Tulipa sylvestris and friends

David Beeson April 19th 2023

Tulipa sylvestris is a delightful species that is distributed across much of Europe. It does occur wild in the UK, but they are from garden escapes or deliberate wild plantings. However, I’m content for it to grace my own meadows, and as seed is produced, some insects must be enjoying what its flowers offer.

It can grow to 50cm, but with us 30 is more realistic.

The plant spreads by seed and underground runners, producing a single or double-flowered stem. By July it has had its day and retreats underground for the dry summer period, showing its nascent leaves in February.

T. sylvestris in our Spring Meadow.
This meadow is cut in Late June or early July.

This is a yellow-phase to the meadows. Cowslips are dominant in the sunny spots, with a few primroses skulking in the shady fringes. Sometimes they both exchange genes with garden primulas and new colour and flower shape combinations occur.

Primula veris, the Cowslip.
In a smallish garden stopping gene flow is impossible.
Martagon Lilies grow in our Summer Meadow … when the lily beetles allow! The species is said to be native to the Wye Valley and Surrey woods, but has been introduced elsewhere.
Our Marsh Marigolds have just started to bloom.
The two ‘blades’ of the Twayblade Orchids have just shown themselves.
Spotted Orchid leaves with a developing flower spike.

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