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.
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.