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Tulips: Tulipa saxatilis

Botanical name: Tulipa saxatilis

Common name: Candia tulip

also known as (cliff tulip, wild saxatilis tulip)

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created by:

Austin, Tx

at a glance

Soil: damp, acidic, sand
Zones: 3a thru 9b


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description for "Tulips: Tulipa saxatilis"

Wild saxatilis tulip is rosy-lilac with a yellow base, plus showy dark anthers for contrast. Each urn-shaped flower opens nearly flat during the day to 2"-3" across, and mature bulbs carry up to seven of these blooms on long pedicels branched off the ten-inch stem. This wild, Cretian species needs poor soil, moderate winters, and hot summers. A good naturalizer. Tulipa saxatilis is one of the few warm weather tulips suitable for southern California. Plant in fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly acid soil. Allow foliage to yellow and wither for 6 weeks prior to removing it. --edited by dtd siegelgirl


Unusual reproduction for a tulip - by stolons; a challenge not to ignore. T. saxatilis is a triploid species (probably derived from T. cretica or T. Bakeri), with three times the basic chromosome number, so it rarely if ever reproduces from seed. To expand its range, the bulb puts out horizontal stolons up to a foot or more underground, forming offsets at the tail end. Mention `underground stolon' to a gardener and you're likely to get a gasp, but I've had no trouble containing its habit. I just yank out the new bulbs that appear where I don't want them. Still, knowing how easily love can turn to hate, cautious gardeners might want to confine the wandering stolons with galvanized sheet metal or a border of slate. This should also help speed up the blooming process, since it turns out T. saxatilis only blooms when it's crowded. [Source:]

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