a pre-order for mail order or pick-up is $40. Extra bulbs will be available for sale at Phoenix once pre-orders have been filled. Have fun!

 


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Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.
One of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in the Lower Mainland.
3380 No. 6 Road, Richmond (Between Bridgeport and Cambie)
604-270-4133
www.phoenixperennials.com
Please visit our web page for information on the nursery, driving directions and a map.
We are near the south end of the Knight Street Bridge and very easy to get to from all of the surrounding municipalities and beyond.

Opening Dates and Hours
February 24th to October 29th, 2017
10am-5pm


Copyright Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Ltd.

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